§ Mr. Gray
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what advice she has issued to intermediate reception centres on the definition of covered space to receive animal by-products in the Animal By-Products Regulations; 
(2) what guidance she received from the European Commission about the definition of covered space. 
§ Mr. Bradshaw
We have received no guidance from the European Commission regarding the definition of "covered space". However, the Animal By-Products Regulation (EC) No. 1774/2002 requires Intermediate Plants to have a "covered space " to receive animal byproducts. It also requires the plant to be constructed in such a way that it is easy to clean and disinfect, and that floors must be laid down in such a way as to facilitate the draining of liquids. The plant must also have appropriate arrangements for protection against pests, such as insects, rodents and birds. In our view, the combination of these requirements make it necessary for the plant to have a roof, walls and a floor before we can approve it. The application form for approval of an Intermediate Plant provides guidance on the requirements of the Regulation, and states thatthe covered space must be securely enclosed, i.e. in a permanent, weather-proof, vermin-proof structure".However, any operation which could demonstrate that it complied with the requirements of the EU Regulation in some other way could also be approved.
§ Mr. Bradshaw
The Department undertook an extensive consultation process on the Animal By-Products Regulations 2003 (S.I. 2003 No.1482). This included discussions with representatives of the abattoir industry. Organisations representing abattoirs that responded to the consultation included the Meat and Livestock Commission and the Association of Independent Meat Suppliers.
My noble Friend Lord Whitty met with the Small Business Association to discuss the impact of the Regulation on small abattoirs and the Department also wrote to all abattoir operators with a questionnaire seeking information on the operational, structural and cost implications of the Regulation. Approximately 200 operators responded.