Foot-and-mouth burial site will not be used again

A site used to bury more than 100,000 animal carcasses during the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak will not be used for the same purpose again.

An independent assessment of the environmental and public health risks associated with the mass burial site at Throckmorton, Worcestershire, was commissioned by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

It was in response to concerns raised by local residents about the safety of the site, constructed in March 2001.

In a published response, Defra confirmed it would not be using the existing burial site for any future animal disposals and broadly accepted the report's conclusions.

It made clear there were no grounds for compensation claims, outlining Defra's "proper and responsible" actions in managing the site.

The report had previously concluded the site posed "negligible" public health risks, "acceptable" environmental risks and noted no direct link could be established between the site and increased stress levels among those associated with it.

Animal Health Minister Ben Bradshaw says he hopes Defra's response demonstrated the department's willingness to work with the community.

He added: "I hope that local people and others with an interest will find this written response positive, clear and helpful and that it will mark a new phase of restoration."