Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether liquid animal carcases were dumped in the Irish Sea from 1 May 2001 to 28 February 2002; and if she will make a statement. [47050] 10 April 2002

Mr. Morley: Liquid animal carcases have never been dumped in the Irish Sea but I can confirm that between 1 May 2001 and 10 December 2001, the leachate from the Watchtree (Great Orton) mass burial site was discharged via a long sea outfall at Workington, into the Irish Sea.

Between 8 April and 15 June, the leachate (including body fluids, the breakdown products of animal carcases and any rainfall or surface water ingress into the pits) was pH adjusted for FMD virus control purposes. The Department installed a Dissolved Air Flotation (DAF) treatment plant on the site during June and from 15 June all leachate underwent additional primary treatment in the DAF plant before being tankered to Workington. On 2 October the pH adjustment ceased and on 10 December all use of the long sea outfall was stopped. 10 Apr 2002 : Column: 291W Since the 10 December, leachate has been tankered off site and disposed of at suitably licensed sites.


(Mr McGrady was not told what "suitably licensed sites" these were.)