Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, supported by other Hertfordshire Conservative MPs and the County Council, has attacked government plans to bury at Holwell in his constituency animals from other counties slaughtered because of the Foot & Mouth epidemic.

    Peter Lilley said: “I have called on the government to halt this plan. The decision is wrong because Hertfordshire is so far infection free; because these animals by definition are felt to be at risk of having been infected; because the government has not even ruled out burying known infected cases at this site; and because the problem seems to have been spread around the country by the practice of transporting animals large distances.

    “The failure of the government to consult the local authorities in advance or even inform the site manager is very worrying. It is symptomatic of the confusion and lack of planning which have characterised the government?s handling of this crisis. As a result the government has not addressed concerns about the effect of the current high water table on the integrity of the pit?s lining ? and possible leakage into the water table.

    “As a result of this failure to consult, the government has forfeited local goodwill which might well have accepted the need to bury so-called welfare cattle from local farms in the county.?