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BBC Wales's Melanie Doel reports
"The police have been given details of an anonymous threat to pollute water supplies if the burials go ahead"
 real 28k

BBC Wales's Melanie Doel
"Police are controlling movements into the village, but residents do not have the heart to oppose the lorries"
 real 56k

BBC Wales's Stephen Fairclough at Trecatti, Merthyr
"About 20 protesters are stopping lorries and refusing to let them in if they are carrying carcasses"
 real 28k

Monday, 2 April, 2001, 21:16 GMT 22:16 UK
Protester charged with attempted murder
Police van
A police officer was injured in the incident
Dyfed-Powys Police have charged a 27-year-old man with attempted murder in connection with the crushing of a police van with a bulldozer.

The man will appear at Ystradgynlais magistrates court on Tuesday morning.

PC John Stone is recovering in hospital after the 50-tonne bulldozer crushed his van near Sennybridge on Sunday.

Locals were so upset by the incident that they have called off their protest.

But hundreds of villagers have been meeting at nearby Trecastle - scene of another protest against the burial and burning of animals connected with foot-and-mouth incidents.

Crisis in Wales
Four new Welsh cases confirmed over the weekend
Total confirmed cases UK-wide 915 - with 53 in Wales
353,000 animals due for slaughter 587,000 already slaughtered, 38,370 in Wales
421,000 carcasses destroyed

The villagers voiced their opposition to the burn and burial policy and criticised MAFF officials, the National Assembly and Powys County Council.

Meanwhile, the Environment Agency confirmed on Monday that it had received an anonymous threat to dump animal carcasses into reservoirs if the Epynt disposal operation goes ahead.

The matter has been referred to the police.

Three other people have been released on police bail in connection with the Epynt violence.

They had been arrested on suspicion of theft of the machine and conspiracy to cause criminal damage with intent to endanger life.

Two more men were arrested on Monday in connection with the incident, and are being questioned.

Police are now controlling all vehicle movements in and out of the area.

The 200 protesters who had been demonstrating against the disposal of culled livestock at a local army range have insisted they had nothing to do with the incident.

The digger near the scene
The digger near the scene
Witnesses said they saw the bulldozer appear from nowhere to push one police van into a hedge and crush another vehicle, leaving one police officer trapped inside.

It took firemen an hour to cut the driver free. He was taken to hospital with bruising to his legs.

The incident happened after two nights of tension at the village of Llywel on the edge of the Epynt range where preparations are being made to bury thousands of carcasses.

Local opposition

Demonstrators insist that the protest had been peaceful throughout.

Local councillor Evan Morgan said: "People are completely devastated - they are shocked.

"The protesting up and then had been very very peaceful."

Early on Monday, 20 farmers mounted a protest outside an abbatoir at St Asaph in Denbighshire, north Wales.

They claimed to have stopped two lorries carrying sheep from Aberdeenshire, and said they were extremely concerned that the lorries passed through infected areas in Dumfries and Galloway and Cumbria.

Farmers in Merthyr Tydfil, south Wales, have taken similar action.

Concerns raised

Around 30 protesters returned to the Trecatti Landfill site, near Merthyr Tydfil, for a second day of demonstrations.

They wanted to halt lorries carrying slaughtered cattle entering the site.

Site operators Biffa Waste Disposal issued a statement saying it expected take the carcasses at the site.

Agriculture Minister Carwyn Jones confirmed the site had been earmarked by the Intervention Board, but he announced that no animals would be buried at the landfill site.

In Montgomery, a farmer is blockading the entrance to his farm and preventing Maff officials from reaching animals earmarked for culling. Meanwhile on Anglesey, culling has resumed, and it is estimated that around 6,000 will have been slaughtered by the end of the day.

It is almost certain that 40,000 sheep will be disposed of at the Penhesgyn landfill site, despite local opposition.

The culling operation was halted last week until Mr Jones had secured the agreement of farmers at Penhesgyn to allow 10,000 carcasses to be buried at the landfill site.

The farmers had urged Mr Jones to look at other sites.

But the minister repeated his concern that Penhesgyn was the only option on Anglesey to dispose of all 40,000 animals.

National Assembly for Wales foot-and-mouth helpline 02920 825572

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