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Wednesday, 26 June, 2002, 14:17 GMT 15:17 UK
'Blood on the land' ban demand
Freefoto.com
Concerns have been raised about the effect on health
Members of the Scottish Parliament have supported a demand for an immediate ban on the spreading of animal waste and blood on land in Perthshire.

Mid Scotland and Fife MSP George Reid showed members of the Environment Committee a series of pictures of what he said was animal and food waste being spread onto a field at Netherton, near Doune, last week.

He said the "dirty pictures" showed the spreading of blood, chicken sludge and food waste onto silage.

The committee's members supported Mr Reid's call for an immediate ban.

George Reid
George Reid sought the committee's support

The committee also called for a parliamentary debate on a report it published earlier this year on the spreading of animal blood on land.

Environment Minister Ross Finnie said he is waiting for a European directive ordering a ban and that is due to come into force next year.

Mr Reid said he was highlighting the case at Netherton and another at Blairingone "with a very real sense of outrage".

He said: "What has happened to these two villages in the past fortnight is an outrage and I ask the committee after the summer recess to have its report debated in parliament."

As pictures flashed up on a screen behind him, he said: "This is what is being applied to the land of Scotland at Netherton outside Doune this week in heavy rain.

"Over the past fortnight, a convoy of lorries has transported blood, chicken sludge, food waste, fish oil and barley waste to the site."


They have Polaroid pictures of children with blisters the size of half crowns all over their backsides from houses where sludge was spread right to the back door

George Reid MSP

As another slide of the site appeared on the screen, he added: "That is what it ended up like - gelatinous glue, birds pecking at it."

Mr Reid added: "So I say to the committee this is the land of Scotland, our land, this week. That would be illegal in most developed countries."

A judge ordered a halt to the practice during the foot-and-mouth crisis, when a contractor was found dumping animal waste two days after a ban was imposed by the Scottish Executive.

But those restrictions have been lifted and the dumping has resumed.

Mr Reid said a European directive on animal by-products was "stuck in the European Parliament until 2003" while an executive working group was still considering how to make blood safe.

Ross Finnie
Ross Finnie wants to wait for Europe to act

He said Mr Finnie should use his power to bring in a ban "at least until the directive is in place and its experts have determined how to render blood safe".

The MSP also said he was concerned about the possibility of a link between the animal waste and health problems among people living nearby.

He said: "They have Polaroid pictures of children with blisters the size of half crowns all over their backsides from houses where sludge was spread right to the back door."

Tory MSP for Ayr, John Scott, said: "This process must be stopped. It is doing the name of agriculture a great disservice in that this is not an agricultural practice at all as far as I'm aware and it is tarnishing the reputation of Scottish agriculture."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Kate Fawcett reports
"The committee heard the dumping led to outrage in the local communities"
See also:

15 May 02 | Scotland
07 Mar 02 | Scotland
29 Nov 01 | England
26 Mar 98 | Water Week
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