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BBC Wales environment correspondent Roger Pinney
"Protesters remain unhappy with the disposal operation"
 real 56k

Friday, 13 April, 2001, 09:41 GMT 10:41 UK
Carcass landfill plans criticised
64 confirmed cases of the disease in Wales
Farming areas of the countryside remain off limits
The Welsh Assembly's decision to earmark three more landfill sites as foot-and-mouth disposal areas has prompted further criticism from within the Labour Party.

Huw Lewis AM
Huw Lewis AM: 'Shambles'
Merthyr Tydfil AM Huw Lewis said the proposal to use the Trecatti landfill site at Dowlais was "a shambles".

In a statement, Mr Lewis said: "I am not prepared to allow Merthyr to become the dustbin for the rest of Wales." Mr Lewis was joined in his criticism of the decision by Merthyr MP Ted Rowlands.

On Thursday, Wrexham AM and MP John Marek said he was "aghast" at plans for the Astbury Quarry at Llay, near Wrexham, to be used for burying animal carcasses.

Crisis in Wales
Total confirmed cases UK-wide 1,141 - with 70 in Wales
Powys - 40 cases
Anglesey - 13 cases
Monmouthshire - 16 cases
Caerphilly - 1 case
Total animals slaughtered in Wales 81,080
A third site has been earmarked at Pontardawe, where residents are due to hold an urgent meeting to discuss the issue.

But speaking on Radio Wales, Andrew Davies, the assembly's business manager, said there was no fallout in Labour ranks.

"I would not say that one AM using that sort of language represents a split or division. It is a matter for Huw, the use of his language.

"I have no plans at this stage to do anything (about this). I will not comment on internal party matters.

"What we need to do is get on with the situation and ensure that it is dealt with successfully," he said.

Meanwhile, the National Farmers Union Cymru is to hold an investigation into allegations that a council-hired marksman was filmed taking "pot-shots" at sheep in a field.

" The total number of confirmed foot-and-mouth cases reached 70 on Thursday, with three further positive test results.

All the confirmed cases on Thursday were in Powys, at Castle Caereinion, Manafon and Llynderw, near Welshpool.
Andrew Davies AM, business manager
Andrew Davies AM: No plans to take action

The growing momentum to reopen visitor attractions round Wales in time for Easter continued with news Coed Cymru would have four woodlands open.

Pembrokeshire County Council has reopened a further 13 miles of footpaths at locations including Newgale and Solva.

Tory Assembly leader Nick Bourne has pressed for more funding to be made available to Wales Tourist Board during the crisis.

In mid and west Wales, there remains growing anger and confusion over the planned disposal at Epynt of thousands of carcasses.

The Epynt Disaster Group said it no longer had confidence in Welsh Rural Affairs Secretary Carwyn Jones to remain in overall charge of the operation.

The disposal of up to 180,000 carcasses was dealt a blow when the Environment Agency revealed on Wednesday that contamination had been discovered in a bore hole next the burial site.

But the agency does not believe groundwater will be affected by the pollution.

Police officer and protesters at Epynt, near Sennybridge
Protesters at Epynt say they have lost faith in Carwyn Jones
In north Wales, there is growing optimism that the outbreak on Anglesey may have been contained.

It is over two weeks since the last case was confirmed on the island and officials have said that some animal movement restrictions there could be lifted in around a month's time.

And providing there were no fresh cases, Snowdonia National Park Chief Executive Iwan Hughes, the reserve would be completely re-opened in early summer.

Experts advising the government on foot-and-mouth disease have warned that almost one in three farms will become infected unless pre-emptive culling continues.

They have also said the disease could have been contained if the policy had been pursued from the beginning of the outbreak.

On Thursday, Mr Jones clarified the Intervention Board's decision to use landfill sites in Wales to dispose of animals culled voluntarily under the Welfare of Livestock (Disposal) Scheme.

Mr Jones said: "There are many animals in Wales which cannot be returned to their home farms because of the current movement restrictions.

"These animals are not infected with foot-and-mouth, or even suspected of having the disease, but if they are left in the fields they have overwintered in they could die."

The increase comes as organisers of the Royal Welsh Show took the decision to abandon the event this summer because of the outbreak.

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