Animal carcass stench leads to council probe
Last updated at 21:46, Thursday, 14 June 2012
A new Workington facility that tests dead farm stock for mad cow disease has received a backlash from residents over the stench of “rotten flesh”.
Allerdale council’s environmental health team is investigating after complaints were lodged about the facility at a former abattoir building near the Northside roundabout.
It is being run by The Northern Fallen Stock Company.
Workington councillor Bill Miskelly has taken up complaints about an overbearing smell that has prevented residents from sitting outside and stopped Northside School pupils from using the playground.
The school lodged a formal complaint with Allerdale council.
A council spokeswoman said its environmental health team would carry out site visits to check out the problem.
The Defra-approved processing site was licensed six weeks ago.
It acts as an intermediate site after carcasses are collected from farms.
Samples of brain material and hides are taken from animals to test for transmissible spongiform encephalopathy, which identifies mad cow disease.
The carcasses are then sent to another site to be disposed of.
The Northern Fallen Stock Company, an independent fallen stock collector, takes work from the National Fallen Stock Company which was set up in 2003 by Defra after a change in legislation which said that fallen stock could no longer be buried.
Coun Miskelly, for Workington St Michael’s ward, said: “Residents came to me about the problem and I reported it to Allerdale’s environmental health team on Tuesday.”
Residents said they were not informed the facility was going to open and first noticed a “rotten” stench three to four weeks ago which was still prominent this week.
Alan Abraham, 74, of Burrow Walls, said: “It’s a god awful smell, like rotten flesh. When we had the lovely weather we couldn’t sit outside because the smell was so intense.
“Parents taking their kids to school said they’ve had to hold hankies over their children’s noses.
“People have seen wagons pulling in with dead cattle and other animals.”
Delayne Lawman, 65, of Trinity Drive, said: “We had to close the conservatory doors because of this awful stink like rotten flesh. This is no way to live.”
Jenny Carter, acting head of Northside Primary School, said: “When it gets really bad we can’t let the children go out at playtimes.
“Parents picking up their children have complained about the smell.”
Parent Darren Busby, 41, of Hill Crest, who walks his two sons to and from Northside Primary School, said: “It’s a rotten smell, like dead carcasses.”
A spokesman from Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency, which works on behalf of Defra, said: “The site was inspected by a vet this Thursday and no problems were found.
“Concerns about smell will be dealt with by the environmental health team from the local council.
“None of the carcasses are being destroyed at this site. They are taken to another facility to be disposed of.”
He could not confirm whether residents had been notified about the site.
An Allerdale council spokeswoman said it was building owner’s responsibility to notify the public of its ownership or nature of the business.
First published at 19:24, Thursday, 14 June 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
Have your say
I do wonder if this building would have gone up near Cockermouth without anyone being informed? It's all very well saying it's up to the business to let people know, but the council has a responsibility towards residents and it's common sense that people need to know if this kind of business is going to operate down the road from them. It mirrors the sewage plant at Siddick and the way they had to be forced to install proper equipment to stop the smell.
The Times and Star report states "a new Workington facility tests dead farm stock for mad cow disease". If the report is accurate, then why is Allerdale Borough Council Planning Department not acting?Clearly, when commercial activitity originally started at this site in the 70's, it was as a knackery and the production of pet food, which was in the early years, produced and packed on site. This planning use by virtue of the Town and Country Planning (use classes) Order 1987 and subsequent amendments, states that, that use comes under the category "sui generis". That use has subsequently lapsed and this site should require further planning consent which would be open to public consultation.The present use, if the Times and Star is accurate in its report, is a testing facility for mad cow disease. Again, this use would come under the planning use classes order as "sui generis". Under the sui generis planning category, there is no permitted change of planning use, so again why is the local authority planning and enforcement department not seeking a planning application in order to regulise the use of the site?As a responsible parent, I have serious concerns as to the testing transportation and storage of any fallen stock which may be contaminated with "mad cow disease" particularly when carcasses can be detected by smell some hundreds of yards away.Agents working on behalf of DEFRA are irrelevant if this operation should not be taking place due to the fact that it does not have initial planning consent and the legitimate and entitled public consultation.
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