Burials proceed despite health fears
Burial backlog "almost clear" in Cumbria
Over 400,000 animals slaughtered to help control the spread of foot-and mouth are to buried at a site in Devon, despite strong protests from local residents.
Opponents of the scheme wanted the Ministry of Agriculture (Maff) to abandon the burials due to fears about the potential health risks at Ashmoor Pit, near Okehampton.
But Maff insists it is the only way to bring down the large backlog of carcasses in the south west of England.
With the number of confirmed cases at 1,411 on Friday, the government said the backlog of slaughtered animals in Cumbria is almost clear, and foot-and-mouth disease is coming "firmly under control".
But construction of the burial site at Ashmoor is progressing slowly, and it is likely to be two weeks before it can take the rotting carcasses.
Protesters who attended a meeting in the village of nearby Petrockstowe said that decomposing carcasses would contaminate the surrounding land for years.
Meanwhile Maff has had to apologise to a farmer in Cumbria after a grid reference error led to the unnecessary slaughter of 500 of his animals.
Farmers Wayne and Julie Nuttall from Punderland Farm Little Clifton have condemned Maff for gross incompetence and have demanded compensation.