To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many applications under (a) the over-30-months scheme and (b) the welfare scheme have been outstanding with her Department for (i) more than one week, (ii) two to four weeks, (iii) four to six weeks and (iv) more than six weeks.
(a) No applications are required to be made to IB in respect of OTMS. Entry to the scheme is via a booking system operated by participating abattoirs. The latest survey of this list shows that approximately 50,000 head have been booked in and are awaiting slaughter. This represents around three weeks throughput at current levels.
(b) All applications under Livestock Welfare (Disposal) Scheme (LW(D)S) received at the Intervention Board are scrutinised by a team of experts from the Agricultural Development and Advisory Service (ADAS) within seven days of receipt. Each application is checked for eligibility and, if acceptable under the scheme, is prioritised for slaughter. An application for which no additional information is required will normally be slaughtered within about 14 days. In the most urgent of welfare cases slaughter can be arranged within 48 hours of application. Where there is insufficient information supporting the application or further clarification is required, the applicant is asked to provide this. In turn this may require applicants to seek information from other sources. The application will be approved or rejected once this information is available. The length of time it takes to reach that stage is dependent on the speed with which applicants reply to any request for further information.