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Mr. Ryder : My Department responds promptly to all new information on pesticide safety. It also provides the public with information on the government's very extensive controls on pesticides and pesticide residues, and on the widescale monitoring of residues in food and the environment which it undertakes.

Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list those written parliamentary questions answered by his Department which had been tabled during the previous day's sitting during the last 12 months indicating the hon. Member asking each such question.

Mr. Donald Thompson : This information is not readily available within the Department but the hon. Member may be able to obtain some information from House of Commons records.


Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) whether he had plans to extend the ban on bovine offals for human consumption to include tripe ;

(2) whether he has any evidence that tripe carries the infective agent responsible for bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

Mr. Donald Thompson : The potential for tripe to carry the BSE agent is currently being studied. A decision on whether to ban its use for human consumption will be taken when the results of this study and the views of interested parties are known and have been evaluated.

Product Licences

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he has any information on the commercial sale and use of products for use in treating animals or fish which have not been granted a product licence.

Mr. Donald Thompson : Information on the commercial sale and use of veterinary medicinal products is not required for the purposes of the Medicines Act 1968 and is not collected by my Department.


Mr. Macdonald : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a further statement on the future of the European Community sheepmeat regime.

Mr. Donald Thompson : Discussions on the EC Commission's proposals for a revised sheepmeat regime took place at the Agriculture Council on 19 and 20 June. Major differences of view persist amongst member states and the Council will return to this matter at a subsequent meeting.

Column 454

Animal Welfare

Mr. Allen McKay : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he last met representatives of Compassion in World Farming to discuss animal welfare.

Mr. Donald Thompson : I last met Compassion in World Farming on 3 April and my officials last met them on 21 June.

Potato Marketing Board

Mr. John Marshall : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he expects to make an announcement about the future of the Potato Marketing Board.

Mr. Ryder : I refer my hon. Friend to the reply given to the Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire (Mr. Kirkwood) on 14 June at column 411.

Coastal Defence Works

Mr. Barry Field : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list those authorities which have made

representations to him about coastal defence and repair works during the last year.

Mr. Ryder : There is continuing correspondence with various authorities on matters relating to coastal defences. During 1988-89 the following authorities made comments on policy or submitted proposals for coast protection or sea defence work :

Allerdale District Council

Alnwick District Council

Arun District Council

Blackpool Borough Council

Bournemouth Borough Council

Brighton Borough Council

Canterbury City Council

Carrick District Council

Castle Morpeth District Council

Chichester District Council

Christchurch Borough Council

Cleethorpes Borough Council

Dover District Council

Easington District Council

Eastbourne Borough Council

East Yorkshire Borough Council

Gosport Borough Council

Great Yarmouth Borough Council

Hartlepool Borough Council

Hastings Borough Council

Havant Borough Council

Holderness Borough Council

Kerrier District Council

Lancaster City Council

Langbaurgh Borough Council

Lewes District Council

New Forest District Council

North Cornwall District Council

North Norfolk District Council

Penwith District Council

Poole Borough Council

Portsmouth City Council

Purbeck District Council

Rother District Council

Scarborough Borough Council

Shepway District Council

South Hams District Council

South Lakeland District Council

South Wight District Council

Suffolk Coastal District Council

Sunderland Borough Council

Swale Borough Council

Tendering District Council

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Thanet District Council

Torridge District Council

Wansbeck District Council

Waveney District Council

West Dorset District Council

West Somerset District Council

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council

Wirral Borough Council

Worthing Borough Council

Wyre Borough Council

Mappleton Parish Council

Anglian Water Authority

Southern Water Authority

Aldeburgh Town Council

Orford and Gedgrave Parish Council

Mablethorpe and Sutton Town Council

Common Agricultural Policy

Mr. Allen : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will review British participation in the Common Agricultural Policy.

Mr. MacGregor : The treaty establishing the European Economic Community provides specifically for a common agricultural policy (CAP). The Government's policy is to participate fully in negotiations on the CAP, pressing for reform to continue, in order to increase market-orientation, control expenditure and bring supply into better balance with demand. Substantial progress has been made in this direction, though more remains to be done.


Mr. Andrew F. Bennett : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Denton and Reddish of 16 March, Official Report, column 346, if he can now estimate how many miles of hedgerow were re-layed in the 1988-89 winter in the United Kingdom with grant-in-aid assistance.

Mr. Ryder : Figures for the full 1988-89 winter period are not yet available. In the period October-December 1988, grants were paid in the United Kingdom under the agriculture improvement scheme for the planting and laying of some 260 miles of hedgerows.

Mr. Greg Knight : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he expects the review of the demand for veterinary surgeons to be completed.

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Mr. Donald Thompson : I have asked for the report to be prepared by the end of this year.

Public Relations

Mr. Blair : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food which public relations firms his Department has employed and at what cost, for each year since 1979.

Mr. Donald Thompson : It is not my Department's policy to employ public relations firms.

Food Poisoning

Mr. Canavan : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many complaints about food poisoning he has dealt with in the past year ; and what steps he is taking as a result.

Mr. Ryder : Incidents of food poisoning are generally handled by local authorities in the first instance, and the oversight of epidemiological information is the responsibility of my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Health. However, I receive a number of representations on related matters. In the last 12 months I have, for example, introduced a comprehensive set of measures to deal with salmonella in eggs, and set in hand research on a wide range of related issues, including the susceptibility of listeria to temperatures applied in storage or cooking.

With my right hon. and learned Friend I have also issued a food hygiene leaflet entitled "Food Safety A Guide From Her Majesty's Government", and set up a committee, under the chairmanship of Professor Sir Mark Richmond, to make recommendations on the microbiological safety of food.

Unpasteurised Milk

Mr. Wigley : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many letters he has received expressing opposition to the limiting of availability of unpasteurised milk ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Donald Thompson : I refer the hon. Member to the reply my right hon. Friend gave to the hon. Member for Ludlow (Mr. Gill) on 13 June at column 353.


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