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Pregnancy-related Disease

Mr. Amess : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many women aged 14-16 years, 17-21 years, 22-24 years, 25-30 years, 31-35 years and 36 -40 years died from pregnancy-related diseases in each year since 1959.

Mr. Freeman [holding answer 28 July 1989] : The information is not available precisely in the form requested. Details have been extracted from the reports of the confidential inquiry into maternal deaths in England and Wales, which are produced triennially rather than annually. The breakdown of information among age groups is comprehensive but not exactly the same as the age groups requested. Definitions used in the classification of maternal deaths altered in 1972. Before then they were sub-classified as


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"true" maternal deaths--resulting from complications of pregnancy, childbirth and the puerperium ; or "associated" maternal deaths--due to other causes when the deceased woman was know to be pregnant, or had been pregnant within one year.

From 1973 maternal deaths have been sub-classified as "direct"--resulting from obstetric complications of pregnancy, labour and childbirth ; "indirect"--resulting from previous existing disease or a disease which developed during pregnancy and which was aggravated by pregnancy ; or "fortuitous"--resulting from causes not related to or influenced by pregnancy.

The request for information about "deaths from pregnancy-related diseases" has been interpreted as a request for information on "associated maternal deaths" up to 1972 and to "indirect deaths" thereafter.


Number of Associated/Indirect Maternal Deaths by Age of Mother 1958-1984                                               

                    |Under 16|16-17   |18-19   |20-24   |25-29   |30-34   |35-39   |40-44   |45+     |Total            

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Year                                                                                                                   

"Associated" Deaths                                                                                                    

58-60               |-       |-<1>    |8       |40      |62      |67      |51      |<2>24   |-       |252              

61-63               |1       |-       |<3>10   |49      |65      |48      |45      |24      |2       |244              

64-66               |-       |3       |3       |30      |44      |41      |29      |16      |5       |176              

67-69               |-       |4       |7       |60      |66      |50      |29      |26      |1       |243              

70-72               |1       |3       |19      |58      |65      |42      |46      |17      |-       |251              

                                                                                                                       

"Indirect" Deaths                                                                                                      

73-75               |-       |6       |11      |34      |48      |35      |14      |6       |1       |155              

76-78               |1       |4       |5       |11      |27      |20      |6       |4       |-       |78               

79-81               |-       |2       |3       |29      |20      |27      |5       |4       |-       |90               

82-84               |1       |2       |4       |16      |19      |13      |13      |3       |-       |71               

<1> under 20 years                                                                                                     

<2> 40+ years                                                                                                          

<3> 16-19 years                                                                                                        

Single Mothers

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the percentage of single mothers aged 16 to 19 years, by county, in England and Wales.

Mr. Freeman : The numbers of families consisting of a single mother with one or more children in each county are not known. However, the county percentages of all births outside marriage in 1988 which were to women aged 16-19 were as follows :


Area                           |per cent.          

---------------------------------------------------

England and Wales              |24.5               

                                                   

England                        |24.2               

                                                   

Standard regions and counties                      

North                          |30.2               

  Tyne and Wear                |29.2               

  Cleveland                    |31.0               

  Cumbria                      |29.9               

  Durham                       |30.9               

  Northumberland               |32.5               

                                                   

Yorkshire and Humberside       |28.5               

  South Yorkshire              |27.5               

  West Yorkshire               |29.5               

  Humberside                   |29.0               

  North Yorkshire              |25.6               

                                                   

East Midlands                  |25.8               

  Derbyshire                   |26.7               

  Leicestershire               |24.9               

  Lincolnshire                 |28.1               

  Northamptonshire             |23.6               

  Nottinghamshire              |25.9               

                                                   

East Anglia                    |24.9               

  Cambridgeshire               |24.1               

  Norfolk                      |24.9               

  Suffolk                      |25.6               

                                                   

South East                     |19.0               

  Greater London               |15.9               

      Inner London             |14.1               

      Outer London             |17.8               

  Bedfordshire                 |21.5               

  Berkshire                    |21.8               

  Buckinghamshire              |22.0               

  East Sussex                  |18.4               

  Essex                        |21.7               

  Hampshire                    |24.5               

  Hertfordshire                |23.2               

  Isle of Wight                |26.7               

  Kent                         |23.3               

  Oxfordshire                  |21.4               

  Surrey                       |19.4               

  West Sussex                  |22.1               

                                                   

South West                     |24.3               

  Avon                         |22.9               

  Cornwall and Isles of Scilly |25.7               

  Devon                        |25.1               

  Dorset                       |23.4               

  Gloucestershire              |23.1               

  Somerset                     |26.4               

  Wiltshire                    |25.4               

                                                   

West Midlands                  |26.0               

  West Midlands                |24.6               

  Hereford and Worcester       |26.2               

  Shropshire                   |25.6               

  Staffordshire                |30.3               

  Warwickshire                 |27.7               

                                                   

North West                     |27.1               

  Greater Manchester           |27.7               

  Merseyside                   |24.6               

  Cheshire                     |28.9               

  Lancashire                   |28.2               

                                                   

Wales                          |29.5               

  Clwyd                        |26.2               

  Dyfed                        |28.1               

  Gwent                        |31.9               

  Gwynedd                      |23.9               

  Mid Glamorgan                |35.1               

  Powys                        |24.9               

  South Glamorgan              |27.0               

  West Glamorgan               |27.8               

HOUSE OF COMMONS

Recycled Paper

Mr. Wallace : To ask the Lord President of the Council whether his Department has taken any steps to consider the use of recycled paper for House of Commons publications ; and if he will make a statement.

Sir Geoffrey Howe : Much of the material published for the House is of archival significance and must be printed on paper of suitable archival quality which is not currently obtainable in paper produced from recycled waste.

AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND FOOD

Set-aside Scheme

Mr. Andrew Welsh : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will allow fibre-producing or other animals to be added to existing set-aside scheme provision.

Mr. Curry : I refer the hon. Member to my written answer to the right hon. Member for Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale (Mr. Steel) on 31 October 1989 at column 129.

Respiratory Disease

Mr. Andrew Welsh : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what information his Department has on the incidence of respiratory disease among the agricultural work force ; and what steps he is taking to promote improvement in this situation.

Mr. Nicholls : I have been asked to reply.

Nineteen cases of occupational respiratory disease occurring in agricultural workers in England and Wales were reported to the Health and Safety Executive under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations, 1985, in the two years 1986-87 and 1987-88, the two years for which information is available. However, data collected under these regulations is regarded as an incomplete measure of the true incidence of occupational disease. The Executive's employment


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medical advisory service is about to begin a publicity campaign, lasting 12 months, on occupational lung disease with the objective of increasing the awareness of employers, employees and the medical community to this group of diseases. Also, the Executive is currently supporting a project on the surveillance of occupational lung disease from reports of consultant chest physicians and occupational physicians.

Fishing Industry

Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he last met representatives of the National Federation of Fishermen's Organisations ; and what subjects were discussed.

Mr. Curry : I met representatives of the National Federation of Fishermen's Organisations on 25 October when we discussed the 1989 allocations of North sea haddock.

Farm Animal Welfare Council

Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many veterinary surgeons are appointed to the Farm Animal Welfare Council ; and how many meetings they have participated in during the last two years.

Mr. Curry : The three registered veterinary surgeons referred to in the reply are Professor Webster of Bristol university, Mr. Haxby, ex- president of the BVA and RCVS, and Mr. MacPherson, veterinary consultant and member of the RCVS council.

Meat and Meat Products

Mr. Meale : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will state any current restriction placed by any member state of the European Economic Communities, or any Community authority, on the import into any Community member other than the United Kingdom of meat or meat products currently permitted for sale in the United Kingdom together with the related reasons, and showing what categories of slaughterhouses, or food processing plants, are unacceptable to any of the authorities concerned ; and what action he is taking to make such exports possible.

Mr. Currry : West Germany has recently announced that it requires additional certification for beef from the United Kingdom and that it will not accept bovine slaughter by-products for human consumption. We consider these restrictions unjustified on public health grounds and are pursuing the matter with the authorities of the Federal Republic as a matter of urgency.

Slaughterhouse and processing plants in any member state which wish to engage in intra-community trade must be approved as meeting the requirements of directives 64/433 (red meat), 71/118 (poultrymeat) and 77/99 (meat products). Plants operating only under the national rules of member states are not permitted to export. We shall be discussing with the EC Commission and other member states the rules which are to apply to all meat plants on completion of the internal market.

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what restrictions have been placed by Britain's trading partners on the importation of British meat and bone meal of ruminant derivation.


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Mr. Curry : France, West Germany and Israel have set conditions for the import of British meat and bone meal. France requires that British meat and bone meal should not be fed to ruminants. West Germany seeks to require certification that the material is not derived from cattle confirmed or suspected of having BSE. Such cattle in the United Kingdom would in any case be compulsorily slaughtered and their carcases destroyed. Exports to Israel are restricted to meat and bone meal derived from poultry.

Swales Moor Mink Factory

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when his inspectors last visited Swales Moor mink factory ; what their findings were ; and if he will place a copy of the inspector's report in the Library.

Mr. Curry : Officials of the Ministry's wildlife and storage biology discipline and the state veterinary service last visited Swales Moor farm on 26 September and 11 October respectively. Reports on specific premises obtained during the course of statutory duties are not made public.

Fur Farming

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what minimum conditions have to be complied with by applicants for fur farming licences ; and how many such licences are currently extant.

Mr. Curry : A total of 55 licences were issued for the farming of mink in England and eight in Scotland during 1988-89. There are no licensing controls for other species farmed for fur.

Mink farm owners must satisfy the security arrangements specified in the Mink (Keeping) Regulations 1975, as amended in 1982.

Food Irradiation

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what arrangements he has made for the vitamins value of irradiated foodstuffs to be checked ; and when he expects to have the results of such tests.

Mr. Maclean : Extensive research by a number of expert bodies has established that food irradiation does not result in any greater loss of vitamins than other comparable food preservation processes. Nevertheless the Government intend, if Parliament approves the introduction of food irradiation, to require details of vitamin content before and after irradiation to be provided by those licensed to undertake the process. This information would be made available to the steering group on food surveillance (SGFS) who would keep under review the nutritional implications of the consumption of irradiated food. The SGFS regularly publishes the results of its work.

Live Animals (Export)

Mr. Corbett : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will now establish an independent and representative inquiry into the economics, welfare and transport implications of the export trade in live animals.

Mr. Curry : I have no plans for a specific inquiry but we will take the factors referred to fully into account in negotiating new EC controls on the welfare of animals during transport.


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Mr. Corbett : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food on how many occasions in each of the past five years his officials have accompanied shipments of live food animals to destinations in Europe ; and with what results.

Mr. Curry : Monitoring the welfare of animals transported in other Community countries is essentially a matter for the authorities of those countries. Nevertheless in the last five years nine export journeys of food animals have been accompanied by representatives of our state veterinary service under arrangements agreed with the countries concerned.

Myopathy

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what information his Department has on the incidence of myopathy in deer ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Curry : The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has no information on the incidence of myopathy in deer.

Common Agricultural Policy

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the total expenditure on structural and support measures in the common agricultural policy in the most recent year for which figures are available ; and what is the total British contribution to the common agricultural policy.

Mr. Curry : Total expenditure in the European Community on structural and support measures under the common agricultural policy was 28.9 billion ECU (£19.6 billion) in 1988. This was about 65 per cent. of the total EC budget. The United Kingdom's net contribution to the EC budget in 1988 was £1.36 billion.

Badgers

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is his policy on the release of lactating sow badgers trapped as part of his Department's tuberculosis control scheme ; and whether he authorises any exceptions to this policy.

Mr. Curry : Lactating sow badgers trapped during official badger removal operations are released.

All possible precautions are taken to avoid taking them by mistake and, as such, where doubt exists, they are released.

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food on how many occasions during the last 12 months operatives from or on behalf of his Department have used snares for the purpose of catching badgers under the tuberculosis control scheme.

Mr. Curry : Since 1 November 1988 snares have been employed in eight badger investigations. Snares are used as a last resort, under careful supervision, when it is either not possible to use traps or when traps have proved ineffective.

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he has revised his guidelines on the trapping of badgers under tuberculosis control release ;


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whether any trapping is authorised other than on farms where tuberculosis has recently been confirmed ; and what definition is used for these purposes of the word "recently."

Mr. Curry : Revised procedures, allowing a single trapping period of four months rather than a three-month period with follow-up trapping, have been introduced. There have been no other changes in the guidelines for trapping procedures, which are based upon the recommendations of the Dunnet report published in 1986. No trapping is carried out beyond those breakdown farms where badgers have been implicated in the transmission of


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the disease to cattle. Investigations into the cause of breakdowns are carried out as quickly as is practicable and the word recently is not used.

Cereals

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will give the respective acreages and yields for the last five years of (a) wheat, (b) barley, (c) oats, (d) rye and (e) other cereals produced in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Curry : The information is as follows :


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Cereal area and yield 1985-1989                                              

Area ('000 ha.) Yield (tonnes/ha.)                                           

            1985        1986        1987        1988        <1>1989          

           |Area |Yield|Area |Yield|Area |Yield|Area |Yield|Area |Yield      

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wheat      |1,902|6.33 |1,997|6.96 |1,994|5.99 |1,886|6.23 |2,106|6.55       

Barley     |1,966|4.95 |1,917|5.22 |1,831|5.04 |1,878|4.67 |1,662|4.81       

Oats       |134  |4.59 |97   |5.16 |99   |4.57 |120  |4.50 |121  |4.55       

Rye        |8    |4.64 |7    |4.72 |7    |4.76 |7    |4.57 |7    |4.12       

Mixed Corn |7    |4.27 |7    |4.31 |6    |4.50 |5    |4.19 |5    |4.14       

<1> provisional.                                                             

Eggs

Mr. Home Robertson : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many laying hens producing eggs for human consumption there were on British farms in (a) September 1988 and (b) September 1989 ; and how many individual flocks of such poultry there were on the same dates.

Mr. Curry : Information is not available in the form requested. Details of the numbers of fowls laying eggs for human consumption, and the number of holdings in Great Britain on which laying fowls are recorded, taken from the agricultural census which is held in June each year, are given in the table.


Year                      |Number of fowls producing|Number of holdings                                 

                          |eggs for eating                                                              

                          |(millions)               |(thousands)                                        

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1988                      |33.931                   |38.2                                               

1989<1>                   |31.216                   |36.6                                               

<1> Provisional.                                                                                        

Very small holdings which make only occasional returns are excluded from these figures.

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he anticipates announcing modifications to the Testing of Poulty Flocks Order to assist the smaller egg producer.

Mr. Curry : The Poultry Laying Flocks (Testing and Registration etc.) Order 1989 came into operation on 26 October 1989, replacing the provisions in the Testing of Poultry Flocks Order 1989 which related to flocks producing eggs for human consumption. The new order reduces the required frequency of sampling and provides for a simpler sampling method involving the collection of droppings. These changes will, without compromising the protection of public health, lead to a considerable reduction in the cost of testing, particularly for small flocks.


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Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will publish in the Official Report a table of average egg prices for each month of the current year.

Mr. Curry : The average packer to producer price (in terms of pence per dozen) for each of the last 12 months has been as follows :


           |pence      

-----------------------

January    |25.0       

February   |28.5       

March      |29.7       

April      |32.0       

May        |35.7       

June       |36.2       

July       |35.1       

August     |38.9       

September  |45.1       

<1>October |45.7       

<1> provisional.       

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the number of laying hens in the United Kingdom at the latest date for which figures are available and on the equivalent date of 1988.

Mr. Curry : Details of the size of the laying flock in the United Kingdom, taken from the United Kingdom agricultural census which is held in June each year, are given in the table. These figures are for fowls laying eggs for human consumption and include estimates for very small holdings in England and Wales (but not for Scotland or Northern Ireland).


Number of fowls producing  

eggs for eating            

Year     |millions         

---------------------------

1988     |37.389           

<1>1989  |34.152           

<1> provisional.           


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Farmers Union of Wales

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food on how many occasions in 1988 and 1989 either he, or his predecessor, or his officials, have met representatives of the Farmers Union of Wales.

Mr. Curry : Meetings with the Farmers Union of Wales are, in the first instance, for the Secretary of State for Wales, my right hon. Friend the Member for Worcester (Mr. Walker), and his Department. However, there are occasional meetings between representatives of the union and Ministers and officials of my Department. The most recent such occasion occurred last week, when I held discussions on sheep scab.

EC (Fraud)

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what recent measures his Department has taken to combat European Community fraud.


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Mr. Curry : The Government have taken the initiative in the Council of Ministers on several occasions to press for further action to deal with fraud in the common agricultural policy and good progress is now being made on strengthening controls. Proposals are currently under discussion which would require member states to carry out annual physical checks on intervention stocks and a minimum level of inspections on consignments attracting export refunds ; and to improve the system of audit checks on firms making or receiving CAP payments. My Department is actively involved in these negotiations and is working towards early implementation. In addition, new anti-fraud controls and penalties have recently been introduced into a number of CAP schemes, such as the suckler-cow premium beef special premium and durum wheat production aid.


 

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