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Mr. Strang : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he now expects a decision to be taken on which industrial consortium will be allocated the contract to develop the nose radar for the European fighter aircraft.
Mr. Strang : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he has any plans to discuss the development of the European fighter aircraft with the Governments of the other three nations participating in the programme.
Mr. Alan Clark : My right hon. Friend meets his colleagues in the EFA project at regular intervals in a variety of fora. He expects to meet his German counterpart shortly for discussions on a wide range of issues.
Mr. Neubert [holding answer 8 January 1990] : I am replying on behalf of my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Health. Only extra costs directly attributable to the ambulance dispute are reported for recovery from other Government Departments. Such extra costs are not directly related to the number of man hours worked. The estimated extra costs up to 30 November 1989 are £0.85 million.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will place in the Library (a) copies of the licences to hunt issued by the Forestry Commission for each of the last four years in respect of the New Forest and (b) in respect of each licence a copy of the special list of conditions.
Column 125Mr. Maclean : None, but my officials met the county trading standards officer for north Yorkshire in his capacity as secretary of the local authorities national animal health panel on 27 October 1989 to discuss various issues concerning BSE and will be meeting him again shortly.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the number of cows with bovine spongiform encephalopathy that have been identified (a) on farms, (b) in slaughterhouses, (c) in auction markets and (d) in other places, by county.
Mr. Maclean [holding answer 11 January 1990] : The information is not available in the form requested. It should be noted that as a result of the measures which my right hon. Friend announced on 8 November, those bovine tissues most susceptible to harbouring the BSE agent must be removed from human consumption for all animals more than six months old. So even if infected animals, or those suffering from pre-clinical infection, find their way to the slaughterhouse, these vulnerable tissues will be removed from them. The total number of cases of BSE in cattle confirmed in each county/region of Great Britain up to 5 January 1990 is set out in the following table (as these figures relate to confirmed cases, they differ from those for reported cases) :
County/Region |Cases -------------------------------------------------------- Cleveland |8 Cumbria |140 Durham |26 Humberside |25 Northumberland |40 Tyne and Wear |1 Yorkshire North |272 Yorkshire South |13 Yorkshire West |24 Cheshire |149 Derbyshire |102 Hereford and Worcestershire |173 Lancashire |142 Leicestershire |193 Manchester |4 Merseyside |5 Nottinghamshire |47 Salop |223 Staffordshire |139 West Midlands |8 Warwickshire |83 Bedfordshire |26 Cambridgeshire |29 Essex |34 Hertfordshire |40 Lincolnshire |83 Norfolk |111 Northamptonshire |76 Suffolk |102 Berkshire |81 Buckinghamshire |60 Hampshire |403 Isle of Wight |57 Kent |232 London |2 Oxfordshire |147 Surrey |100 Sussex East |119 Sussex West |240 Avon |145 Cornwall |790 Devon |1,139 Dorset |779 Gloucestershire |336 Somerset |674 Wiltshire |563 Clwyd |75 Dyfed |290 Glamorgan Mid |18 Glamorgan South |39 Glamorgan West |4 Gwent |80 Gwynedd |33 Powys |78 Borders |10 Central |11 Dumfries |42 Fife |10 Grampian |52 Highland |18 Lothian |9 Orkney |3 Shetland |2 Strathclyde |67 Tayside |22 |----- Total |9,048 In the period 21 June 1988 (when BSE became notifiable) to 30 September 1989 (the most recent date for which information is available), 79 confirmed cases occurred at slaughterhouses and 56 at markets. This information is not available on a county basis. Two confirmed cases have occurred at an import lairage in Dorset and five at artificial insemination centres in Devon, Dyfed, East Sussex, North Yorkshire and Somerset.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) how many cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy have been notified in each county for each year up to the end of 1989 ; (2) how many cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy have been notified each year in each county of the United Kingdom up to the end of 1989 ;
(3) if he will list the number of bovine spongiform encephalopathy cases notified for each year up to the end of 1989.
|21 June 1988- |1 January 1989- |31 December 1988|31 December 1989 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Cleveland |2 |11 Cumbria |49 |131 Durham |4 |26 Humberside |10 |32 Northumberland |21 |30 Tyne and Wear |0 |1 Yorkshire North |77 |280 Yorkshire South |6 |14 Yorkshire West |11 |24 Cheshire |38 |152 Derbyshire |28 |97 Hereford and Worcester |54 |163 Lancashire |59 |132 Leicestershire |55 |181 Manchester |2 |8 Merseyside |2 |5 Nottinghamshire |8 |51 Salop |53 |217 Staffordshire |43 |126 West Midlands |2 |7 Warwickshire |17 |89 Bedfordshire |2 |25 Cambridge |7 |28 Essex |2 |43 Hertfordshire |11 |36 Lincolnshire |34 |71 Norfolk |27 |101 Northamptonshire |12 |80 Suffolk |31 |86 Berks |27 |62 Bucks |10 |71 Hants |116 |379 Isle of Wight |13 |51 Kent |55 |205 London |0 |5 Oxon |53 |139 Surrey |39 |81 Sussex East |26 |122 Sussex West |85 |213 Avon |21 |161 Cornwall |256 |642 Devon |292 |941 Dorset |184 |747 Gloucestershire |113 |286 Somerset |171 |605 Wiltshire |158 |561 England |2,286 |7,518 Clwyd |13 |90 Dyfed |67 |273 Glamorgan Mid |7 |12 Glamorgan South |8 |40 Glamorgan West |2 |7 Gwent |23 |69 Gwynedd |10 |32 Powys |24 |94 Wales |154 |617 Borders |1 |11 Central |4 |13 Dumfries |17 |53 Fife |0 |14 Grampian |18 |59 Highland |3 |20 Lothian |6 |9 Orkney |2 |7 Shetland |0 |1 Strathclyde |16 |87 Tayside |10 |31 Scotland |77 |305 Northern Ireland |4 |54 Totals |2,521 |8,494 <1> Became notifiable 29 November 1988.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he last discussed with the National Farmers Union compensation payments on cattle suffering from bovine spongiform encephalopathy ; and if he will increase compensation payments to 75 per cent.
Mr. Maclean : I meet representatives of the National Farmers Union frequently to discuss agricultural matters. As regards compensation, we believe that 50 per cent. is fair, given that the animals are terminally ill and worthless for all practical purposes, but are valued as though unaffected by BSE. This means that in many cases owners receive more in compensation than they would get if they were able to sell the animals. One hundred per cent. is paid for animals which are not confirmed as having BSE.
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what percentage of organic (a) root vegetables, (b) other vegetables, (c) apples, (d) beef and (e) lamb sold in the United Kingdom is satisfied by domestic production.
Mr. Morley : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, in relation to the issuing of an infected place notice by his Department, on Lansdowne Farm Ltd., East Retford, Nottinghamshire, what conclusion was reached as to the origin of the group C organisms which were discovered in the liver, ovaries and oviducts but not in the intestines.
Mr. Maclean : No conclusion was reached as to the origin of the group C organisms found in the livers, ovaries and oviducts but not in the intestines of the birds taken during the investigation at Lansdowne Farm Ltd.
Mr. Morley : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in relation to the issuing of an infected place notice by his Department on Lansdowne Farm Ltd., East Retford, Nottinghamshire, on what basis birds were selected for slaughter.
Mr. Maclean : The birds taken were randomly distributed throughout each house. The birds were selected by a MAFF official of the veterinary investigation service assisted by representatives from Lansdowne Farm Ltd.
Mr. Morley : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in relation to the issuing of an infected place notice by his Department on Lansdowne Farm Ltd. East Retford, Nottinghamshire, the phage type of the enteritidis strain alleged to have been recovered and the serotype of the group C organism recovered.
(i) The group D isolates were all identified as Salmonella enteritidis phage type 4.
(ii) he group C isolates were identified as Salmonella infantis. Mr. Morley : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in relation to the issuing of an infected place notice by his Department on Lansdowne Farm Ltd., East Retford, Nottinghamshire, whether the hen carcases remained in the sacks in which they were placed at the farm ; at what temperature they were stored ; and whether any other material was stored in the same refrigerator.
(i) The hen carcases remained in the sealed plastic bags into which they were placed at the farm.
Column 129(ii) They were stored at 8.5 deg C.
(iii) T other material was stored with the birds.
Mr. Morley : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in relation to the issuing of an infected place notice by his Department on Lansdowne Farm Ltd, East Retford, Nottinghamshire, whether any person who moved the unopened bags to the post mortem room took part in the post mortem procedures ; in which room the examinations were carried out and under what circumstances ; and whether any other work was carried out in the same room at the same time or immediately before.
The examinations were carried out in the post mortem room at Sutton Bonington veterinary investigation centre on 8 November 1989. The post mortem room was cleansed and disinfected on 7 November and no work was subsequently carried out in that room until the birds were examined post mortem on the morning of 8 November. Post mortem tables were cleaned and disinfected between each batch of birds examined and fresh sets of gloves and sterile instruments were used to collect and examine samples of different organ types from within each batch. The birds were examined on the morning of 8 November and no other work was carried out in the post mortem room at the same time or immediately before these examinations took place.
Mr. Morley : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, in relation to the issuing of an infected place notice by his Department on Lansdowne Farm Ltd, East Retford, Nottinghamshire, how many salmonella colonies were examined from each plate subcultured for typing ; how many colonies were identified as type D ; how many times and over what period the plates were examined ; and after how many examinations the group D types were isolated.
Mr. Maclean : Not less than three non-lactose fermenting colonies were examined from each plate showing typical salmonella growth characteristics. Four colonies were identified as group D salmonella. Each plate of brilliant green agar was examined twice at 24 and 48 hours after incubation at 37 deg C. Group D salmonellas were isolated from three subcultures at 24 hours and one subculture at 48 hours.
Mr. Morley : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, in relation to the issuing of an infected place notice by his Department on Lansdowne Farm Ltd, East Retford, Nottinghamshire, whether the investigation concluded that the group C organism was present.
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make it his policy to ban the use of head meat from bovine animals whose crania have been opened for the purpose of brain removal.
Column 130utilised. It is not my intention to change this policy. Whatever method is used to remove the brain every precaution should be taken, in all circumstances, to avoid cross-contamination of the meat.
cross-contamination from bovine brains of the use of head meat from bovine animals as a result of abattoir practices.
Mr. Maclean : It is incumbent on operators and enforcement authorities at all times to ensure that cross-contamination is avoided from any source during the preparation of meat for human consumption. Brains from adult cattle may not enter the human food chain and the risk of cross- contamination where the crania has been split is extremely small so long as good hygienic practices are followed. The Southwood working party concluded that the risk to humans from BSE is remote.
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what advice he gives to environmental health officers about the danger of cross-contamination from animal brains on to other head meat as a result of abattoir practices.
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what representations he has had from producers in relation to the policy of environmental health officers from Carrick district council and other authorities in the south-west to prevent the use of head meat from bovine animals whose crania have been opened for the purpose of brain removal.
Mr. Steen : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he hopes to publish the results of the lead contamination tests made on 14 December on calves at Higher Norton farm, East Allington, Totnes, Devon.
Mr. Harry Barnes : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if grants for the establishment of fish farming facilities are to be made available through the Agricultural Development and Advisory Service.
Mr. Curry : Grants for approved fish farming projects, jointly assisted by my Department and the European Commission, may be made under the provisions of Council regulation (EEC) No. 4028/86 on Community measures to improve and adapt structures in the fisheries and aquaculture sector. I shall be writing shortly to the hon. Member about points raised recently by one of his constituents.
Dr. Kim Howells : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what are the latest estimates in pound sterling of the annual costs of crop damage in the United Kingdom resulting from sulphur dioxide emissions.
Mr. Curry : Such estimates are not available and could not be provided on the basis of existing data. Crop damage due to sulphur dioxide is unlikely to be detectable at current ambient concentrations.
Mr. Curry : Complete information about other countries' incineration activities in the North sea in 1989 is not yet available. In 1988 waste originating from Austria, Belgium, the Federal Republic of Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom was incinerated in the North sea.
Mr. Curry : Only the United Kingdom dumped sewage sludge in the North sea in 1989. There was no environmentally acceptable land-based disposal option for the sludge. Strict controls were applied to ensure that the disposals met national and international requirements and that no harm was caused to the marine environment.
Mr. Steen : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what evidence has been received by his Ministry regarding immune system damage from organophosphorous sheep dip ; and what further investigations are now being conducted.
Mr. Maclean : None. If any evidence of immune system damage from the use of organophosphorous sheep dips were to come to light, this would have to be fully investigated by Ministry scientists and the independent veterinary products committee, under Medicines Act procedures.
Column 132used large quantities of lime for the first time in order to preserve their crops from the effects of increased pH acidity levels in soils ; and whether these reports originate from clearly defined geographic areas.
Mr. Curry : Data are not available in the form requested. However, ADAS, which has close contact with the situation in the field in England and Wales, has received no reports of farmers using larger than normal quantities of lime for the first time in 1988 or 1989.
Sir Dennis Walters : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether the Importation of Bees Order 1980 can be retained after the completion of the single market in 1992 ; and what discussions are taking place within the Community on the future of the order.
Mr. Curry : The Commission has proposed that after 1992 national measures on animal health, including bee health, should be replaced by EC controls. The proposals for bees would not, as drafted at present, permit a total ban on imports to the United Kingdom. Discussions are at an early stage, and we shall continue to press for the highest level of safeguard.
Mr. Kirkwood (Roxburgh and Berwickshire) : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on the products underused when Economic Community surplus food is made available for free distribution to pensioners in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Curry : In 1988 the United Kingdom's full allocation of produce was taken up under the EC surplus food scheme. All the produce allocated in 1989 had been released from intervention stores and I believe that it will all be used.
Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list in the Official Report the types of food, the quantities ordered and the locations of the distribution of all free foodstuffs received from Economic Community states for free distribution to pensioners in the United Kingdom over the past six months.
Mr. Curry : In the six months from July to December 1989 some 1,495 tonnes of beef, and 2,000 tonnes of butter were delivered to designated organisations participating in the EC surplus food scheme in the United Kingdom. The distribution arrangements are a matter for those organisations, but they are required to notify officials of their planned distributions. I will supply details of those notified over the last six months as soon as possible.
The hon. Member refers to distribution to pensioners, but pensioners as a group are not eligible. Those eligible to receive produce under the current scheme are people on income support or family credit and those living in welfare hostels or who have no fixed abode. Pensioners falling into one or other of these categories are, of course, eligible.