|Previous Section||Home Page|
(2) what plans she has to reduce the number of hours of the transportation of live animals.
Mr. Soames : The Welfare of Animals during Transport Order 1992 places a limit of 15 hours on the transport of farm livestock without the provision of food or water. The introduction of new controls on animal transport will depend on the outcome of European Community negotiations.
Mr. Soames : Amendments to the treaty are a matter for intergovernmental conferences of the EU member states. Following the last such IGC, a declaration was agreed at Maastricht on the need for the Community to take full
Column 437account of the welfare of farm animals when drawing up legislation. This followed a United Kingdom initiative and is a very positive step forward.
Mr. Soames : Transporters of livestock must comply with welfare provisions made under the Animal Health Act 1981. The Welfare of Animals during Transport Order 1992 requres any person having control of an animal transport undertaking to ensure that animals are entrusted only to persons possessing the knowledge necessary to administer appropriate care to the animals in transport. The need for any further measures will be kept under review in the light of European Community developments.
Mr. Soames : In the sheep, beef and pig sectors there are no quotas for the export from the United Kingdom of live animals either for slaughter or for breeding. Quotas for imports of live sheep, cattle and pigs--and sheepmeat, beef and pigmeat--from third countries to the European Union are set for the EU as a whole and are administered in each member state by designated agencies. There are no specific import quotas for the United Kingdom.
For the slaughter of farm animals in the United Kingdom there are no quotas, but there is a restriction on the weekly throughput of small abattoirs, for hygiene purposes. Ministers negotiated into the EC directive governing the production of red meat less onerous structural requirements for low-throughput abattoirs which can achieve the necessary hygiene standards by handling one animal at a time. At the December 1992 Agriculture Council, my right hon. Friend the previous Secretary of State secured an increase in the throughput limit for such abattoirs from 12 livestock units to 20 livestock units per week, until 31 December 1994. The increase was welcomed as giving considerable flexibility to smaller businesses. The Commission is due to review the effect of the directive on small businesses and Ministers will press for the increased low-throughput limits to be made permanent.
Mr. Meale : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment her Department has made of the export of meat carcases as a viable and achievable alternative to the transport of live animals abroad for slaughter.
Mr. Soames : United Kingdom exports of meat, the value of which is considerably greater than that of exports of live animals for food, provide an important contribution to the British economy. The movement of animals is a matter for commercial judgment subject to animal welfare and health safeguards.
Mr. Meale : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what plans she has to give greater powers to animal welfare and health inspectors concerned with the transport or slaughter of animals.
(2) if he will list by category the numbers of live animals imported into Britain in each of the past 15 years.
Mr. Soames : Trade data are only available for the United Kingdom as a whole. Annual data for years prior to 1993 on the numbers and types of animals imported into the United Kingdom can be found within the Central Statistical Office publication "MA 20--Overseas Trade Statistics of the United Kingdom" and its predecessor publications. Data for 1993 are still provisional and subject to change but can be obtained by amalgamating the year to date data from two further Central Statistical Office publications, namely the "MM20--Overseas Trade Statistics of the United Kingdom with countries outside the EC" for December 1993 and the "MQ20--Overseas Trade Statistics of the United Kingdom with countries within the EC" for the fourth quarter of 1993.
Copies of all these publications can be found in the House of Commons Library.
(2) for what purposes animals have been exported from the United Kingdom in the latest available year.
Trade data on exports for production of veal and foie gras are not available ; however, no live geese were exported last year. Animals exported from, or imported to, the United Kingdom are recorded under the internationally used United Nations standard industrial trade classification system. This does not comprehensively classify the purposes for which animals are exported. Details of the system can be found in the Central Statistical Office publication "MA 21--Guide to the Classification of Overseas Trade Statistics", and in particular division 00 thereof, a copy of which can be found in the House of Commons Library.
- Year |Number of |LVIs ------------------------------ 1987 |4,870 1988 |5,120 1989 |5,165 1990 |5,370 1991 |5,479 1992 |5,852 1993 |5,841
Figures prior to 1987 are not readily available.
Mr. Soames : The Government continue to press for high standards of animal health and welfare to be applied throughout the European Community to the transport of animals, including exports. Legislative changes since 1979 are listed as follows :
(a) EC Directive 91/628/EEC on the protection of animals during transport (OJ No. L340, 11 12 1991, p. 17) (revoked and replaced two earlier directives).
(b) The following national (GB) legislation came into force which also implements the above directive :
The Transit of Animals (Road and Rail) (Amendment) Order 1979, S.I. 1979/1013
The Export of Animals (Protection) Order 1981, S.I. 1981/1051 The Transit of Animals (Amendment) Order 1988, S.I. 1988/815 The Welfare of Poultry (Transport) Order 1988, S.I. 1988/851 The Welfare of Poultry (Transport) (Amendment) Order 1989, S.I. 1989/52
The Welfare of Animals during Transport Order 1992, S.I. 1992/3304
(c) In addition, a number of EC directives laying down detailed animal health rules governing intra-community trade in live animals have been implemented in Great Britain by means of the Animals and Animal Products (Import and Export) Regulations 1993 (S.I. 1993/3247).
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how much a farmer growing cereals will be paid in arable aid for each hectare of cereals grown in 1993-94 in England, inclusive of less- favoured areas ; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Jack : The payment rate for cereals in England under the arable area payments scheme for 1993-94 will be 207.55 ecu per hectare. This will be converted to sterling at the green rate prevailing on 1 July 1994. At the current green rate, this would amount to £191 per hectare.
Payments will be reduced if the base area is exceeded.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when she plans to publish her departmental guidance on the implementation of the code of practice on access to Government information, as promised at paragraph 3(ii) of the code issued on 4 April ; and what has been the cause of the delay in publishing the departmental guidance.
Mr. Jack : Copies of the Department's explanatory note on the implementation of the code of practice have been made available on request to the Ministry's helpline and a copy of the note has been placed in the Library of the
Column 440House. Details were announced in a news release on 5 April. We are now working on making available, under the terms of the code at paragraph 3(ii), explanatory material on our dealings with the public subject to the provisions of confidentiality under part II of the code. The code envisages that this material is made available, as soon as practicable. There is a very substantial amount of material, covering all facets of the Ministry's schemes and procedures. We hope to make good progress by the end of the year.
Mr. Soames : The four slaughterhouses in the United Kingdom licensed to slaughter horses for export last year handled around 4, 000 equines for human consumption. Data are not kept on the destination of the meat, but so far as my Department is aware the vast majority of the meat produced was exported.
Mr. Meale : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps she has taken to ensure that the piece rate payments scheme operated widely in the United Kingdom slaughterhouses does not cause cruelty as a result of its emphasis on speed.
Mr. Soames : It is the responsibility of all engaged in the slaughtering of animals to ensure that the requirements of welfare legislation are observed. This applies irrespective of the method of payment to the abattoir work force.
Mr. Soames : The restrictions on the sale of calves, under the Welfare of Animals at Markets Order 1990, were introduced in response to specific concerns about the hawking of very young calves from market to market. The order was amended last year to give added protection for young lambs and goats in markets. This legislation will be kept under review, but it is not evident that further controls, equivalent to the restrictions on marketing of calves, are needed for other categories of farm animal.
Mr. Soames : I shall write to the hon. Member since the position is complicated and depends not only on the species of animal but the genetic make-up of the individual animal and the strain of scrapie involved in the trial.
Dr. Strang : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what percentage of (a) United Kingdom dairy herds, (b) United Kingdom beef suckler herds and (c) total United Kingdom herds with adult breeding cattle have experienced at least one case of BSE, since November 1986.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard [holding answer 26 May 1994] : Since November 1986 approximately 58 per cent. of dairy herds, 13 per cent. of beef suckler herds and 27 per cent. of total herds in the United Kingdom have experienced at least one confirmed case of BSE. Records are not available which separate the total number of herds with adult breeding cattle.
Mr. Jack : I represented the United Kingdom at a meeting of the Council of Fisheries Ministers on 10 June in Luxembourg, together with my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland and my noble Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. The Council unanimously adopted a framework regulation enabling it to decide, on a case-by-case basis, when licences for fishing should be supplemented by a special permit to fish in certain waters, so as to enable the nature and extent of the fishing effort deployed to be tightly prescribed, monitored and enforced. I recognised the need for this new management tool, notably following the completion of negotiations on the integration of Spain and Portugal and then Norway into the CFP. However, I told the Council that I shared the concerns of the United Kingdom fishing industry about the practical implications of this additional layer of administration. Moreover, I pointed out that the burdensome weight of fisheries regulation was an issue that went wider than the permit scheme. A number of other member states expressed similar preoccupations.
In response, the Commission made a formal statement that its proposals for any specific application of permits will take account of the practical and economic implications for fishermen. While it must be effective in securing the controls required, any scheme imposing permits must involve the minimum administrative burden and efficient arrangements for the initial issue and subsequent modification of permits. The management of any permit scheme will be a matter for the member states.
The Council concluded that permits should not be required for fishing vessels under 10 m in length operating exclusively within their territorial waters and the Council deferred a decision on whether the permit system should apply to EU vessels operating in third country waters. I welcomed the outcome of this negotiation, which demonstrated the willingness of the Council and the Commission to take proper account of the realities of the fishing industry. In a wider recognition of the burdens of regulation on the fishing industry, the Commission responded positively to my suggestion that it examine systematically how the current body of regulation can be simplified. It made it
Column 442clear that it would welcome proposals from the fishing industry--an offer which I hope our own fishermen will take up.
In the absence of a European parliamentary opinion, no decisions were taken on the Commission's proposal on drift nets and the Council held only a general discussion. Officials will continue to examine the proposals, and particularly the scope for enhanced enforcement of the north-east Atlantic tuna industry. The Council will revert to the issue when the European Parliament's opinion is available. Meanwhile, EU fishing vessels are prohibited from using drift nets longer than 2.5 km in any fishery.
The Council unanimously adopted a mandate for the Commission to open negotiations with Greenland, under the EU/Greenland agreement, on the fishing opportunities and other arrangements to apply for the five-year period beginning 1 January 1995. The United Kingdom benefits from opportunities to fish at Greenland.
The Council discussed Canadian legislation enabling Canada to act against flag of convenience and unflagged vessels in the area administered by the North West Atlantic Fisheries Organisation. The Council agreed that the EU should inform Canada of its concern about the extent of the powers taken and urge Canada to co-ordinate her enforcement activities with NAFO partners, including the EU. I agreed that such an approach should be made but was unhappy about the terms in which it was expressed and as a consequence abstained on the matter in order to allow a community view to go forward.
The Council had a limited discussion on the state of the market for fisheries' products. I pressed the Commission to provide the complete analysis of this complex problem which had been previously promised. This was agreed, and the Commission was asked to undertake the work and report back to the September Fisheries Council, if appropriate with proposals.
The Council unanimously approved a proposal, which will be adopted as soon as the European Parliament's opinion is available, on the methodology for measuring the tonnage of fishing vessels, which is important for managing a number of aspects of the CFP. To take account of the difficulties the EU fishing industry faces, it was agreed that an estimating formula could be adopted for vessels below 15 m and that, for medium-sized vessels--15 to 24 m--an extended deadline of 1 January 2004 would be allowed for completion of the measuring exercise. This outcome will be very helpful to the United Kingdom.
The Council unanimously adopted a regulation covering the EU's Mediterranean waters which introduces technical conservation rules, notably about the use of various kinds of fishing nets and other gear.
A Commission proposal establishing compensation for the additional costs incurred in the marketing of certain fisheries products from the Azores, Madeira, the Canary Islands and the French Department of Guiana as a result of their very remote location was adopted by qualified majority vote. The Netherlands and the United Kingdom were unable to support the measure because the funding procedures adopted were not satisfactory.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : This meeting of the Council, at which I represented the United Kingdom, held only a brief discussion of the Commission's price proposals for farm support prices for 1994-95 and related measures and concluded that adoption of this package should be an urgent priority for its next meeting on 20 June.
At the instigation of the German Minister, the Council discussed bovine spongiform encephalopathy. The Commissioner, Mr. Steichen, reaffirmed the need for policy to be based on science, stressing that there were no grounds for questioning the current trade rules for meat and live animals. I explained the comprehensive measures adopted by the United Kingdom to bring BSE under control and safeguard against any risk to public health. I and several other Ministers endorsed the Commission's plan to maintain surveillance, to tighten the rules on rendering processes and the use of specified bovine offals in cosmetics and to extend to the whole of the Community the ban on feeding meat and bone meal to ruminants which the United Kingdom adopted in 1988.
The Council unanimously agreed to extend until 30 June 1994 the marketing year for various fruits and vegetables.
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is (a) the estimated number of farmers in England entitled to receive sheep premium grants and (b) the number of claims, together with the
Column 444corresponding percentage figure expressed as a proportion of (a) , which were settled by (i) 30 April 1994, (ii) 15 May 1994 and (iii) 31 May 1994.
Mr. Jack : Some 64,000 sheep producers in England received automatic allocations of quota, or received quota under the special arrangements for 1992, first time claimants. These producers were eligible for payments under the 1993 sheep annual premium scheme, provided they met the other requirements of the scheme. Some farmers combine to submit only one claim and the total number of 1993 claims was 42,713. As at 30 April 1994, 88 per cent. of first and second advances under the 1993 scheme had been paid and 65 per cent. had also received the final payment. At 15 May, the corresponding figures were 89 per cent. and 72 per cent. respectively and at 31 May 89 per cent. and 86 per cent. respectively.
Dr. Strang : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what was the total cost for England in (a) 1991, (b) 1992 and (c) 1993 and what is her estimate for 1994 of (i) the sheep annual premium, (ii) the suckler cow premium and (iii) the beef special premium ; what estimates her Department has made of the environmental damage caused in England through over-grazing by livestock for which each of those premia are being paid ; what estimates her Department has made of environmental damage other than over-grazing being caused in England on farm land grazed by livestock for which the above premia are being paid ; and if she will make a statement.
a £ million (Scheme year) |1991 |1992 |1993 |1994 |(estimate) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Beef Special Premium |63.9 |75.4 including extensification premium |21.1 |25.8 |82.6 |92.4 Suckler Cow Premium |43.5 |64.3 including extensification premium |33.9 |38.8 |55.9 |77.8 Sheep Annual Premium (including Less Favoured Area Supplement) |120.0 |175.1 |182.4 |208.6
Dr. Strang : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps she intends to take to prevent environmental damage other than over-grazing on grazed land, with particular reference to lowland areas.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : Our policies will continue to employ a range of instruments to help prevent environment damage. These include codes of good agricultural practice for the protection of soil, water and air ; the provision of free advice to farmers on conservation and avoiding pollution ; a number of targeted incentive schemes--for example, environmentally sensitive areas scheme--and safeguards within the arable support scheme.
The reformed arable support arrangements also include measures to prevent environmental damage. They render permanent grassland ineligible for arable support payments. And all farmers receiving arable support payments must observe a range of conditions on set-aside land, including protection of environmental features,
Column 444requirements on maintenance of a green cover to minimise nitrate leaching and restrictions on the use of fertilisers and pesticides.
Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what was the number of health visitors, district nurses, school nurses and community psychiatric nurses expressed as whole-time equivalents at September 1988, September 1989, September 1990, September 1991 and September 1992.
Mr. Ancram : Information on health visitors, district nurses and school nurses is available only on a comparative basis for the three years 1990 to 1992 and is set out in the table, expressed as whole-time equivalents at September of each year.
|1990 |1991 |1992 -------------------------------------------- Health visitors |324.41|395.37|454.53 District nurses |619.06|639.12|719.30 School nurses |70.22 |71.50 |85.45
Information on community psychiatric nurses is available only for 1992 and is set out in the table, expressed as whole-time equivalents at September.
|1992 ------------------------------------------- Community psychiatric nurses |183.00
Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what are the planned numbers of health visitors, district nurses, school nurses and community psychiatric nurses, health visitors, students and district nurse students for 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999.
|1995 |1996 |1997 |1998 |1999 ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Health visitors |540.61|538.61|537.61|<1>- |<1>- District nurses |842.95|842.95|842.95|<1>- |<1>- School nurses |110.43|110.43|110.43|<1>- |<1>- Community psychiatric nurses |371.01|384.51|384.51|<1>- |<1>- Planned secondments by Health and Personal Social Services employing au Health visitors students |6.00 |8.00 |6.00 |6.00 |<1>- District nurse students |20.00 |18.00 |17.00 |17.00 |<1>- <1> Information is not available centrally.
Mr. Beggs : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will require the Department of the Environment planning service to ensure that all land in housing development sites will be allocated to house property and that developers will no longer be permitted to abandon and leave derelict any area of land within a housing development.
Mr. Tim Smith : The Department of the Environment (NI) considers that, where circumstances permit, the provision of open space in new housing development is desirable. However, the Department recognises that the on-going maintenance of such open space can cause difficulties and normal practice is now only to make its provision a requirement of planning permission where future maintenance arrangements can be put in place.
Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what was the number of health visitor students and district nurse students in training expessed as whole-time equivalents at March 1988, March 1989, March 1990, March 1991, March 1992 and March 1993.
Year |Health visitors|District nurses ---------------------------------------------------------------- 1988 |35 |28 1989 |23 |22 1990 |31 |20 1991 |29 |9 1992 |24 |10 1993 |29 |15
Mr. Beggs : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many recommendations from the Planning Appeals Commission on planning inquiries held in Northern Ireland since 1973 have not been upheld by the responsible Minister.
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list for each of the last five years the cost to public funds of consultancy work provided by (a) KPMG Peat Marwick, (b) Touche Ross, (c) Price Waterhouse, (d) Ernst and Young, (e) CSL, (f) Prime, (g) Basis, (h) Theodore Goddard, (i) Dibb Lupton Broomhead, (j) Capita and (k) Shreeveport to his Department ; and if he will list any other firms which have provided consultancy work and the costs to public funds for each of the last five years.
Sir John Wheeler : Details of payments to individual consultancy firms have not been disclosed as this would breach commercial confidentiality. A list of the consultancy firms employed each year has been placed in the library.
Expenditure on consultants by Northern Ireland Departments for each of the last five financial years is as follows :
|£ --------------------------------- 1989-90 |12,901,349 1990-91 |7,674,423 1991-92 |12,987,469 1992-93 |8,717,868 1993-94 |15,408,337