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1. Agricultural Chemicals Approval Scheme, Scientific Advisory Committee


1. National Seeds Development Organisation Ltd (privatised) 2. Agriculture Economics Technical Committee

3. Committee of Investigation for England and Wales under the Agricultural Marketing Act 1958

4. Committee of Investigation for Great Britain under the Agricultural Marketing Act 1958


1. Experimental Centres Advisory Committees in England and Wales (reduced from 20 to 18)

2. Advisory Committee on Pesticides (reduced from 6 to 1) 1990

1. Experimental Centre Advisory Committees in England and Wales (reduced from 18 to 14)

2. Reading Cattle Breeding Centre Advisory Committee

3. Apple and Pear Development Council


1. Agricultural Wages Committees (reduced from 24 to 23) 2. Experimental `Husbandry Farms' Advisory Committees in England and Wales (reduced from 11 to 10)

3. Regional Flood Defence Committees (reduced from 10 to 9) 1992

1. Agricultural Statistics Consultative Committee

2. Experimental `Husbandry Farms' Advisory Committees in England and Wales

3. Experimental `Horticultural Stations' Advisory Committees in England and Wales


1. Agricultural Dwelling House Advisory Committees (reduced from 24 to 17)

2. Agricultural Wages Committees (reduced from 23 to 17) 3. Area VII White Fish Industry Advisory Committee

4. Steering Group on Chemical Aspects of Food Surveillance

Animal Transportation

Mr. Morley: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many of the personnel licensed to export livestock from (a) Sheerness and (b) Grimsby have previous convictions for offences relating to the welfare of livestock.

Mrs. Browning: There is no requirement for such personnel to be licensed. We are aware that some involved recently in the export of animals may have past convictions for welfare offences, but prohibition from engaging in the trade is not a penalty provided for by statute.

Before any consignment leaves Great Britain, the Ministry carries out checks to determine that the facilities for the export of the livestock are sufficient to ensure that the welfare of the animals can be properly safeguarded throughout the journey.

Mr. Morley: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many times the certification procedures relating to (a) the live export and (b) the live transport of livestock have been breached in the last year.

Mrs. Browning: The detection of breaches, and the initiation of prosecution action where appropriate, is the responsibility of local authorities. No central figures are kept on the number of breaches.

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Milk Quotas

Mr. Michael Spicer: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement about his plans for the development of B quotas for milk.

Mr. Jack: There is no proposal from the Commission for a two-tier quota system for milk. Denmark has been promoting the idea, but it has found little support from other member states. The Government's view is that the costs of administering and controlling such a system would be very high and that unsubsidised exports of dairy products made from B quota milk would displace existing subsidised exports, thus exacerbating the Community's dairy surplus. Moreover, the creation of a B quota would, under the system envisaged by the Danes, require a4 per cent. cut in current milk quotas. Since the United Kingdom does not have enough quota as it is, any reduction in current quota levels would be unacceptable.

Food Labelling

Mr. Campbell-Savours: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what consideration he has given to the proposals by the Local Authorities Co-ordinating Body on Trading Standards on considering tightening up controls on the labelling of food.

Mrs. Browning: The Local Authority Co-ordinating Body on Trading Standards has provided comments in response to our recent consultative proposals for consolidating the Food Labelling Regulations 1984 and its amendment. These will be taken into account in the revised proposals which will be circulated for further comment in the new year.

Dry Stone Walls

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what grants are available to hill farmers in England to maintain dry stone walls; and what were the total amounts paid for each year since 1984.

Mr. Jack: Capital grants are available under the farm and conservation grant scheme to all eligible farm businesses for the provision, replacement and improvement of traditional wall and banks. The table below shows the grant paid on these items predominantly for dry stone walling, under the F and CGS and its predecessor the agriculture improvement scheme since 1986 in both less favoured areas and lowland areas --non-LFAs. Information prior to the financial year 1986 87 is not readily available.

Grant paid on traditional walls under AIS and F and CGS               

              |Grant paid in|Grant paid in|Total grant                

              |LFAs         |Non-LFAs     |paid                       

Year          |£000s        |£000s        |£000s                      


1986-87       |307          |25           |332                        

1987-88       |928          |48           |976                        

1988-89       |1,075        |60           |1,135                      

1989-90       |1,119        |103          |1,222                      

1990-91       |1,092        |170          |1,262                      

1991-92       |1,183        |321          |1,504                      

1992-93       |1,417        |431          |1,848                      

1993-94       |1,474        |530          |2,004                      


Total         |8,595        |1,688        |10,283                     

Hill Farmers

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what estimate he has made of the number of hill farmers in north- east Lancashire whose incomes are less than £10,000 per annum.

Mr. Jack: Information on farm incomes is collected by the farm business survey, the results of which are published annually in "Farm Incomes in the United Kingdom".

The latest complete results are for 1992 93 and these indicate that about 47 per cent. of "full-time" cattle and sheep farms in England which are wholly or mainly in the less-favoured areas had a net farm income of less than £10,000. The survey covers some 2,300 farms in England and is designed to provide estimates of farm income for each of the main farm types in England as a whole. The sample is not intended to provide estimates for individual counties and therefore information for farms in north-east Lancashire is not available.


Mr. Morley: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what grants he is making available for the upgrading of slaughterhouses to standards required by the EC.

Mrs. Browning: We are not making any grants available for this purpose.

Lobbying Companies

Mr. Fatchett: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list and date those occasions over the last two years when Ministers or officials in his Department have met lobbying companies, prior to a decision being made on the subject of the meeting with the lobbying company.

Mr. Waldegrave: This information is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Next Steps Agencies

Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the salary and other emoluments of the civil servant who did the work of, or work comparable to that of, the chief executive of each next steps agency established by his Department before the agency was established.

Mr. Waldegrave: The next steps agencies established by my Department were headed by the following grades of civil servant before they attained agency status:



ADAS (agency in 1992)                             |Grade 2        

Central Science Laboratory (agency in 1992)       |Grade 3        

Central Veterinary Laboratory (agency in 1990)    |Grade 3        

Pesticides Safety Directorate (agency in 1993)    |Grade 4        

Veterinary Medicines Directorate (agency in 1990) |Grade 4        

Salary ranges for civil servants of grades 2, 3 and 4 are tabled annually in the Civil Service Year Book, copies of which are routinely placed in the Library of the House.

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Mr. Gale: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many cases of human rabies have been identified as the result of animal attacks in (a) France, (b) Germany and (c) Benelux during each of the last five years for which records are available.

Mrs. Browning: Two cases were reported in France, one in 1991 and the other in 1992. Both were acquired outside France. The only other case in the last five years was in eastern Germany in 1990. We do not know the details of this case.

Mr. Gale: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many cases of rabies in foxes have been reported in Belgium in 1994 to date; and what was the total for 1993.

Mrs. Browning: Up to 30 June 1994, 10 cases of rabies have been reported in foxes in Belgium. There were no cases reported in 1993.

Mr. Gale: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what information he has sought regarding the number of cases of rabies identified in the past 10 years in (a) Austria, (b) the Czech Republic, (c) Slovakia, (d) Hungary, (e) Poland, (f) Germany and (g) France.

Mrs. Browning: Detailed information about the number of rabies cases occurring in Europe, including Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Germany and France, is available quarterly from the WHO collaborating centre for rabies surveillance and research from its headquarters in the Federal Republic of Germany. I have not sought any additional information.

Mr. Gale: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what proportion of the fox population of Belgium was vaccinated against rabies in the years1992 93; and what proportion has been vaccinated to date in 1994.

Mrs. Browning: Since 1992 vaccinated baits have been spread in Belgium at the following rates:

Spring 1992: 9,000 sq. km

Autumn 1992: 8,453 sq. km.

Spring 1993: 8,610 sq. km.

Autumn 1993: 5,510 sq. km.

Spring 1994: 2,553 sq. km.

It is not possible to say how many of these baits were picked up by foxes

Mr. Gale: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the latest information for the number of cases of rabies identified in foxes in northern France (a) in 1994 to date, (b) in 1993 and (c) in 1992.

Mrs. Browning: Fox rabies was reported in northern France as follows:

1992: 1,000 cases

1993: 198 cases

1994 to date 55 cases

Meat Hygiene Service

Mr. Tyler: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the estimated cost, in its first year, of the meat hygiene service; what proportion of that figure will be extracted from the meat industry; and what will be the budgetary treatment of any surplus or deficit in its trading account.

Mrs. Browning: The running costs of the meat hygiene service in 1995 96 are currently estimated at approximately £46 million, excluding certain one-off

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items relating to the establishment of the agency and to the transfer of staff from local authorities.

Invitations to tender have been issued to potential contract staff and suppliers. The terms and conditions of employees transferring to the agency are currently being confirmed with local authorities. These exercises will produce more detailed costings, which will be made available both to the industry as part of the on-going process of consultation and to other interested parties.

It is anticipated that the agency will set charges to recover the majority of normal running costs from the fresh meat industry within the provisions of the relevant charging legislation. Set-up costs will, however, be funded by MAFF.

Legislation does not allow charges above the real cost. It is not currently anticipated that a substantial deficit will arise on the provision of services by the agency.


Mr. Tony Banks: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what was the outcome of the 460 tests for M. bovis on badgers killed in her Department's removal operations referred to in his answer of 20 October, Official Report , column 335 .

Mrs. Browning: So far the outcome of the 460 results which were pending in October is that 207 badgers were negative and 68 were positive for M. bovis; 185 results are still pending.

Sheep Annual Premiums

Mr. Welsh: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when sheep annual premiums were finalised; on what date payments were authorised to be made; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Jack: Commission regulations 1640/94 of 6 July 1994 and 1765/94 of 18 July 1994 authorised member states to make first and second advance payments under the 1994 sheep annual premium scheme based on an estimated amount of premium. The rates to apply in the United Kingdom were announced by the Ministry on 29 July 1994 and payments of both advances together began in England in the week beginning 19 September 1994. Final payments under the 1994 scheme will not be made until next spring after the final rate is announced by the Commission.

Farm Incomes

Mr. Welsh: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what percentage of total farm incomes is represented by (a) hill livestock compensatory allowance payments and (b) sheep annual premiums; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Jack: The total value of receipts of hill livestock compensatory allowances, sheep annual premium and farm incomes in the United Kingdom are available in tables 6.7 and 6.1 of "Agriculture in the United Kingdom, 1993", copies of which are in the Library of the House.

Fisheries Council

Mr. Garnier: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what was the outcome of the Fisheries Council held in Brussels on 23 November; and if he will make a statement.

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Mr. Jack: I attended a meeting of the Council of Fisheries Ministers on 23 November, with my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State, Scottish Office.

The Council discussed the arrangements to apply when Spain and Portugal are integrated into the common fisheries policy on 1 January 1996. I reiterated my determination to resist any proposals which would impose new bureaucratic restrictions on British fishermen and to protect the Irish box. A wide range of views was expressed. The Presidency decided that it was not possible to reach a decision at this meeting of the Council and is reflecting on how to take matters forward but with the firm intention of reaching a decision at the December Council meeting.

The Council approved a number of measures concerning the organisation of the fisheries market, guide prices and tariff quotas. These items will be adopted formally in due course.

A proposal establishing rules for monitoring trade in certain Norwegian fishery products was adopted.

The Council considered the recent decision of the North West Atlantic Fisheries Organisation on the Greenland halibut TAC. This resulted in no new proposal.

The Council noted the Commission's report on the state of its negotiations with Russia for the purchase of 8,000 tonnes of cod, action which was agreed as part of the enlargement negotiations earlier this year.

The Council remitted for further work a Commission proposal on permits for EU vessels fishing in third country waters.

No votes were taken at this Council.


Mr. Winnick: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what action he intends to take over the increase in mice and rats in domestic properties; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Browning [holding answer 21 November 1994]: The draft report of the national rodent survey, which will give an indication of the current levels of mice and rat infestation, is being finalised by MAFF, the Department of the Environment, the Department of Health and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, together with its commercial co- sponsors. It is hoped to publish the full report in the new year and an announcement will be made then.


Senile Dementia and Alzheimer's

Mr. Hanson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many people over 60 years were recorded in the United Kingdom for each of the last 10 years as having Alzheimer's disease;

(2) how many people over 60 years in the United Kingdom were recorded for each of the last 10 years as suffering from senile dementia.

Mr. Bowis: It is estimated that some 5 per cent. of the population aged 65 and over suffer from dementia. Of these it is estimated that over half suffer from Alzheimer's disease. There is no evidence to suggest that the incidence

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of Alzheimer's disease has changed significantly over the last 10 years.

Obstetric Cholestasis

Dr. Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what is the exact source of the information given in her answer of 8 July 1994, Official Report, column 366, that (a) obstetric cholestasis affects one in 1,000 pregnancies and (b) in her letter of 23 August 1994 to the right hon. Member for Sutton Coldfield (Sir N. Fowler) that parental mortality in mothers affected by obstetric cholestasis is five times higher than normal;

(2) if she will make it her policy to encourage epidemiological studies to ascertain the incidence of stillbirth due to obstetric cholestasis;

(3) what information she has on the cause of the stillbirths referred to in her answer of 22 June 1994, Official Report , column 198; and what action she is taking to improve that information.

Mr. Sackville: Information is available in the following articles;

Reyes H. the Spectrum of Liver and Gastrointestinal Disease seen in Cholestatis of Pregnancy Gastroenterol Clin North Am 1992 21 905 11, Schorr -Lesnick B. et al Liver Diseases Unique to Pregnancy Am Journal Gastroenterol 1991; 86: 659 62 and de Swiet M. ed Medical Disorders in Obstetric Practice Oxford: Blackwell Scientific 1984. Copies of the articles will be placed in the Library. The figure of one in 1,000 pregnancies is an estimate based on the published sources above and was intended to indicate the order of magnitude of the condition.

Health authorities already participate in epidemiological surveys to establish the causes of stillbirths and infant deaths and in the "Confidential Enquiry into Stillbirths and Deaths in

Infancy"--CESDI--which was established in 1992. This is the mechanism that is in place for identifying avoidable factors that give rise to stillbirths and deaths in infancy. CESDI's second annual report for 1993, which is due to be published shortly, includes examination of the small proportion of stillbirths which are associated with delivery. Its future work programme is being widened to include other stillbirths.

Although the cause of most stillbirths are unknown, a large proportion are due to fetal conditions such as asphyxia at birth, congenital anomalies and prematurity, while others are the result of maternal conditions such as hypertension and haemorrhage.

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