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Mr. John D. Taylor: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the balance of Hague preference losses and gains in terms of fish quota accruing to the United Kingdom for each of the years 1995, 1994 and 1993.
Mr. Jack: The overall balance was a net United Kingdom loss of 525 tonnes in 1993 and a loss of 1,285 tonnes in 1994. Figures for 1995 will depend on the agreement to be reached with Norway on total allowance catches for jointly managed stocks in the North sea. This agreement is due before the end of March 1995. The application of Hague preference before 1993 resulted in significant net gains for the United Kingdom.
Mr. John D. Taylor: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what are the losses of quota from the United Kingdom due to application of the Hague preference on fish stocks in the sector VII(a) of the Irish sea in 1995.
Mr. Jack: As a result of the application of Hague preference in the Irish sea--area VII(a)--the United Kingdom's 1995 share of the quota allocation for cod, whiting and plaice was reduced by 2,210 tonnes.
Column 374undertaking into the spread of sheep scab in England and Wales; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Browning: Official records on the number of sheep scab outbreaks are not available following the deregulation of sheep scab controls in April 1992. Unofficial reports indicate it has been found in every county in Britain.
A surveillance exercise at markets carried out in March 1994 by the state veterinary service found 177 batches of sheep in which sheep scab was suspected at 869 market days surveyed; this exercise will be repeated this spring.
Official veterinary presence at sheep markets was significantly increased on 1 September 1994. Since that, date, 2,086 market visits have resulted in 326 cases of suspected sheep scab being detected.
Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many representations his Department has received on the subject of (a) sheep scab and (b) organophosphate sheep dips in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement.
In response to representations on the increasing incidence of sheep scab early last year, a surveillance exercise was carried out by the state veterinary service at markets and sales in March 1994. While the results were not conclusive, they indicated that a minority of farmers were failing to keep their flocks free from scab and that the number of infested sheep had increased. A substantial publicity campaign was therefore carried out last autumn to encourage farmers to treat their sheep for scab. In addition, the official vet presence at markets was significantly increased; animals suspected of scab infestation are being withdrawn from sale and treated and the owner risks prosecution. A further surveillance exercise in markets and sales by the state veterinary service is planned for the spring of 1995 to measure the impact of the stricter market enforcement measures and of the publicity campaign.
Representations have also included concerns about the possible human health effects arising from the use of organophosphorous sheep dips. The safety of these products was reviewed by the independent veterinary product committee 1993. It concluded that there was no scientific justification for banning OP sheep dips, but they must be used correctly, and that includes the wearing of appropriate protective clothing. The Government accepted the VPC's
recommendations, one element of which was the introduction of a certificate of competence scheme for those wishing to continue to purchase OP sheep dips, aimed at improving awareness of the safety precautions to be taken when using these products. From 1 April 1995 therefore, sale and supply of OP sheep dips will be restricted to those holding certificates or their representatives.
Mr. Morley: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to his answer of 31 January, Official Report, column 643, what plans he has to make those responsible for exporting consignments of livestock obliged to provide information about deaths of animals in transit.
Dr. Strang: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what requirements he has placed upon the merchant bankers that he has appointed to advise on the privatisation of the Agricultural Development Advisory Service in respect of the assessment of the forecast made available to them by the Agricultural Development Advisory Service board.
Mr. Waldegrave: Charterhouse Bank Ltd. has been asked to advise on a range of possible options for the future of ADAS. It will, inter alia, consider and advise on any financial projections submitted by the ADAS board.
Dr. Strang: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made as to (a) the level of staff cuts and (b) other measures that will be necessary to ensure the commercial feasibility of a privatised Agricultural Development Advisory Service.
Dr. Strang: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he expects the report by Charterhouse Bank Ltd. on possible options for the privatisation of the Agricultural Development Advisory Service to be published; and if he will place it in the Library.
Dr. Strang: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the level of Government expenditure to date on the report by Charterhouse Bank Ltd. on possible options for the privatisation of the Agricultural Development Advisory Service.
Dr. Strang: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what information and documentation has been supplied by the Agricultural Development Advisory Service to Charterhouse Bank Ltd. to enable it to meet its remit to examine the commercial background of the agency.
Dr. Strang: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made as to which of the assets presently owned by his Department would be eligible for transferral into the private sector as a consequence of the privatisation of the Agricultural Development Advisory Service.
Mr. Waldegrave: The assets that might be transferred will depend on the future needs of the Ministry and would need to be discussed with the purchaser. The Ministry will, of course, take account of any legal restrictions on disposal.
Column 376veterinary surgeons for ante-mortem inspections accords precisely with the practice followed in all the other EU member states; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Browning: We have decided that the meat hygiene service, when it is launched in April, should be allowed to make use of experienced meat inspectors acting under the responsibility of the official veterinary surgeon to assist with the ante-mortem inspection of young animals. The OVS will be required personally to inspect all adult animals and casualty animals, and any other animals detained by the meat inspector for veterinary examination.
We believe that these arrangements will be consistent with the practice in several other member states. All EU member states, including the United Kingdom, accept the principle of veterinary responsibility for hygiene and inspection of fresh meat. Some member states use veterinary surgeons for all meat hygiene and inspection work.
Mr. Waldegrave [pursuant to his reply, 24 November 1994, column 311]: I regret that some of the information provided in my answer o24 November 1994 to this question was inaccurate. A revised list showing non-departmental public bodies abolished, or reclassified, between 1979 and 1993 is as follows. This has been checked as thoroughly as possible without incurring disproportionate cost. Public bodies abolished since 1979
1. Advisory Council for Agriculture and Horticulture in England and Wales.
2. Farm Settlements Advisory Committee for Selection of Tenants. 3. Plant Variety Rights Advisory Panels (12).
4. Poultry Disease Panel.
5. Torry Research Station Advisory Committee.
1. Advisory Committee on the Banana Trade (replaced by Banana Trade Advisory Committee).
2. Tate and Lyle Customer Safeguards Committee.
1. White Fish Authority (abolished October 1981 and replaced by SFIA).
2. Agricultural Construction Industry Liaison Group.
1. Thames Barrier Advisory Team.
2. Flood Protection Research Committee.
1. Committee on Artificial Insemination of Cattle.
2. `Food Additives and Contaminants Committee'. and `Food Standards Committee' amalgamated to form `Food Advisory Committee'. 3. Fisheries R and D Board.
4. Kew Scientific Advisory Panel.
5. Scientific Panel for Fertilisers and Feeding Stuffs. 6. Wakehurst Place Consultative Panel.
7. Central Council for Agricultural and Horticultural Co-operation (functions taken over by `Food from Britain', March 1983).
1. Joint Consultative Organisation for R and D in Agriculture and Food (abolished May 1984--replaced by Priorities Board for R and D in Agriculture and Food).
Agriculture Chemicals Approval Scheme Scientific Advisory Committee.
1. National Seeds Development Organisation Ltd. (sold to the private sector).
2. Agricultural Economics Technical Committee (renamed Agricultural Economics Commissioned Work Advisory Committee, not classified as NDPB).
Apple and Pear Development Council (replaced by Apple and Pear Research Council).
Reading Cattle Breeding Centre Advisory Committee.
Land Settlement Association Ltd.
1. Agricultural Statistics Consultative Committee.
2. Experimental Centre Advisory Committees in England and Wales (`Husbandry Farms' and `Horticulture Stations').
3. Area VII White Fish Industry Advisory Committee (change of status).
1. Steering Group on Chemical Aspects of Food Surveillance (reclassified).
2. Banana Trade Advisory Committee.
Mr. Howard: We plan to publish a Green Paper on identity cards in spring which will set out options for a national identity card scheme and invite views upon them. We will consider the way forward in the light of the comments we receive.
Mr. Maclean: New powers have been taken in the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, including extending the law on child pornography to cover computer-simulated images and ensuring that computer transmissions are covered by the Obscene Publications Act 1959.
Mr. Maclean: We expect to bring into force within the next two months the provisions in the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act which are designed to tackle the problem of offending on bail. We have also made sure that the courts have the powers they need to deal more severely with those who offend on bail.
Mr. Maclean: I have no plans to visit Merseyside in the near future but hope to do so later in the year. Levels of crime would be among the subjects for discussion, as would the measures the Government have put in place to tackle crime.
19. Mr. Harry Greenway: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of closed circuit television in combating crime; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Maclean: Research, and evidence from local schemes, has shown that closed circuit television can be extremely effective both in preventing crime and in helping to convict criminals. My Department is currently carrying out a further evaluation of the effectiveness of town centre CCTV schemes with a view to identifying best practice.
20. Mr. Bennett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many deaths in police custody are being investigated by the Police Complaints Authority; how many of them have occurred in the last six months; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Maclean: At the end of January this year, the Police Complaints Authority was supervising the investigation of 30 deaths in police custody. Of these, 27 had occurred in the last six months. The term "death in police custody" includes, for these purposes, any death which occurred in the presence of the police, whether or not the deceased was under arrest or in a police station at the time, and which has been referred to the Police Complaints Authority because it may give rise to public concern.
21. Rev. Martin Smyth: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many convicted Irish Republican Army terrorists have been transferred to complete their sentences in Northern Ireland prisons since 31 August 1994.
Mr. Michael Forsyth: Since 31 August 1994, two prisoners convicted of terrorist offences have been granted permanent transfers to Northern Ireland to complete their sentences. These transfer will be effected as soon as operational and security considerations allow. In addition, four prisoners convicted of terrorist offences were temporarily transferred to Northern Ireland on1 September 1994 to receive visits.
22. Mr. Eastham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received from chief constables with regard to the impact of the grants formula for policing on police numbers.