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Mink and Arctic Foxes

Mr. Heppell: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what provision exists at present for local authorities to protect people and domesticated animals from attacks by mink and arctic fox. [894]

Mrs. Browning: Mink and arctic foxes may be killed or taken by owners and occupiers of land if they feel that this is necessary to prevent damage, provided that the method used does not contravene current legislation, such as the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and the Control of Pesticides Regulations 1986. General advice on pest control is available from the local offices of ADAS, the Ministry's wildlife advisers.

Mr. Heppell: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many mink and arctic fox are known to have escaped or been released from fur farms from 1990-91 to 1994-95. [895]

Mrs. Browning: The Ministry has received no reports of any mink or arctic foxes known to have been released or have escaped from fur farms in the period since 1990.

Mr. Heppell: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what advice he received from the Farm Animal Welfare Council on the listing of mink and arctic fox under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976. [893]

Mrs. Browning: In 1994, the Farm Animal Welfare Council recommended that consideration be given to the inclusion of American mink, Arctic fox and racoon dog in the schedule to the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976. After consulting interested organisations my colleagues and I concluded that this, being a general approach, would not offer any welfare advantages to the species concerned. General protection for the welfare of animals farmed for their fur is already provided by the Agriculture (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1968 and its subordinate regulations. Any more specific requirements must, in our view, be introduced on a European basis.

A copy of the letter sent to interested organisations explaining our views more fully, dated 24 August 1995, has been placed in the Library of the House.

Ostrich Farms

Mr. Morley: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many prosecutions have been made against owners of ostrich farms in the last three years; and if he will make a statement. [1015]

Mrs. Browning: The information requested is not recorded centrally.

Mr. Morley: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many live ostrich chicks were imported (a) in 1994 and (b) to date. [1016]

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Mrs. Browning: The only information available to the Ministry on imports from other member states is derived from the ANIMO system--which is provisional and subject to change, and relates to all ostriches--adults, chicks and hatching eggs. Information on imports from third countries is derived from quarantine reports and relates to day-old ostrich chicks.

Origin19941995 to date
Other Member States620843
Third Countries267193


Mr. Morley: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many visits the State Veterinary Service has made to ostrich farms to check the condition of ostriches in the last three years. [1014]

Mrs. Browning: The information is not available for the full period requested. Since 1 April 1994, 23 welfare inspections of ostrich farms in Great Britain have been made by the State Veterinary Service.

Fish Quotas

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what proposals he has to introduce transferable quotas for fish. [980]

Mr. Baldry: I have asked the fishing industry to let me have its ideas for alternative quota management arrangements and will consider any suggestions made that appear to be practicable and command widespread support within the industry.

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made of the New Zealand system of fish quota allocation; and if he will make a statement. [981]

Mr. Baldry: The New Zealand system of fisheries quota management was developed to meet a very different set of circumstances from those applying within the European Union. I am nevertheless sure that the United Kingdom industry is aware of arrangements in New Zealand and other countries and will take these into account in formulating its response to my invitation for suggestions for changes in our own arrangements.

Pigs

Mr. Morley: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) how many piglets have been (a) tail docked and (b) tooth clipped in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. [1019]

Mrs. Browning: Figures on the number of piglets which have been tail docked and tooth clipped are not available.

The Welfare and Livestock Regulations 1994 (SI 2126) require that tail docking and tooth clipping of piglets may be carried out only when there is evidence, on the farm, that injuries to sows' teats or to other piglets have occurred or are likely to occur as a result of not carrying

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out these procedures. Where tooth clipping appears necessary, this must be carried out within seven days of birth.

Mr. Morley: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many visits his officials have made to pig farms since 10 August 1994 to ensure compliance with paragraph 3 of part iv of schedule 3 to the Welfare of Livestock Regulations 1994. [1017]

Mrs. Browning: Since 1 July 1994, 1,204 welfare inspections of pig farms in Great Britain have been made by the State Veterinary Service.

In the course of these inspections, an assessment of compliance with all the requirements of schedule 3 to the Welfare of Livestock Regulations will be made. This will include, where appropriate, compliance with part IV of that schedule which relates specifically to piglets.

Barley

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what the levels of United Kingdom intervention stocks of barley were in each month since November 1994; and what the intervention price was in each month. [159]

Mr. Baldry: The information requested is as follows:

Month Physical stock of barley at month end 'ooo tonnes Intervention price £/tonnes
December 1994976103.94
January 1995820105.08
February 1995732106.23 1st
107.59 17th
108.40 21st
March 1995559109.57 1st
109.78 6th
111.66 16th
112.83 26th
April 1995521114.04 1st
114.48 15th
114.93 25th
June 1995477108.25
July 1995357100.59
August 1995260100.59
September 1995195100.59
October 1995139100.59


Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what quantities of barley have been supplied to Spain from United Kingdom intervention stocks during 1995; and what costs were paid to the Intervention Board for the movements. [157]

Mr. Baldry: The quantity of United Kingdom intervention barley sold during 1995 for delivery to Spain was 249,996 tonnes. The quantity delivered to Spain is subject to final confirmation by the Spanish authorities after allowing for normal handling and transport losses.

The range of successful bid prices for purchase of the barley ex-store in the UK and delivery into store in Spain was £103.01 to £106.01 per tonne.

Arable Area Payments Scheme

Mr. Tipping: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what was the average payment made

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under the arable area payments scheme in England in 1994. [1066]

Mr. Baldry: The average payment made in 1994 was £18,870.

Mr. Tipping: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many payments under the arable area payments scheme were made in England in excess of £1 million in 1994. [1065]

Mr. Baldry: For reasons of confidentiality, it is not possible to identify separately the number of payments above £1 million.

Mr. Tipping: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list by county the number of payments made under the arable area payments scheme in excess of £75,000 in 1994. [1067]

Mr. Baldry: For reasons of confidentiality, it is not possible to identify separately the number of payments above £75,000. However, in England a total of 2,096 claims fell into this category.

Mr. Tipping: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the area, the number and amount paid in each county in England under the set-aside element of the arable area payments scheme in 1994. [1062]

Mr. Baldry: Information is not available for amounts paid relating solely to the set-aside element on a county basis. However, the table gives the total area, number and amount claimed in 1994 for set-aside on land situated in each county of England. The total payment made will have been slightly lower because of reductions for various reasons.

Arable area payments scheme: set-aside element 1994

County Area of set-aside (HA) Number of claims including set-aside Amount claimed (£)
Avon2,437190830,892
Bedfordshire10,0734593,434,375
Berkshire6,2232272,116,950
Buckinghamshire9,6665083,289,813
Cambridgeshire30,1121,52610,251,643
Cheshire3,4773231,183,774
Cleveland2,419163824,755
Cornwall4,8074801,627,689
Cumbria1,178110401,637
Derbyshire4,6103671,563,249
Devon8,1197952,759,979
Dorset9,2074393,133,659
Durham6,5544382,194,686
East Sussex5,5082891,868,057
Essex29,4151,26110,017,752
Gloucestershire13,2186594,482,792
Greater London83548275,827
Greater Manchester 838 69 284,010
Hampshire17,9486236,117,982
Hereford and Worcester 14,257 1,109 4,848,630
Hertfordshire11,1824313,812,146
Humberside30,8571,62610,496,444
Isle of Wight1,49786508,695
Kent18,2128066,162,305
Lancashire2,283225775,999
Leicestershire15,2637915,177,304
Lincolnshire51,6082,23817,558,853
Merseyside1,496135510,059
Norfolk35,4671,89012,062,761
North Yorkshire32,2162,15010,944,791
Northamptonshire17,1697555,809,082
Northumberland13,7986664,701,340
Nottinghamshire14,3437994,871,815
Oxfordshire18,2877546,234,927
Shropshire11,9068504,059,334
Somerset6,9705692,359,705
South Yorkshire6,6473862,244,806
Staffordshire7,1064792,416,303
Suffollk29,9181,56610,153,449
Surrey2,637132899,081
Tyne and Wear1,43998485,511
Warwickshire12,3136774,197,759
West Midlands81665278,214
West Sussex7,8533702,677,469
West Yorkshire3,7562591,277,193
Wiltshire18,9457716,420,744
Total554,88229,657188,604,242


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