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Bus and Coach Directive

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the companies and organisations he has consulted in connection with preparing a response to the European Commission's draft bus and coach directive. [39132]

Mr. Norris: Although we have not yet received any formal proposals from the Commission, my Department has been widely consulting with organisations, including the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, which

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represents major UK manufacturing interests, and the Coach and Passenger Transport Executive Group, which represents the major bus and coach operators in the UK.


Repossessions (York)

Mr. Bayley: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many actions for repossession of a mortgaged home were started, and how many repossessions were granted, in York county court in each of the last seven years. [38873]

Mr. Streeter: The question concerns a specific operational matter on which the chief executive of the Court Service is best placed to provide an answer and I have accordingly asked the chief executive to reply direct.

Letter from M. D. Huebner to Mr. Hugh Bayley, dated 22 July 1996:

Offenders (Psychiatric Assessments)

Mr. Geoffrey Robinson: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many offenders have been referred for psychiatric assessments from magistrates courts for each of the last five years (a) nationally and (b) in the west midlands; and at what cost. [37733]

Mr. Streeter: The information requested is not available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Children Act 1989

Mr. Gapes: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will place in the Library a copy of all guidance issued by his Department concerning implementation of section 8 orders under the Children Act 1989. [37585]

Mr. Streeter: The Lord Chancellor's Department produced guidance on the provisions of and procedures under the Children Act for court staff and judiciary at the time of its implementation in October 1991. Similar information was produced in conjunction with the Home Office for the use of practitioners and other relevant

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professionals. These refer to section eight orders in general terms, but do not give specific guidance on their implementation.

The Children Act Advisory Committee, an independent body to which the Department provides the secretariat, has responsibility for monitoring the operation of the Act and issues guidance on its provisions. The committee publishes an annual report, copies of which are already held by the Library.


Quota Hopping

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when the Government propose to table treaty changes at the intergovernmental conference to regulate quota hopping; and if he will make a statement. [39014]

Mr. Baldry: A proposal to add a protocol to the treaty of the European Community to enable member states to take appropriate action to regulate quota hopping is being tabled at a working meeting of the inter governmental conference today. The protocol provides that

Copies of the full text of the proposed protocol and of the covering memorandum to the IGC are being placed in the Libraries of both Houses for information.

Veterinary Medicines Directorate

Mr. Gale: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when the 1995-96 annual report and accounts for the Veterinary Medicines Directorate is due to be published. [39013]

Mr. Douglas Hogg: I am pleased to report that the Veterinary Medicines Directorate's annual report and accounts for 1995-96 was published today. Copies are available in the Library of the House.

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The report charts the continuing success of the directorate as a next steps agency, and I would like to congratulate the chief executive and his staff on their considerable achievements during the year.

British Beef

Mr. Gill: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what plans he has to promote a public relations campaign extolling the safety of British beef. [32780]

Mrs. Browning: Product promotion and advertising is primarily a matter for the industry. The Ministry is actively involved in a programme to help promote beef. I am pleased that the Meat and Livestock Commission is running a campaign to reassure consumers about minced beef.

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what research he has (a) commission and (b) evaluated to establish the route by which contaminated feed was fed to bovine animals after the 1988 ban. [35000]

Mrs. Browning: Results of the investigation of risk factors for cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy born after the introduction of the ruminant protein feed ban were published in the "Veterinary Record" on 1 April 1995--pages 312 to 318. A copy of the report can be found in the May 1995 progress report, a copy of which is available in the Library of the House.

Mr. Hardy: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps he proposes to take to locate those animals which are within a condemned cohort which were previously sold on from the farm where they were bred; and what assessment he had made as to whether those who purchase cattle are keeping records in the same way as those responsible for dairy herds. [38098]

Mrs. Browning: Animals in the same cohort as a BSE case will be traced using farmers' records for cattle, which legislation under the Animal Health Act 1981 obliges them to keep.

Mr. Hardy: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will revise the arrangements for the destruction of whole cohorts of cattle where one animal within that cohort is found infected with BSE; and what is his latest estimate of the number of cattle which will have to be destroyed under the proposed arrangement. [38107]

Mr. Baldry: The Government issued a consultation document on the accelerated slaughter scheme on 3 July. They are considering responses to this. The maximum number of cattle likely to be slaughtered under the arrangements set out in the consultation document is 120,000 and in practice is liable to be somewhat lower.

Mr. Hardy: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is his estimate of the effect upon the price of replacement cattle if the numbers of cattle to be destroyed under the BSE eradication arrangements are at the highest level of his estimates. [38097]

Mrs. Browning: The accelerated slaughter scheme is not expected to involve more than about 1 per cent. of the total UK cattle population--although it is likely to have a

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greater effect on dairy than beef herds. Details of the scheme, and therefore estimates of its likely effects, are yet to be finished.

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