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Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he intends to reply to the letters to him dated 13 December 1999 and 13 January and 17 February with regard to Mr. M. Ahmad. [115631]

Mrs. Roche: My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary wrote to my right hon. Friend today. I am sorry for the delay in replying.

Senator Pinochet

Mr. Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what approaches he has made to the Spanish Government regarding sharing the costs to the UK taxpayer of the legal action brought against Senator Pinochet. [114048]

Mr. Straw: It would not be appropriate for me to make any such approach. The European Convention on Extradition, to which Spain and the United Kingdom are both parties, requires, under Article 24 of the Convention, that:

Costs under the Convention are, therefore, borne on a reciprocal basis. Spain bears the costs of the extradition requests which it receives from the United Kingdom.

Prisoners (Purposeful Activity)

Mr. Stinchcombe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the average number of hours per week spent by prisoners on purposeful activity in 1990. [115757]

Mr. Boateng: The average number of hours spent by prisoners in purposeful activity in the 1990-91 financial year was 22.3 hours.

21 Mar 2000 : Column: 487W


Animal Feed

Mr. David Heath: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what plans he has to introduce a novel feed regulation to ensure the safety and labelling of genetically modified animal feedstuffs. [113764]

Ms Quin [holding answer 13 March 2000]: Animal feed legislation is a harmonised area under European law, and it is not therefore possible to introduce national rules on such labelling. We are, however, pressing the EC Commission to bring forward proposals for control within this area as soon as possible. We expect these to be submitted to the Council later this year.

Mr. Livsey: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what plans the Government have to implement an authorisation process for livestock feed additives under the provisions of Regulation 13 of Article 9K of Council Directive 96/51/EC; [115246]

Ms Quin [holding answer 20 March 2000]: The consultation on the Feeding Stuffs Regulations specifically requested comments on the proposed Regulation 13. This was in order that all the implications of a prohibition on livestock additives used outside feeds could be assessed. The Advisory Committee on Animal Feedingstuffs (ACAF) has recently recommended that non-feed uses of additives should be retained but should be subject to controls.

We will be in a position to make a decision on this issue shortly, when we have studied all the responses to the consultation and considered how we may be able to carry forward the ACAF recommendation.

Over-30-Months Scheme

Mr. Randall: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many carcases he estimates will be rendered under the over-30-months scheme in each of the next five years. [114828]

Ms Quin: The Intervention Board's current estimate is that around 600,000 over-30-months scheme (OTMS) animals a year will be rendered.

Mr. Randall: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how tallow produced as a byproduct under the over-30-months scheme is classified by his Department. [114830]

Ms Quin: Tallow from OTMS animals is classified as a waste because of the need for material from such animals to be destroyed. As such it is managed and disposed of in accordance with waste management controls. All disposals to date and those planned for the future involve energy recovery.

Mr. Randall: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the locations where tallow from Over-30-Months Scheme cattle is stored, indicating the tonnage at each site. [114829]

21 Mar 2000 : Column: 488W

Ms Quin: Tallow produced from the rendering of animals under the Over-30-Months Scheme is being stored at three locations in the UK. As at 29 February 2000, the stock level at each site was:

Store locationTonnage as at 29 February 2000
Canvey Island, Essex104,229
Eastham, Merseyside80,001
Bootle, Merseyside24,121

Mr. Randall: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what was the price (a) per carcase and (b) per tonnage paid by the Intervention Board in each year since 1996 to each company awarded a contract to render cattle under the Over-30-Months Scheme. [114827]

Ms Quin: Renderers are paid according to the tonnage of OTMS material processed. In 1996 and 1997 a centrally negotiated rate of £105 (£110 in Northern Ireland) per tonne of Over-30-Months Scheme (OTMS) material processed (equivalent to around £52.50 per animal) was paid to contracted renderers. This rate included the cost of collection of raw material from abattoirs, estimated at £10-15 per tonne. Since 1998, and following a competitive tender, the average rate paid for the rendering of OTMS material is as set out in the reply given to the hon. Member on 24 January 2000, Official Report, column 11W.


Mr. Hurst: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many premises were licensed as slaughterhouses in England and Wales in the years (a) 1979, (b) 1989 and (c) 1999. [114949]

Ms Quin: The table gives end of year figures for 1979, 1989 and 1999 for red and poultry meat slaughterhouses in England. Prior to 1993, slaughterhouses in England and Wales were not licensed by MAFF, but by local authorities. The England figures for 1979 and 1989 have therefore been derived from records of State Veterinary Service visits during those years and are approximate. For poultry meat slaughterhouses in England, no figures are available prior to 1983.

YearRed meatPoultry meat

The licensing of slaughterhouses in Wales is a devolved matter. The National Assembly for Wales, which now has responsibility for the administration of such matters, has provided the following information in relation to slaughterhouses in Wales. No poultry meat slaughterhouse figures are available for 1979 or 1989:

YearRed meatPoultry meat

21 Mar 2000 : Column: 489W


CVR(T) (Transmission Mechanisms)

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what exemptions from procurement rules have been granted to Alvis for the supply of transmission mechanisms for the CVR(T); and for what reasons. [113191]

Dr. Moonie [holding answer 6 March 2000]: Alvis Vehicle Ltd. have been granted no exemptions from procurement rules for the supply of transmission mechanisms for the CVR(T).

Tritium Production

Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the unit cost of production of tritium for use by his Department. [114444]

Mr. Hoon: I am withholding details of the unit cost for tritium production under the terms of the Exemption Categories 1 (Defence, Security and International Relations) and 13 (Third party's commercial confidences) of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.

Service Quarters

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many repossession proceedings his Department initiated in respect of RAF quarters in each of the last three years; how many of those proceedings resulted in a court order for the eviction of the occupants; and if he will make a statement. [114209]

Mr. Spellar [holding answer 13 March 2000]: DHE manage Service Family Accommodation (SFA) as a Tri-Service resource and records are not kept centrally or on a single Service basis. To obtain the information requested, a manual search of every repossession case over the past three years would have to be made and this could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Anti-ballistic Missile Treaty

Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make it his policy to prohibit activities by United States authorities on his Department's land, which are contrary to the terms of anti-ballistic missile treaty. [114423]

Mr. Hoon [holding answer 14 March 2000]: The interpretation of the anti-ballistic missile treaty is a matter for the parties to that treaty, not for the United Kingdom or any other non-party.

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent discussions his Department has had with the United States regarding a European-wide ballistic missile defence system. [114326]

Mr. Hoon [holding answer 14 March 2000]: We continue to monitor the threats posed by ballistic missiles, and the development of the technology available to counter them. We will continue to consult closely with the US and take account of the work they are doing, to help us take an informed decision on whether to acquire such a capability ourselves in the future.

21 Mar 2000 : Column: 490W

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