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Mr. Andrew George: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what estimate his Department has made of the badger populations in each of the three sites in the triplet areas which form part of the MAFF bovine TB trials. 
Ms Quin [holding answer 24 July 2000]: The number and distribution of badger setts is surveyed across all three treatment areas within a triplet, but area-wide population estimates are made only in proactive culling areas. This
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is done firstly prior to culling, to ensure sufficient traps are set; and secondly after culling, to obtain a measure of culling efficiency.
Mr. Breed: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what estimate he has made of the cost of compensating beef farmers for consequential losses due to restrictions placed on their herds as a result of TB outbreaks. 
Ms Quin [holding answer 28 July 2000]: MAFF has commissioned an independent study of the consequential losses to cattle farms resulting from outbreaks of bovine TB. The study was presented to the TB Forum on 13 July and comments were invited. I am placing copies of the study in the Library of the House.
Mr. Martlew: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many mobile grade civil servants there are in his Department, including the Intervention Board (a) in total and (b) at each location. 
|Location||Number of mobile staff|
|Bury St. Edmunds||21|
|Core MAFF Total||2,908|
|Bury St. Edmunds||14|
|Bury St. Edmunds||9|
|Intervention Board Total||530|
(1) Includes small outstationed teams
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Dr. Lynne Jones: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list each departmental initiative since May 1997 requiring bids for funding together with the total resources available, the number of successful bids and the proportion this represents of total bids received; and what data he collects on the average expenditure of organisations bidding for funding through each initiative. 
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to the Seventh Report of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration for Session 1999-2000, "Investigation into Delays in Making
28 Jul 2000 : Column: 1122W
Area Payments under the Arable Area Payments Scheme", if he will make a statement about the mechanism by which farmers will be compensated as the Ombudsman recommends. 
Ms Quin [holding answer 17 July 2000]: MAFF will provide compensation in the form of interest to farmers who received late payment of their 1995 claims under the Arable Area Payments Scheme for the reasons highlighted in the report referred to by the hon. Member. As agreed with the Ombudsman, and in line with common practice across Government Departments, the compensation payments will be subject to a de minimis level of £50. MAFF has a full list of all the AAPS applicants that were affected, and work is in progress to calculate the compensation to which they are entitled. When that work has been completed the applicants will be notified of the amount of compensation to which they are due. There is no need for individual farmers to apply to the Ministry for payment.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will give details of the information measures relating to the Common Agricultural Policy referred to on page 50 of Cm 4762; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Quin: The European Commission's proposals to co-finance information projects aimed at improving the understanding, development and implementation of the Common Agricultural Policy were considered at the Special Committee for Agriculture in November 1999, and adopted by the Agriculture Council on 17 April 2000 as an A point (Council Regulation (EC) No. 814/2000).
A wide range of organisations representing farming, environmental and consumer interests are eligible to apply for funding for such measures as talks, seminars, information visits, publications and participation in international events.
Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many cases of pig products being sold in a way which misleads the consumer into believing they contain pigmeat of British origin have been identified by the verification officer in the last three years; and how many staff are employed to assist the officer in fulfilling his duties. 
Ms Quin: Out of the number of labels examined, the verification officer has brought to the attention either of the retailer or the manufacturer concerned over 20 cases considered to be misleading. In most cases the product has been withdrawn or the label altered. Staff resources have not limited his activities as Trading Standards Officers have statutory authority to pursue individuals cases where appropriate.
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