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Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what bomb and mine-clearing operations are taking place in Kosovo; and in how many of these operations British service personnel are involved. 
Mr. Spellar: When KFOR deployed to Kosovo in June 1999, the immediate requirement was to clear ordnance that would have posed a hazard to peacekeeping forces. This was KFOR's responsibility, and British service personnel were engaged in this activity. KFOR also took on the immediate task of making schools safe for the returning population of Kosovo. Two British servicemen tragically lost their lives in performing this vital task.
The United Nations Mine Action Service (MAS) is responsible for the longer term task of fully clearing Kosovo of unexploded ordnance, and has established a UN Mine Action Co-ordination Centre (MACC) in Pristina to this end. The Department for International Development (DfID) has supported the UNMACC with grants, specialist staff and equipment. DfID has also, since June 1999, contracted for five organisations to supply
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12 rapid reaction teams to undertake clearance tasks. These UK sponsored teams are now directed by UNMACC.
British troops do not now conduct mine or bomb clearance as a matter of routine, but are on permanent standby for clearance tasks where there is a threat to KFOR. Furthermore, we have authorised the UN to task our teams to support its own efforts to make areas safe for the return of displaced persons by surveying marking and helping clear areas hit by cluster bombs.
The UNMACC state that 2,314 areas have been cleared to date, including minefields, bomblet strikes and other dangerous areas and that there are 1,085 sites remaining to be cleared. UNMACC expect all areas that currently present a risk to life will be cleared by the end of next year.
Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what representations he received between November 1999 and November 2000 on (a) the timing and (b) the content of strategic export controls legislation from (i) non-governmental organisations including voluntary and charitable groups, (ii) commercial interests, companies and trade organisations and (iii) other categories; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Moonie [holding answer 9 November 2000]: I refer the right hon. and learned Gentleman to the answer which my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry gave him on 9 November 2000, Official Report, columns 326-27W.
Mr. Hoon: The Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessel Argus has been re-deployed from helicopter training duties off the Iberian Peninsular to join the Amphibious Task Group which is providing a presence off Sierra Leone in support of UN and UK forces there this month. The decision to re-deploy RFA Argus, and her three embarked Sea King helicopters, with the Task Group, was taken after the flagship HMS Fearless experienced a fire in her aft engine room which necessitated her withdrawal from the deployment. Her training task will not be affected. Commander Amphibious Task Group continues to lead the Task Group embarked on HMS Ocean.
The integration of RFA Argus into the Task Group will give increased operational flexibility to operations of the Amphibious Ready Group by providing a second helicopter platform from which Chinook and Sea King helicopters can operate to replace the capability lost by the withdrawal of HMS Fearless. The re-deployment of Argus at short notice serves only to reinforce the flexibility of our maritime forces and of our rapid reaction capability.
Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reason pigs have been subjected to mustard gas exposure and a procedure involving a hand-held electric drill in an experiment conducted at Porton Down. 
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Dr. Moonie: Sulphur mustard (mustard gas) remains a significant chemical threat, both on the battlefield and from terrorists. The burns that result from contact with sulphur mustard heal extremely slowly and are prone to potentially life-threatening infection. Initial dermabrasion studies involving the use of hand-held abrasive material showed significantly enhanced rates of burn healing and reduced risk of infection. Later work which resulted in even more accurate removal of dead tissue and further improvements in the rate of healing were achieved by the use of a small (1 cm diameter) rotating disc of abrasive material powered by a hand-held, electric drill.
Although much of Porton Down's work involves the development and use of models, for these particular studies there are no valid alternatives to the use of anaesthetised pigs if the normal healing process is to be measured accurately.
All animal research at Porton Down is conducted under licence authorised from the Home Office. In addition to the statutory controls, an independent body, the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (AWAC), reviews the arrangements for animal care and welfare at CBD, monitors the research programmes to ensure the highest possible standards and advises on best practice.
Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the Framework Agreement Concerning Measures to Facilitate the Restructuring and Operation of the European Defence Industry, signed at Farnborough in July, will be published and laid before Parliament. 
Mr. Hoon: The Framework Agreement Concerning Measures to Facilitate the Restructuring and Operation of the European Defence Industry, signed at Farnborough on 27 July 2000, was published and laid before Parliament on 1 November.
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Mr. Spellar: The Defence Aviation Repair Agency (DARA) is charged with providing a cost effective and flexible deep maintenance service for the armed forces' aircraft. The Agency's level of employment will be maintained at a level justified by its work load and revenue stream. DARA is developing a comprehensive investment plan as part of its programme for launch as a Trading Fund and has taut Customer Service Agreements as well as an umbrella Terms of Business Agreement with its Ministry of Defence customers.
Mr. Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) whether Sir John Day was aware of the incident at Wilmington, USA in 1989 concerning a Chinook HC1 at the time of the RAF Board of Inquiry into the Mull of Kintyre accident; 
Mr. Spellar [holding answer 9 November 2000]: As I said in my previous answer, Sir John Day was aware there had been an incident and that legal action was being taken, but was not aware of the detail.
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