Previous Section Index Home Page

Royal Art Collection

Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will make it an objective of his Department to provide for the entire Royal Art Collection to be placed on public display. [137547]

Mr. Alan Howarth: No. The Royal Collection is not the responsibility of the Government. Responsibility for the care and display of the Royal Collection rests with the Royal Collection Trust. Any question concerning the Royal Collection should be addressed to the Trust.



Mr. Flynn: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many headage payments were paid for sheep in England in (a) 1995, (b) 1996, (c) 1997, (d) 1998 and (e) 1999; how many sheep were subsequently marketed in each of these years; and what factors underlay the totals in each category. [136440]

Ms Quin [holding answer 6 November 2000]: Information on sheep headage payments in England for the years requested was given in the answer to my hon. Friend on 28 July 2000, Official Report, columns 1115-16W.

14 Nov 2000 : Column: 623W

To be eligible for payment the sheep concerned must be ewes kept for breeding which meet the rules of the two schemes. For the sheep annual premium scheme--SAPS--these include that appropriate quota is held by the producer, and for the hill livestock compensatory allowance--HLCA--that the sheep were kept in the less-favoured areas.

We have no information on whether the sheep are subsequently marketed in the same year. However around a quarter of the breeding flock is culled most years, as are the majority of those ewes which turn out to be barren.

Agrimonetary Compensation

Mr. Reed: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what representations he has made to the EU on the level of agrimonetary compensation in relation to the performance of the Euro; and if he will make a statement. [137057]

Ms Quin: Agrimonetary arrangements currently in place offset the effects of fluctuations between the euro and sterling. As a result, between 1999 and 2001, UK farmers are likely to benefit by around £496 million, in addition to the £133 million paid under the previous arrangements.

The most recent representation made to the EU Commission on this subject referred to the proposed payment of £34 million in agrimonetary compensation to arable farmers to offset the effects of currency fluctuations during 1999-2000: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Minister of

14 Nov 2000 : Column: 624W

Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to my hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield, Hillsborough (Helen Jackson) on 2 November 2000, Official Report, column 620W.

GM Trials

Joan Ruddock: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food for what reason the trials of the forage maize, Chardon LL, genetically modified to be resistant to the herbicide glufosinate ammonium, did not involve the use of that herbicide. [136489]

Ms Quin [holding answer 6 November 2000]: Glufosinate ammonium was used to establish distinctness of Chardon LL by the French Authorities who conducted the DUS (Distinctness, Uniformity and Stability) tests on behalf of the UK. However, I refer my hon. Friend to the answers given on 1 November 2000, Official Report, column 472W and 9 November 2000, Official Report, column 389W relating to those tests. Herbicide tolerance was not claimed by the National List applicant to be a special characteristic of Chardon LL for the purpose of trials for value for cultivation and use (VCU).

Sugar Beet (Self-sufficiency)

Mr. Gill: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the sugar beet production in each of the EU member states showing the current level of self-sufficiency. [137550]

Ms Quin: The table provides details of sugar production, sugar consumption and the level of self-sufficiency in each member state for the July 1999 to June 2000 marketing year.

14 Nov 2000 : Column: 623W

Thousand tonnes Percentage
Member stateTotal beet sugar productionTotal beet and cane sugar production(7)Sugar consumptionSelf sufficiency (beet)Self sufficiency (beet and cane)

(7) Total sugar includes sugar produced from cane grown in the EU under quota, or refined from cane maximum supply needs, in Finland, France, Portugal and the UK

14 Nov 2000 : Column: 623W

Carlisle Office

Mr. Martlew: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when the number of staff at his Department's Carlisle regional office will be increased; and if he will make a statement. [137711]

Ms Quin: The number of staff based at the Carlisle Regional Service Centre varies according to business needs. The number of staff in post at the office on

14 Nov 2000 : Column: 624W

1 November this year was 259, compared to 236 staff in post on 1 January 2000. The numbers are expected to continue to increase during the course of 2001.

Swine Fever

Mrs. Shephard: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will discuss with the devolved administrations legislation to provide for a levy from pig farmers as part of a package of compensation for swine fever. [138097]

14 Nov 2000 : Column: 625W

Ms Quin [holding answer 13 November 2000]: Frequent discussions take place with the devolved Administrations at both ministerial and official level on all manner of topics, including classical swine fever. The industry is committed to consulting interested parties, including organisations based in Scotland and Wales on a levy based Development Scheme that will be used to top-up Government payments under the Pig Welfare (Disposal) Scheme.


Dr. Tonge: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what evidence he has assessed which supports the proposition that antibiotics fed to animals cause resistance to that antibiotic in humans. [137743]

Ms Quin [holding answer 13 November 2000]: An in-depth review of antibiotic resistance in relation to food safety was undertaken by the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF) and it was published in September 1999. The Government's response to the ACMSF's recommendations was published on 24 March 2000. Copies of the Report and the Government's response are available in the Library of the House.

The ACMSF report included recommendations for further research to characterise the origins of resistance in foodborne pathogens and commensal micro-organisms so as to improve the identification of the sources and routes of transfer of resistant organisms from the farm through food to humans. The ACMSF also recommended research into the use of microbiological risk assessment to quantify the magnitude of the key pathways by which microbial antibiotic resistance can transfer from food animals to humans via the food chain and the environment.

The Government are committed to a co-ordinated research programme to investigate problems associated with resistance to antimicrobials in the context of public health. Such a programme is being co-ordinated by an Interdepartmental Steering Group on Resistance to Antibiotics and other Antimicrobial Agents. The Steering Group carries out this work as part of the implementation of the Government Strategy to combat antimicrobial resistance which was published in June. Copies are available in the Library of the House.


Mr. Campbell-Savours: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made of the impact of the economic link measures introduced for the fisheries sector on 1 January 1999; and if he will make a statement. [138655]

Mr. Morley: From 1 January 1999 all British registered fishing vessels over 10 metres catching more than two tonnes of quota stocks have had to demonstrate an economic link with fisheries dependent communities in the United Kingdom. This link can be demonstrated in a number of ways, for example, by vessels landing at least 50 per cent. by weight of their quota catch into the UK or by employing a crew of whom at least 50 per cent. are normally resident in a UK coastal area.

In the first year of operation over 1,750 vessels caught more than two tonnes of quota stocks and in almost every case achieved a satisfactory economic link, primarily

14 Nov 2000 : Column: 626W

through landings into the UK. Where a small number have failed to make the full list in 1999 they will be expected to make this up in 2000 and future years. The new arrangements have resulted in a significant increase both in the volume of landings made by foreign owned UK flagged vessels and in local expenditure on goods and services in the UK. They have also led to over 300 tonnes of additional quota being made available to fishermen in the under 10 metre fleet and non sector.

A full report by the Fisheries Departments in the United Kingdom on the operation of the economic link measures and their impact in 1999 has been placed in the Library of the House.

Next Section Index Home Page