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Dr. Howells [holding answer 23 April 2001]: The Government are seriously committed to ensuring the protection of animal welfare and to improving animal welfare standards. Currently the UK has a voluntary ban on animal testing for cosmetic products. The proposed 7th Amendment to the Cosmetics Directive introduces a mandatory testing ban on cosmetic products and their ingredients throughout the European Union. If adopted, it will help advance the protection of animal welfare in every member state of the European Union.
24 Apr 2001 : Column: 226W
Mr. Ennis: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many widows are awaiting their claims to be resolved for their late husbands' mining compensation scheme for (a) Barnsley and (b) Doncaster. 
Mr. Hain: To date, in the Barnsley area, as defined by the postcodes S70, S72 and S73, there are 644 claims associated with miners' widows. A bereavement award is made in cases where the death certificate cites one of the following eight qualifying descriptors: emphysema; chronic obstructive airways disease; chronic obstructive lung disease; chronic airways disease; chronic airflow limitation; chronic airflow obstruction; chronic bronchitis; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. These qualifying conditions were agreed between the Department and the solicitors representing the claimants. In Barnsley, 188 widows have received bereavement awards, totalling £1.6 million.
Mr. Ennis: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the medical assessment rate per month is for claims that are waiting to be completed for the miners' compensation scheme for (a) Barnsley and (b) Doncaster. 
Mr. Hain: Claimants are usually invited to attend an appointment to undergo the Medical Assessment Procedure, MAP, at a centre within a 25-mile radius of their residence. In the Barnsley area, as defined by the postcodes S70, S72, S73 and S75, there is a test centre serving residents and the surrounding 25-mile region. Claimants residing in Doncaster are served by centres in Huddersfield, Leeds, Mexborough, Pontefract and Sheffield. Each centre, when fully resourced with a respiratory specialist, lung function technician and administration staff, is capable of carrying out a minimum of 20 appointments per week, 40 in the case of Barnsley. The table shows the number of MAPs undertaken and appointments booked to date at each centre:
|Test centre||MAPs undertaken||Appointments booked|
The number of MAPs undertaken per week depends largely on the availability of respiratory specialists. Over the next three months, two new respiratory specialists working a minimum of 10 sessions per week each are scheduled to start work in Yorkshire and north-east England. Three more specialists working between six and 10 sessions per week each are also scheduled to start over this period.
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Mr. Denis Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much compensation has been paid to miners, ex-miners and miners' families in respect of chronic bronchitis and emphysema in the Wansbeck constituency. 
Mr. Hain: To date, IRISC, the Department's claims handlers, have registered 2,315 claimants in the Wansbeck constituency, as defined by the postcodes NE22 and NE61-64. There have been 524 individual payments, including interims and full and final settlements, totalling £2.1 million.
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what proportion of United Kingdom electricity generation is expected to be represented by the offshore windfarm sites announced on 6 April. 
Mrs. Gilroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions he has had with other Government departments on the use of children of compulsory school age in undertaking test purchasing on behalf of local authority trading standards departments during school hours; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: I have had no discussions with other Government Departments on this matter. However, as Minister for Competition and Consumer Affairs I have always made it clear that the primary responsibility for avoiding illegal sales to children rests with retailers. They need to be aware of their legal obligations, and can help themselves to stay within the law by displaying notices detailing age restrictions; by asking a person's age if they have even the slightest doubt; and by being more ready to insist on seeing some form of proof of age.
Mr. Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps the Government are taking to reduce the contribution of nuclear power to generating electricity as a proportion of the United Kingdom's energy supply. 
Mr. Hain [holding answer 23 April 2001]: The Government have no plans to reduce the contribution of nuclear power to the nation's electricity supply needs. Generators can continue to operate nuclear plant as long as it remains safe and economical to do so.
Mr. Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the notifications he has received from BNFL of contracts secured for the importation of irradiated MOX fuel for each of the last 10 years, in each case indicating (a) the originating company and country and (b) the quantity of material. 
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Since 1990, BNFL has concluded reprocessing contracts with customers in Europe which include provision for a proportion of the fuel to be reprocessed to be MOX. The details and quantities of individual contracts are commercial matters for BNFL and its customers.
Mr. Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the applications he has received from BNFL in each of the last 10 years for the reprocessing of irradiated MOX fuel, in each case indicating (a) the originating company and country and (b) the quantity of material and the decision he has made on the application. 
Mr. Opik: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many suicides there have been of individuals identified with the agricultural industry in each month since January 2000; and if he will make a statement. 
24 Apr 2001 : Column: 229W
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