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Janet Anderson [holding answer 27 April 2001]: Any national or local analogue independent radio service which has secured a place on a relevant digital multiplex may apply for its analogue licence to be renewed. The same system does not apply to television.
Janet Anderson [holding answer 27 April 2001]: The Radio Authority is required automatically to re-advertise, in an open competition, all analogue local licences in areas where the number of persons, aged 15 years or over, resident in the coverage area of that service exceeds 4.5 million. The only analogue services exempted from this requirement are those who broadcast, or are committed to broadcast, on a digital multiplex in the relevant area. As Premier Christian Radio is prohibited by current legislation from holding a digital licence, its analogue licence cannot be automatically renewed. The Government are committed to bring forward communications legislation which would remove this prohibition.
Mr. Curry: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) if he will publish a daily total of the numbers of animals, by species, awaiting slaughter under the Livestock Welfare (Disposal) Scheme; 
Mr. Fabricant: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many animals were removed from farms under the welfare disposal scheme from the beginning of the foot and mouth outbreak to 31 March. 
Mr. Livsey: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many animals were slaughtered in the animal welfare slaughter scheme as a consequence of the current foot and mouth outbreak in the period to 20 April; and how many animals remain to be slaughtered. 
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Ms Quin [holding answers 9 and 26 April 2001]: As at close on 25 April 2001 the cumulative totals of animals by species which have been registered under the Livestock Welfare (Disposal) Scheme, slaughtered or withdrawn are as given in the table:
|Species||Animals registered||Registered animals withdrawn||Animals slaughtered||Total backlog|
Mr. Paice: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if vaccinations for foot and mouth of (a) exotic animals and (b) rare breeds of domestic animals which are not intended for export would compromise disease-free status. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 2 April 2001]: The European Commission have agreed that each member state may resort to emergency vaccination of susceptible species in zoos with endangered species listed on the red list laid down by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
The vaccination of any susceptible animal, even where limited to special categories of animals not primarily concerned with trade, would usually affect an EU member state's foot and mouth status. This leaves unresolved the question of the UK regaining foot and mouth disease free status if the Government decide to proceed with the vaccination of particular categories of animals. It is unlikely however such special cases would present a serious problem to the resumption of trade.
Ms Quin [holding answer 2 April 2001]: Hunt kennel men are already being used within slaughter teams, particularly in Cumbria. The Countryside Alliance is providing details of kennel men to the Ministry. This information is then disseminated to the slaughter teams.
Mr. Morley [holding answer 2 April 2001]: The International Foot and Mouth Vaccine Bank at Pirbright holds stocks of an emergency vaccine which would protect against the O-type virus which is causing the present outbreak in the UK. 500,000 doses are ready to use in case they are needed. The acquisition of stocks of additional vaccine strains is considered annually, based on the perceived threat to International Vaccine Bank member countries.
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Ms Quin [holding answer 2 April 2001]: Serological examination for antibodies to foot and mouth disease can identify when sheep have been exposed to infection. Serosurveillance is currently being used for diagnostic and epidemiological purposes, and as part of the process of relaxing infected area status. Over the longer term serology will underpin the strategy to resume disease free status.
Mr. Collins: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what advice he is issuing in relation to the foot and mouth epidemic to farmers disinfecting their vehicles when entering and leaving farm land. 
Ms Quin [holding answer 10 April 2001]: All farmers are advised to spray the wheels of all vehicles entering or leaving their premises with an approved disinfectant, and it is recommended that only essential visits or deliveries to farms are made.
The MAFF website www.maff.gov.uk contains a list of approved disinfectants for use against foot and mouth disease, a list of suppliers of these disinfectants and guidance for proper use of disinfectants.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what impact the drainage system at Throckmorton airfield (a) has had and (b) will have on (i) excavating trenches for carcase disposal, (ii) discharges into local watercourses and (iii) the amenity lakes on the south side of the airfield. 
Ms Quin [holding answer 10 April 2001]: A Soil and Water Engineer is on site working closely with consulting engineers to ensure that any impacts are minimal. A senior hydrologist from the Environment Agency was also consulted prior to burial. A number of conditions were imposed upon the operation, which have been met.
Mr. Fabricant: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when the pigs at the farm of Keith Mallaber, Grove Farm, Whittington Hurst, Staffordshire, will be removed under the Welfare Disposal Scheme. 
Mr. Luff: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when a decision will be reached on the application by Mr. Tim Dunkley of Greenfield Farm, Upton Warren, Bromsgrove, for disposal of his stock under the Welfare Disposal Scheme; and if he will make a statement on the reasons for the delay in making this decision. 
Ms Quin [holding answers 5 and 9 April 2001]: It is not possible to comment on the position of individual applications made under the Livestock Welfare Disposal Scheme. Major efforts are under way to provide appropriate help to applicants under the scheme. Details of work on welfare issues have been sent to all hon. Members by my noble Friend Baroness Hayman.
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Ms Quin [holding answer 2 April 2001]: We are aware that the outbreak of foot and mouth disease is having serious consequences for many businesses. The Task Force, chaired by my right hon. Friend the Minister for the Environment announced measures on 20 March to assist businesses affected by the outbreak, such as agricultural suppliers, and alleviate the effects of foot and mouth disease. The Task Force is continuing to consider the economic impact of the disease and the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions is collecting information relating to this from all parts of the country.
Mr. Fabricant: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will discuss with Department for Education and Employment the issuing of temporary work permits to Australian veterinary surgeons on holiday in the United Kingdom. 
Ms Quin [holding answer 2 April 2001]: Responsibility for the issue of work permits lies with Works Permits (UK), part of the Department for Education and Employment and with the Home Office. The Ministry has been in discussion with both these Departments regarding the issue of work permits to vets from abroad who want to work with the Ministry during the current outbreak.
The Home Office has no objections to those qualified vets who are currently in the UK under the Working Holidaymaker Scheme taking up full employment on behalf of MAFF for the duration of the crisis without the need to obtain an additional work permit.
A qualified vet currently in the UK as a visitor may make an application for leave to remain for the purposes of providing veterinary services to MAFF during the crisis. In those circumstances, consideration will be given to the granting of a period of six months leave to remain for the purpose of permit free employment with MAFF.
Mr. Webb: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make it his policy to offer financial support for day-to-day living costs to farmers who have confirmed outbreaks of foot and mouth disease and who wish to save the compensation received for slaughtered stock for purposes of restocking when their farms are declared clear. 
Ms Quin [holding answer 5 April 2001]: Compensation is paid for the full market value of all animals slaughtered as a result of foot and mouth disease. However, in addition to this MAFF is paying £156 million in optional agrimonetary compensation to livestock farmers. We have also ensured that, where animals slaughtered are the subject of a current subsidy claim, subsidy entitlement will be preserved as a result of the application of EU rules on force majeure. Overall, we have committed over half a billion pounds to farmers so far in the course of this outbreak.
The Government's priority at present remains the eradication of the disease. However, the possibility of taking further action in order to assist the recovery of the agriculture industry is being given consideration.
Mr. Key: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made of the Bruhn Newtech EOD Frontline hazard prediction system with regard to the airborne dissemination of foot and mouth virus. 
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Ms Quin [holding answer 5 April 2001]: The Ministry is aware of the system referred to and expert advice is that it would not deliver any additional capability over the models currently being used to predict airborne spread of foot and mouth disease.
Ms Quin [holding answer 5 April 2001]: There are no RSPCA inspectors currently dedicated to full-time foot and mouth slaughter duties. However, RSPCA inspectors (328 inspectors as of 19 April) are working with the Intervention Board, local MAFF Divisional Offices and the Meat and Livestock Commission, to slaughter stock in extreme cases, where there are animal welfare difficulties.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what representations he has received on the protection of rare breeds during the foot and mouth crisis; and if he will introduce (a) blood tests to spare those in a firebreak situation and (b) the use of vaccination to protect irreplaceable breeds; 
Mr. Duncan: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what his policy is on (a) reducing to a smaller area and (b) lifting altogether the designated foot and mouth infected area around Stonesby, Leicestershire. 
Ms Quin [holding answer 26 March 2001]: The holding in question is split into two premises. Post-slaughter clean up began, with preliminary cleansing and disinfection of both premises, immediately after slaughter. The final cleansing and disinfection of Grange Farm, the home premises, was completed on 11 April and was completed on the second premises on March 27. Restocking can begin 21 days after the final cleansing and disinfection has been completed. Restrictions will be lifted only when it has been shown that none of the animals has developed any clinical signs of foot and mouth.
Mr. Gray: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if fat cattle farmers in restricted areas may be licensed to take 30-month-old cattle to a licensed abattoir in the same restricted area. 
Ms Quin [holding answer 23 March 2001]: The over- 30-month scheme is temporarily suspended. However all livestock, including cattle over thirty months of age, where they face serious insurmountable welfare problems
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due to the foot and mouth disease control measures, may be entered by their owner into the Livestock Welfare (Disposal) Scheme.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what guidance he issued to farmers, and when, on the requirements for applications for licences to move livestock with effect from 23 April; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Quin [holding answer 26 April 2001]: Due to foot and mouth disease movements of livestock are not allowed unless under licence to slaughter or for welfare reasons. From 23 April it has been possible to move animals that are in an infected area but outside a surveillance zone to slaughter. Guidance on applying for a licence was made available prior to this date on the MAFF website and from local authorities who are responsible for issuing the licence.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what evidence he has collated recently of vaccinated meat entering the UK from (a) France, (b) Holland, (c) other EU countries, (d) Argentina and (e) South Africa. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 26 April 2001]: None. Within the EU, the Netherlands is the only country vaccinating against foot and mouth disease. Vaccinated animals are being slaughtered and meat from them is not being placed on the market. The importation into the UK of fresh meat derived from foot and mouth susceptible animals originating in South Africa and Argentina is currently prohibited. Prior to the prohibitions meat from vaccinated animals could not be imported from South Africa. Meat from vaccinated animals could be imported from Argentina but it had to be deboned and fully matured so as to remove any risk of live foot and mouth virus being present.
Mr. Morley [holding answer 26 April 2001]: It is difficult to predict the effects of a vaccination programme on pigmeat exports. Given the scale of the outbreak we have suffered, we can expect that other countries will want to be satisfied that the disease has been fully stamped out. This will be the position whether we vaccinate or not.
Mr. Yeo: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when (a) he and (b) his officials were first alerted to (i) the possible presence and (ii) the confirmed presence of foot and mouth disease in Britain. 
Mr. Nick Brown: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the document available in the Libraries of the House entitled "Discovery and Confirmation of Foot and Mouth Disease in Great Britain: 19-24 February 2001".
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the vaccine manufacturers, stockists and distributors (a) currently supplying (i) advice, (ii) services and (iii) materials and (b) working (A) for and (B) on behalf of (x) his Department and (y) agents of Government in relation to
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the foot and mouth epidemic who were contacted (I) by his Department and (II) on his Department's behalf before 19 February. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 30 March 2001]: We are not aware of any contacts with any manufacturers, stockists and distributors prior to 19 February. However, the UK is a member of the Foot and Mouth Disease International Vaccine Bank (IVB). The UK together with other stakeholders of the IVB and the Commission of the European Communities hold annual meetings to discuss Foot and Mouth Disease vaccine availability.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what his policy is on the use of vaccination (a) as an alternative to and (b) as a supplement to the policy of mass slaughter as a method of combating the foot and mouth epidemic. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 30 March 2001]: Vaccination has always been and remains an option which we keep under constant review in the light of veterinary and epidemiological advice. We have given serious consideration to vaccinating cattle in North Cumbria and, possibly, Devon as a supplement to our existing strategy. However, without the support of a substantial majority of the farming community, veterinarians, the wider food industry and consumers, such a programme would be very difficult to implement on the ground.
Mr. Fabricant: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make it his policy to immunise those dairy cows which are destined for the over-30-month slaughter scheme against foot and mouth disease; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 3 April 2001]: The Government are currently considering using vaccination as part of the strategy for controlling foot and mouth disease. Scientific and veterinary advice is that a limited programme of vaccinating cattle in North Cumbria and, possibly, North Devon, is justified as a means of protecting animals.
Mr. Brady: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to his oral statement of 9 April 2001, Official Report, columns 705-07, what plans he has to vaccinate deer in deer parks which are neither wild animals nor kept for food production in order to protect them from foot and mouth. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 23 April 2001]: At present we have no plans to vaccinate deer. The risk of wild deer spreading foot and mouth disease is low and the risk to park deer of catching foot and mouth disease from the public is also low.
Mr. Duncan: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what is the (a) minimum and (b) maximum period of time that he has decided should elapse before lifting a designated foot and mouth infected area; 
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Ms Quin [holding answers 9 April 2001]: The procedure for lifting infected area restrictions involves a process of checking that there are no infected animals in the area surrounding the infected premises. Periodic veterinary inspections are made of all susceptible animals on holdings within 3 kilometres of an infected premises. These inspections continue for at least 21 days following the slaughter of animals from, and satisfactory preliminary disinfections of, the infected premises. This is then followed by blood tests of a statistical sample of all sheep and goats, within the 3 km zone.
The infected area can be revoked 30 days after slaughter of animals and disinfection, provided all the samples are negative and there are no signs of clinical disease, or further confirmed or outstanding cases within the area. This period may be longer if surveillance suggests that disease may be present in the area. The effectiveness of this procedure will be kept under review.
Sir David Madel: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make arrangements for the release of foot and mouth vaccine to zoos that include endangered species that are susceptible to foot and mouth disease; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Quin [holding answer 9 April 2001]: The Standing Veterinary Committee of the European Commission recently authorised member states to vaccinate endangered species but only in very restricted circumstances. Any decision to vaccinate could be made only after the zoo had put in place a wide range of biosecurity measures including, if necessary, closure of the whole or part of the zoo.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what information (a) has been and (b) will be provided to parish councils in the vicinity of Throckmorton airfield about his Department's plans for carcase disposal; and if he will make this information available to all interested parties. 
Mr. Luff: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) how many lorry loads of fuel he estimates will have to be transported to Throckmorton airfield on a daily basis, and over what period, to permit the burning of animal carcases; 
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(3) what assessment he has made of (a) wind strength and direction and (b) the presence of birds and rats attracted to Hill and Moor landfill site on the suitability of Throckmorton airfield site for the burning and burial of carcases; 
(4) if the combustion materials being stored at Throckmorton airfield will be used to burn animals on that site; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Quin [holding answers 5, 10 and 23 April 2001]: There are currently no plans to burn animal carcases at Throckmorton airfield. The site provides a convenient and central storage facility for pyre materials.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on the implications for livestock farms in the immediate vicinity of Throckmorton of the use of the airfield as a disposal site for culled animals. 
Mr. Luff: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what types of lorry will be used to transport animal carcases to Throckmorton for burial; and what safeguards will be employed to prevent the spread of the virus from these lorries. 
Ms Quin [holding answer 5 April 2001]: Carcases are transported in clean, disinfected, leak-proof and covered transport. The load is disinfected and enclosed in plastic sheeting. Sawdust is used as an absorbent material. The tailgate of the lorry is sealed and the lorry covered with a suitable tarpaulin.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he made of the geological conditions of Throckmorton airfield before deciding to dispose of culled animals there; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Quin [holding answer 5 April 2001]: Prior to agreeing with MAFF the location of the disposal site at Throckmorton, the Environment Agency undertook a risk assessment of the geological, hydrogeological and hydrological conditions at the airfield. This included an assessment of risk to local groundwater and surface water potable supplies.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) at what time on Thursday 29 March his Department notified (a) the Ministry of Defence, (b) Wychavon district council and (c) Worcestershire county council of his decision to use Throckmorton airfield as a disposal site for culled animals; 
Ms Quin [holding answer 5 April 2001]: The decision to use Throckmorton Airfield as a disposal site for culled animals was not made until after 18:00 on Thursday 29 March. Discussions on the suitability of the site had taken place over the course of the previous days with
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Worcestershire county council, Wychavon district council and the Environment Agency. The Ministry of Defence was fully involved as the site is in its ownership.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make it his policy that only animals from contiguous culls carried out to prevent the spread of foot and mouth disease will be buried at Throckmorton airfield. 
Ms Quin [holding answer 5 April 2001]: The intention is that Throckmorton airfield will be used only to bury animals slaughtered from dangerous contacts, neighbouring farms and the Livestock Welfare Disposal Scheme.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what legal and planning processes must be completed to enable the burial of animal carcases (a) on the Ministry of Defence land and (b) at Throckmorton airfield. 
Ms Quin [holding answer 5 April 2001]: The regulations, which govern the burial of animal carcases, are the Animal By-Products Order 1999 and the Groundwater Regulations 1998. The requirements of these regulations must be satisfied before burial is carried out.
Development carried out by or on behalf of the Crown, on Crown land, is not subject to statutory planning control. A non-statutory procedure for the consideration of such development proposals is set out in DOE Circular 18/84. These procedures are currently the subject of challenge in the courts. Whether planning permission is required in any particular case is a matter for the local planning authority concerned in the first instance.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if his assessment of the suitability of the Throckmorton site for the disposal of culled animals included an assessment of odour. 
Ms Quin [holding answer 5 April 2001]: The Environment Agency did not assess the potential impact of odour within its risk assessment process, prior to authorising the site, as there is no requirement under the Groundwater Regulations to do so. However, an odour control system is installed on the site, and this is currently being updated.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the sites that were under consideration as possible locations for a mass burial site for animals slaughtered to control foot and mouth disease at the time of the Prime Minister's recent visit to Worcestershire. 
Ms Quin [holding answer 5 April 2001]: No specific sites were under consideration during the Prime Minister's visit to Worcester. The need to identify suitable sites was highlighted as a priority during the discussions.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if live animals will be taken to the site at Throckmorton, Worcestershire selected as a mass burial site for animals slaughtered to control foot and mouth disease for slaughter on site prior to burial. 
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Mr. Luff: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will estimate the total number of carcases to be buried at Throckmorton airfield; and for how long the burial operation will last. 
Ms Quin [holding answer 5 April 2001]: We will be guided by the Environment Agency and our consulting engineers regarding the site capacity. The duration of operations will be determined by site capacity and how the disease develops.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) if carcases from (a) Wales and (b) English counties other than Worcestershire or Herefordshire, (i) have been sent and (ii) will be sent to the Throckmorton airfield disposal site; 
Ms Quin [holding answers 5 and 10 April 2001]: The Throckmorton burial site will predominantly be accepting carcases from Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire. In exceptional circumstances, carcases may well be accepted from outside the area under the Livestock Welfare Disposal Scheme.
Chemicals used during the burial of animal carcases are disinfectants as listed in the Disease of Animals (Approved Disinfectants) (Amendment) Order 1999 and the Disease of Animals (Approved Disinfectants) (Amendment) (England) Order 2000. The main disinfectant used is citric acid BP.
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