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Food and Drink Exports (France)

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what the financial value of French exports of food and drink was to the United Kingdom in each month in (a) 1999 and (b) 2000. [150246]

Mr. Nick Brown [holding answer 13 February 2001]: Official Overseas Trade Statistics show that exports of food and drink (excluding live animals) to France during 1999 and 2000 were as follows:

Year/Month£ million
1999
January81
February91
March104
April99
May95
June94
July90
August91
September108
October100
November103
December104
2000
January76
February73
March89
April78
May73
June83
July81
August82
September84
October89
November94

Source:

HM Customs and Excise


Departmental Travel Costs

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what was the total gross running cost to his Department for travel, including fares, subsistence, accommodation and other expenses met by public funds for visits exclusively within the United Kingdom by (a) him and (b) Ministers in the last 12 months. [149145]

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Mr. Nick Brown: During the 2000-01 financial year £146,126 was spent by Ministers and officials in their private offices on travel, including fares, subsistence, accommodation and other expenses. Of this, £52,655 was spent by my office.

Entertainment Costs

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what the total gross cost to his Department was in the last 12 months of alcoholic drinks. [149146]

Mr. Nick Brown: The Department's financial records do not include a separate heading for alcoholic drinks. The information requested could, therefore, be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Foot and Mouth

Mr. Wigley: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) when his Department first received an indication of a possible potential outbreak of foot and mouth disease prior to the first confirmed outbreak; what steps his Department has taken to contain such an outbreak; and how many of these measures had been put in place before the first outbreak had been officially confirmed; [154826]

Ms Quin: I refer the right hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Suffolk, South (Mr. Yeo) by my right hon. Friend the Minister on 30 April 2001, Official Report, column 493W.

From the outset, the Government put stringent disease control measures rapidly in place, based on the advice of the Chief Veterinary Officer. Movement restrictions were imposed within an 8 km zone as soon as the first case was reported on 19 February. All animal movements in a 10 km infected area were halted as soon as the first case was confirmed on 20 February. On 23 February, on the same day as the first case outside Essex was confirmed at Heddon-on-the-Wall, a nationwide prohibition on animal movements was imposed. The UK Government and the European Commission also acted swiftly to prohibit temporarily the export of live animals, meat, fresh milk and other animal products from the UK from 20 February onwards.

Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what financial support has been given to farmers in Shrewsbury and Atcham affected by foot and mouth disease; and if he will make a statement. [156561]

Ms Quin: All farmers are paid full market value as compensation for any animals slaughtered as a result of the foot and mouth outbreak. Compensation is not payable for consequential losses connected with foot and mouth controls. There are no plans at present to make such payments in response to the current outbreak, although this is being kept under review.

We are unable to provide my hon. Friend with specific details of how many farmers in Shrewsbury and Atcham have received compensation so far, as data are not readily available in this form. However, Shrewsbury and Atcham is within the Ministry's Worcester Division

11 May 2001 : Column: 462W

(Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire) and, as of 4 May, Worcester Animal Health Office had received 325 claims for compensation. These claims will total £23,737,218.70.

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what recent assessment he has made of the findings on the report of the 1967 foot and mouth outbreak with regard to the time taken between cases being suspected and being confirmed. [155561]

Ms Quin [holding answer 26 March 2001]: The 1967 report investigated the time taken between suspected disease being reported, confirmation and slaughter, and found that in approximately 98 per cent. of cases slaughter was completed by the day following diagnosis. The report commented that veterinary inspectors had to consult MAFF Headquarters by telephone in order for disease to be confirmed, and suggested that diagnosis could instead by made by the veterinary inspector. However, the report also recognised that this procedure ensured that HQ was promptly informed of outbreaks and that it did not delay slaughter.

The Government accepted the recommendations made by the 1967 report at that time and incorporated them into legislation and standing instructions as appropriate.

In the current outbreak, as soon as notification of a suspected case is received by the Divisional Veterinary Manager Form A restrictions are placed on the premises which prohibit any animal, person or thing entering or leaving the premises without permission. A veterinary inspector is required to visit the premises and inspect any susceptible animals within two hours. If the vet believes that disease is present, HQ is contacted, disease is confirmed and all susceptible animals are slaughtered. If the vet is in any doubt as to whether disease is present, all susceptible animals are 'slaughtered on suspicion' and samples are taken for testing at the Institute of Animal Health. If the vet is satisfied that there are no clinical signs of foot and mouth disease or any reason to suspect that disease may be present, slaughter does not take place.

In the majority of suspected cases clinical diagnosis, rather than laboratory diagnosis, is made in order to speed up the process of confirming the disease.

Mr. Flynn: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to his answer of 22 March 2001, Official Report, column 358W, on foot and mouth, what cost-benefit analysis has been undertaken on the foot and mouth cull. [156097]

Ms Quin [holding answer 29 March 2001]: An EU risk assessment analysing the costs and benefits of both a vaccination and slaughter policy was published in 1993. This concluded that a slaughter policy would cost less than a vaccination policy. It was therefore decided that EU policy should be to slaughter and dispose of affected animals, or those animals exposed to infection, and that this was the most effective way of controlling the disease.

The results of this cost-benefit analysis confirmed the results of a cost-benefit evaluation of alternative control policies for foot and mouth disease which was published in 1973 following the 1967 outbreak.

Mr. Luff: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what arrangements he is making to allow farmers to move ewes that are due to lamb but are still on

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their winter pastures to areas nearer to the farm to which they belong to permit farmers to supervise the lambing; and if he will make a statement. [152807]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 8 March 2001]: These arrangements were introduced on 28 April.

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food for what reason (1) the Government made no declaration under Regulation 35 of the Products of Animal Origin (Imports and Exports) Regulations 1996 in response to the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in Kwa-Zulu-Natal; [153366]

Mr. Nick Brown: On 21 September last year we were advised by the European Commission that the South African Authorities had declared 16 magisterial districts as controlled areas in the Kwa-Zulu-Natal Province and as a consequence the South African authorities were not issuing health certificates required for imports of meat into the EU. The Government were content with this situation at that time. However, it became clear from later reports to the Standing Veterinary Committee that the disease situation in South Africa was deteriorating. In view of this, on 5 January the Government issued a Declaration under Regulation 35 of the Products of Animal Origin (Import and Export) Regulations 1996, prohibiting meat imports from all of South Africa. A Customer Information Note explaining the situation was sent out on 8 January, as was a letter to all UK Border Inspection Posts. Similar action to the above was taken by Scotland and Northern Ireland shortly after the dates specified. After 21 September our records show that there were no imports of meat from South Africa into the UK.

Mr. Webb: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make it his policy to ban the import of meat from countries outside the EU where there is foot and mouth disease; and if he will make a statement. [156217]

Ms Quin: EC rules only permit the importation of meat from a limited number of third countries where foot and mouth disease is present in circumstances where the veterinary authorities have contained the disease in specified regions. The meat must come from those regions of the relevant countries that are not considered to pose a risk to human or animal health. Fully matured boneless beef, which does not pose an FMD risk, may be imported from other regions subject to veterinary certification. Countries to which these controls currently apply are Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Uruguay.

Domestic legislation in England and Wales currently prohibits the import of meat from South Africa and Swaziland (since 5 January 2001), Argentina (since 14 March) and Uruguay (since 26 April) and Brazil (10 May). Scotland and Northern Ireland took similar action for each of these countries shortly after each of the dates specified. All meat imported from third countries is subject to veterinary checks at Border Inspection Posts to ensure that import requirements are met.

Mr. Luff: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) if he will make a statement on the (a) disposal methods being employed and (b) length of

11 May 2001 : Column: 464W

time taken to dispose of animal carcases slaughtered as part of the control of foot and mouth disease in Worcestershire; [155161]

Ms Quin: We will continue to use all safe disposal methods available to us. At present the main options are burial or burning on farm, incineration in authorised incinerators, rendering, disposal in specially identified landfill or mass burial sites, or burning in mass burning sites. Commercial landfill sites are used primarily for the disposal of animals slaughtered under the Livestock Disposal (Welfare) Scheme.

In Worcestershire, there are no suitable incinerators or rendering facilities, so these are not options. Although the Waresley site in Worcestershire has been approved by the Environment Agency for carcase disposal, there are no plans at the present time to use this site.

There is a mass burial site currently being used, at Throckmorton airfield. There are currently no plans to use additional sites in Worcestershire.

With the help of the armed forces, we have been able to reduce significantly the time taken to dispose of carcases in the majority of cases. The statistics collected for Hereford and Worcester show that for animals slaughtered in this area in the week commencing 22 April, the average time taken to dispose of carcases was 28 hours.

Mr. Paice: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if (a) semen and (b) embryos from (i) foot and mouth infected animals and (ii) foot and mouth vaccinated animals can be used subsequent to an outbreak within the criteria for disease-free status. [156651]

Ms Quin [holding answer 2 April 2001]: Semen and embryos from foot and mouth infected animals are not eligible for use. In the event of a vaccination policy being adopted, Community rules would set out any restrictions on the use of semen and embryos from vaccinated animals.

Sir John Stanley: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) which Ministers in his Department approved the contingency plan for dealing with an outbreak of foot and mouth disease; and on what dates; [156877]

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Ms Quin [holding answers 4 April and 23 May 2001]: Contingency planning against foot and mouth disease operates at two levels. The GB contingency plan provides a general overview of our planned response to an outbreak. It was approved by Commission Decision 93/455/EEC on 23 July 1993 as being in compliance with the requirements of European Commission Decision 91/42/EEC. The revised version of the contingency plan submitted to the European Commission in July 2000 did not require formal approval by the European Commission.

No bodies outside my Department were consulted during this revision of the contingency plans. The update was a purely factual one to expand the section on publicity and disease awareness so that it covered the same ground as the Classical Swine Fever contingency plan. The State Veterinary Service Standing Instructions for foot and mouth disease set out the detailed procedures to be followed during an outbreak. It was not necessary for Ministers to approve the revision to the contingency plans last year.

As the outbreak of foot and mouth has progressed, Ministers have been involved in daily discussions with officials, other Government Departments and interested parties on the development and implementation of our disease control strategies.

A copy of the foot and mouth contingency plans for Great Britain will be placed in the Libraries of the House. The Standing Instructions of the State Veterinary Service are already available in the MAFF library. A copy of this document, which has had certain commercially confidential sections removed on legal advice, is being placed in the Libraries of the House.

Dr. Cable: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what economic analysis his Department has conducted into (a) the costs and benefits to the UK economy and (b) the costs to public funds of (i) a cull to eradicate and (ii) a vaccination without eradication approach to foot and mouth disease; and if he will publish the analysis. [157070]

Ms Quin [holding answer 5 April 2001]: European Union rules on the control of foot and mouth disease were amended in 1990 when it was decided that eradication was preferable to vaccination. This decision was taken after consideration of a risk assessment to compare the costs and benefits of a vaccination and non-vaccination policy and on the assumption that disease outbreaks would be stamped out in both cases. This study concluded that the economic costs of a vaccination policy to the food chain would be substantially higher than the costs of a slaughter policy. This confirmed the conclusions of an earlier study carried out in the UK following the 1967 outbreak and published in the Journal of Agricultural Economics in 1973.

11 May 2001 : Column: 466W

Mr. Beith: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make provision for limited movement licensing of bulls in time for the end of the present spring calving period. [157252]

Ms Quin [holding answer 6 April 2001]: We have modified the FMD longer distance movement scheme to remove the welfare test which normally needs to be satisfied before animals can be moved. It is now possible for male FMD susceptible animals including bulls to move for breeding purposes. All other conditions of the scheme, apart from the welfare test, will continue to apply.

Mr. Gray: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many landfill sites in the North Wiltshire constituency he intends to use for the burial of carcases; how many such carcases there will be; and from where they will be transported. [157546]

Ms Quin: The following landfill sites in Wiltshire have been identified by the Environment Agency, subject to meeting specific criteria, as suitable for carcase disposal:


It is expected that approximately 100 tonnes of carcases will be disposed at each of these two sites per day. There are approximately 20-25 sheep or 10 pigs or two cattle to one tonne. As for where carcases are transported from, decisions are made on a daily basis according to the availability of resources and depending on the number and location of carcases.

This information is correct as of 8 May 2001.

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if local vets will be allowed to agree movement of livestock in the local vicinity with supervision to enable farmers to manage stock. [157394]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 6 April 2001]: These arrangements were introduced on 28 April.

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on the movement of cattle on farms in Chorley in order to ease overcrowding. [157164]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 6 April 2001]: Various schemes have been introduced since the start of the FMD outbreak to permit the movement of farm animals. Details are available from the MAFF website, and helplines.

Ms Oona King: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will issue guidance on the minimum ratio of vets to animals culled; and what plans he has to increase the ratio. [157540]

Ms Quin: There has been no guidance issued on the ratio of vets to animals culled.

The State Veterinary Service is instructed to provide veterinary supervision of slaughter teams. Depending on the number of animals to be slaughtered on each farm, a veterinary officer will audit the work of up to a maximum of 10 slaughter teams. There are no plans to change these instructions.

11 May 2001 : Column: 467W

Mr. Keetch: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what sites are being considered in Herefordshire for the burial of slaughtered livestock; and if he will make a statement; [157249]

Ms Quin [holding answers 6 May 2001]: There are no mass burial or landfill sites under consideration for the burial of slaughtered livestock in Herefordshire. The Environment Agency has undertaken risk assessments of the suitability of proposed locations for on-farm burials of carcases. No consultations have been carried out with Herefordshire council, local parish councils or the NFU over the disposal of carcases in Herefordshire.

Mr. Jon Owen Jones: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what estimate he has made of the number of illegal animal movements occurring each week and the numbers of foot and mouth outbreaks caused by such movements; [157557]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 9 April 2001]: Three farmers have been convicted to date by local authorities for illegal movements of foot and mouth susceptible animals. There have been many allegations of illegal movements of animals and the police and local authorities are engaged in the prevention and detection of illegal movements.

Epidemiological investigation so far has not found any case in which an illegal movement of animals has been positively identified as a cause of disease in a new place but a large number of illegal movements are under investigation and the risks of spreading foot and mouth this way are very high.

Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what his estimate is of the cost to date of providing compensation in connection with the foot and mouth outbreak. [157516]

Ms Quin [holding answer 9 April 2001]: The estimate of the cost up to 5 May of compensation for the compulsory slaughter of animals and destruction of infected items in connection with the foot and mouth outbreak is £629 million.

Mr. Fabricant: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps he takes to ensure that the information on his Department's list of infected premises by county website is (a) accurate and (b) updated to within the last 24 hours. [156925]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 9 April 2001]: The list of infected premises and the county list on the website is updated several times a day with details of new cases when official confirmation of disease is sent to the Divisional Veterinary Manager at the relevant MAFF Animal Health Divisional Office.

11 May 2001 : Column: 468W

Mr. Opik: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what estimate he has made of the number of contiguous farms which will be closed down as a result of the foot and mouth crisis; and if he will make a statement. [158056]

Ms Quin: No estimate has been made at this stage but the matter will be kept under review.

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the countries, and regions thereof, from which imports of meat are admitted into the United Kingdom; and which of these (a) currently and (b) in the last 12 months have had occurrences of foot and mouth disease. [158381]

Ms Quin [holding answer 23 April 2001]: EU rules permit the importation into the Community of fresh meat of the bovine, ovine, caprine and porcine species are currently permitted from the following countries:



Of those listed, the following countries have had outbreaks of foot and mouth disease in the last 12 months:













11 May 2001 : Column: 469W

Following outbreaks of foot and mouth disease, domestic legislation in England and Wales currently prohibits the import of meat from South Africa and Swaziland (since 5 January 2001), Argentina (since 14 March) and Uruguay (since 26 April). Scotland and Northern Ireland took similar action for each of these countries shortly after each of the dates specified.

Community legislation recognises that disease is present in some countries but also recognises where it has been contained in specific regions. The importation of meat is permitted from a limited number of countries where foot and mouth disease is present but only where the disease is so contained. Imports of fresh meat are only permitted from those regions of the relevant countries that are not considered to pose a risk to human or animal health. Fully matured boneless beef, which does not pose an FMD risk, may be imported from other regions subject to veterinary certification.

All meat imported from third countries is subject to veterinary checks at Border Inspection Posts to ensure that import requirements are met.

Following outbreaks of foot and mouth disease, domestic legislation in England and Wales currently prohibits the import of meat from South Africa and Swaziland (since 5 January 2001), Argentina (since 14 March), Uruguay (since 26 April) and Brazil (since 10 May). Scotland and Northern Ireland took similar action for each of these countries shortly after each of the dates specified.

Mr. Fabricant: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list on his Department's website the addresses of premises where foot and mouth disease preventive culls are carried out. [158202]

Ms Quin [holding answer 23 April 2001]: The website presently lists the details of all premises that have been confirmed as having foot and mouth disease present. There are no plans to list those premises where preventive culls are being carried out. However, should disease be confirmed in premises where preventive culling has taken place, details of the premises will be placed on the website.

Mr. Cash: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what standing instructions, made, pursuant to the conclusions of the Western Command report on the 1967-68 outbreak of foot and mouth, were in place prior to the current outbreak; and if he will place a copy of the current standing instructions in the Library. [158222]

Ms Quin [holding answer 23 April 2001]: The Ministry relied on the Northumberland Report when drawing up revised contingency plans after the 1967-68 outbreak. The Western Command Report was an internal Ministry of Defence Report. The GB contingency plan for dealing with outbreaks of Foot and Mouth Disease, in accordance with Article 5 of Council Directive 90/423/EEC, provides a general overview of our planned response to an outbreak. The State Veterinary Service Standing Instructions for foot and mouth disease set out the detailed procedures to be followed during an outbreak. Copies of both documents will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

Mr. Luff: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made of the reasons for the spread of foot and mouth disease in Worcestershire;

11 May 2001 : Column: 470W

what role contiguous culls have played in inhibiting the spread of the disease in the county; and if he will make a statement. [158477]

Ms Quin: As in other parts of the country the epidemiology of the outbreaks in Worcester is complex and multifactoral. However, as elsewhere, introduction and subsequent dissemination relates to sheep movement and sheep husbandry practices.

Detailed epidemiological studies of individual cases are still being pursued with a view to ensuring that origin and spread is correctly identified. These studies will also take into account the efficiency of the contiguous culls, both nationally and in Worcestershire.

Mr. Nicholls: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what experiments his Department had carried out on the foot and mouth virus before the current outbreak; and what assessment he has made of the possibility of contamination of the national (a) herd and (b) flock as a result of such tests. [158249]

Ms Quin: There are many different strains of foot and mouth disease (FMD) virus. The strain responsible for the current outbreak is a new strain to the UK of FMD virus, but is related to other strains belonging to the type O PanAsia group. Although the Institute for Animal Health, Pirbright, has carried out experiments with other viruses belonging to the type O PanAsia group, no work could be done on this new strain before the current outbreak, so nothing was known about the virulence or genetic characteristics. It was therefore not possible to make any assessment of the risk of this particular strain infecting the national herd and flock.

Mr. Breed: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will publish a cost-benefit analysis of (a) slaughter and (b) vaccination to control foot and mouth with special reference to (i) costs to the public purse and (ii) costs to trade. [158499]

Ms Quin: A risk assessment analysing the costs and benefits of both a vaccination and slaughter policy was carried out by the EU and published in 1993. This looked at the cost for each member state of vaccinating animals and, if vaccination were not used, the cost of an outbreak for each member state. The assessment concluded that a slaughter policy would cost less than a vaccination policy.

A copy of this study will be made available in the Libraries of the House.

Mr. Caton: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will empower local authorities to require areas of commonland to be fenced to retain livestock where such action would (a) inhibit the spread of foot and mouth disease and (b) benefit the rural economy during the foot and mouth outbreak. [158564]

Ms Quin: My right hon. Friend the Minister has powers under the Animal Health Act 1981 to make an order empowering a local authority to require areas of common land to be fenced when such action would inhibit or prevent the spread of foot and mouth disease.

My right hon. Friend has no such power to make an order for the sole purpose of benefiting the rural economy, but fencing as part of a strategy of safely reopening footpaths is being considered by Ministers in the DETR.

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Mr. Caton: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will empower local authorities to require livestock to be removed from commonland where such action would (a) inhibit the spread of foot and mouth disease and (b) substantially benefit the rural economy during the foot and mouth outbreak. [158563]

Ms Quin: My right hon. Friend the Minister has powers under the Animal Health Act 1981 (as amended) to make an order empowering a local authority to require the movement of animals for disease control purposes. No such order has been made. My right hon. Friend has no such power to make an order for the sole purpose of benefiting the rural economy.

Mr. Caton: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) if he will empower local authorities to permit commoners to provide fodder to their livestock on commonland where such action would substantially benefit the rural economy during the current foot and mouth epidemic; [158561]

Ms Quin: There are no restrictions on the movement of fodder in either the controlled area or infected areas unless the fodder is being moved from infected premises, when it can only be moved under licence. Moreover, there is a requirement under animal welfare legislation for livestock owners to take reasonable steps to ensure that animals are fed a wholesome diet in sufficient quantity.

Mr. Chope: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what plans his Department has to fund the economic research required to understand the continuing impact of foot and mouth disease. [158590]

Ms Quin: We continue to assess the various economic impacts of the disease but it is too early to identify these robustly, because the future path of the outbreak is still uncertain. We will commission new research where it offers the prospect of improving our understanding of the impacts. The results of any commissioned research will be made public.

Mr. Luff: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if civilians and other staff working at Throckmorton airfield on the disposal of carcases (a) have contact with other livestock in other locations or (b) live on a livestock farm; and if he will make a statement. [158566]

Ms Quin: There have been 120 personnel involved in the disposal operation at Throckmorton during the peak of activity. Some may have stayed in bed-and-breakfast accommodation on farms, making a contribution to individual local business and to the wider rural economy in the locality.

Strict decontamination routines are enforced, which apply to both vehicles and personnel entering and leaving the site.

Mr. Luff: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of (a) milk sampling, (b) blood testing, (c) throat swabs, (d) faeces testing and (e) visual inspection as methods of diagnosing foot and mouth disease; and if he will make a statement. [158509]

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Ms Quin: Live virus and viral antigen can be found in milk, blood, throat and faeces of infected animals. Specific antibody can be found in the blood and saliva of animals recovered from foot and mouth disease. Recovered sheep and cattle, and vaccinated sheep and cattle which have had contact with live foot and mouth disease virus continue to carry the virus in the pharyngeal region for up to three years in cattle and nine months in sheep; this virus can be recovered using a probang sampling technique which collects saliva and cellular material from the pharynx. Tests for foot and mouth disease virus antigen and antibody are outlined in the OIE Manual of Standards for Diagnostic Tests and Vaccines (2000). These are the tests used at the IAH laboratory in Pirbright. However, Pirbright scientists are constantly investigating new and more sensitive methods of diagnosis, such as polymerase chain reaction and the use of monoclonal antibodies.

Mr. Steen: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what the (a) minimum and (b) maximum distance is from an outbreak of foot and mouth within which the free movement of cattle is precluded; and if he will make a statement. [158452]

Ms Quin [holding answer 23 April 2001]: The whole of Great Britain was declared a controlled area on 23 February and since then livestock may be moved only under approved movement schemes and subject to licence. The conditions attached to these licences vary depending on the proximity of the movement to an infected place and the requirement of the particular scheme.

The tightest restrictions are in the infected areas drawn around infected premises. The boundary is at least 10 km from the infected premises but may extend in places to slightly more than this, e.g. where a geographical feature such as a river provides a natural barrier. Within the infected area, a protection zone is drawn at a radius of 3 km from the infected premises.

However, subject to the overriding need to continue to eradicate the disease, the Government are being as flexible as possible to allow the movement of livestock within infected areas.

From 23 April, animals from farms in the infected areas, but outside protection zones, have been allowed to move direct to slaughter to an abattoir within the same infected area. The licences for these movements are issued by local authorities. And rules introduced on 3 May allow the movement of healthy animals direct to slaughter from within a protection zone, subject to certain conditions. These animals may leave the protection zone but not the infected area. The licences for these movements are issued by MAFF animal health offices.

Mr. Steen: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he will redraw the boundaries to allow cattle on the west bank of the River Avon to be transported for slaughter; and if he will make a statement. [158453]

Ms Quin [holding answer 23 April 2001]: Although the River Avon is outside the 10 km zone required around an infected place it provides the most sensible barrier to delineate the edge of the infected area. However, although cattle on the west bank remain within the infected area, more flexibility exists to allow farmers to move

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animals within them. In particular, changes to movement restrictions introduced on 23 April now mean that livestock in infected areas can be moved direct to slaughter for human consumption to approved areas within the same infected area. Full details of these arrangements are available from the Ministry's website http://www.maff.gov.uk/.

Mr. Todd: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he expects to be able to ease movement restrictions in restricted areas of South Derbyshire. [158571]

Ms Quin: The only area of Derbyshire in which blood sampling has recently been carried out with a view to lifting restrictions is around Dovedale. The sampling is now complete and we await the results of those tests. Other areas are being kept under review and the procedures which lead to the lifting of restrictions will be introduced as soon as it is safe to implement them.

In the meantime, and subject to the overriding need to continue to eradicate the disease, the Government are being as flexible as possible to allow the movement of livestock within infected areas.

From 23 April, animals from farms in the infected areas, but outside protection zones, have been allowed to move direct to slaughter to an abattoir within the same infected area. The licences for these movements are issued by local authorities. And rules introduced on 3 May allow the movement of healthy animals direct to slaughter from within a protection zone, subject to certain conditions. These animals may leave the protection zone but not the infected area. The licences for these movements are issued by MAFF animal health offices.

Information on all these matters is available on the MAFF website http://www.maff.gov.uk/.

Mr. Opik: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many animals which have not been identified with foot and mouth infection had been slaughtered by midnight 9 April; and if he will make a statement: [158715]

Ms Quin: As at midnight on 9 April, 810,000 animals had been slaughtered on premises contiguous to, or identified as a dangerous contact to, an infected premises 1 .

Animals are slaughtered on contiguous or dangerous contact premises where there is reason to believe they have been exposed to infection and could be incubating disease although there is no clinical sign of it.



Ms Walley: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the plants authorised to render foot and mouth animals. [158749]

Ms Quin: The following rendering plants have been authorised to take all carcases slaughtered as a result of the foot and mouth outbreak, which includes infected animals.

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In addition, the following plants have been authorised to take only carcases slaughtered under the Livestock Welfare (Disposal) Scheme:


Mr. Luff: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make it his policy to list cases of slaughter on suspicion of foot and mouth disease on his Department's website. [159376]

Ms Quin: The website presently lists the details of all premises that have been confirmed as having foot and mouth disease present. We do not currently include premises where slaughter on suspicion has been authorised, but do not rule this out and further consideration to it will be given.

Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what warnings he received from (c) the FAO and (b) the EU Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Animal Welfare on the impact of large-scale movements of animals within the EU and the high density of livestock on the risk of foot and mouth outbreaks. [158872]

Ms Quin [holding answer 26 April 2001]: The FAO meets to review and report on the international situation regarding serious animal diseases like foot and mouth disease. The EU Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Welfare is a scientific committee of the European Commission that considers matters affecting animal health in the European Union. While we are not aware of any specific warnings issued by these bodies regarding the impact of large scale movements of animals, a number of documents have been circulated among EU members in the context of the on-going review of the FMD control directive.

Mr. Opik: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many livestock have been slaughtered in contiguous culls next to sites registered as confirmed foot and mouth outbreaks but which subsequently showed a negative result from the laboratory tests; and if he will make a statement. [159359]

Ms Quin: The information requested is given in the table:

Great Britain
(a) Infected premises for which laboratory tests detected no FMD virus370
(b) Number of premises contiguous to (a)(31)155
(c) Total livestock slaughtered on (b)127,087

(31) Some premises may also be contiguous to other infected premises.

Note:

Figures subject to revision as more data become available.

Source:

MAFF Disease Control System as at 7 May


11 May 2001 : Column: 475W

Cases are confirmed on the basis of either clinical or laboratory evidence of foot and mouth disease. Cases are cleared when there is neither clear clinical evidence nor laboratory evidence of foot and mouth disease.

Animals are slaughtered on contiguous or dangerous contact premises where there is reason to believe they may have been exposed to infection and could be incubating disease although there is no clinical sign of it.

Mr. Opik: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if cases which were registered as confirmed foot and mouth outbreaks but which subsequently showed a negative result from the laboratory tests were removed from the register of confirmed outbreaks; and if he will make a statement. [159358]

Ms Quin: No. The status of such cases remains as confirmed.

Mr. Luff: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the farms from which animals have been burnt at Salsdons Farm, Himbleton, Worcestershire; and if he will make a statement. [158983]

Ms Quin [holding answer 26 April 2001]: Most of the cattle and sheep disposed of at Salsdons Farm came from eight premises in the immediate vicinity. 200 cattle were transported by the Army from Gloucestershire where no disposal options were available at the time. For reasons of data protection and confidentiality we can release information on premises affected by the outbreak (other than infected premises) only to organisations that require it for the purposes of safeguarding public health and for co-ordinating rural recovery programmes, unless the individuals concerned have given written consent.

Mr. Opik: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) how many cases which were registered as confirmed foot and mouth outbreaks returned a negative result from the laboratory tests of samples from the stock; and if he will make a statement; [159357]

Mr. Maclean: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many confirmed infected premises have subsequently tested negative. [159452]

Ms Quin [holding answer 27 April 2001]: As at 19:00 on 1 May 2001, there were 1,525 confirmed cases of which 305 gave a negative result on laboratory testing. A total of 208,352 animals relating to these 305 cases were slaughtered. For 364 cases either no samples were taken or the results are awaited.

Cases are confirmed on the basis of either clinical or laboratory evidence of foot and mouth disease. Cases are cleared when there is neither clear clinical evidence nor laboratory evidence of foot and mouth disease.

Mr. Opik: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what the reasons were for the culling of the cattle belonging to the Duke of Westminster; what considerations determined the timing of the culling; and if he will make a statement. [159574]

11 May 2001 : Column: 476W

Ms Quin: The hon. Member is asked to write specifying which cattle on which farm he is referring to, and if the animals are not on infected premises, with an assurance that the Duke of Westminster has given his written consent for this information to be released to him.

Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will place in the Library the results of studies (a) done and (b) commissioned by his Department into the comparative merits of culling and vaccination of foot and mouth infected animals. [159732]

Ms Quin: A risk assessment carried out by the EU analysing the costs and benefits of both a vaccination and a slaughter policy against foot and mouth disease was published in 1993. Following the 1967 foot and mouth outbreak a cost benefit evaluation of alternative control policies for foot and mouth disease was published in 1973 in the "Journal of Agricultural Economics". Copies of both these studies have now been made available in the Libraries of the House.

Mr. Maclean: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food on how many farms in Cumbria which were classed as dangerous contacts, temporary veterinary inspectors discovered foot and mouth when they went to conduct the contiguous on 3 km cull; and how many (a) cattle and (b) sheep were affected. [159466]

Ms Quin [holding answer 27 April 2001]: As at 4 May 2001, there were 477 dangerous contacts in Cumbria, of which 47 premises later had foot and mouth disease confirmed and were therefore reclassified as infected premises.

Two of these cases were confirmed on site by temporary veterinary inspectors. The remaining cases were initially slaughtered on suspicion; foot and mouth disease was subsequently confirmed as a result of positive test results.

A total of 8,907 cattle and 24,865 sheep were slaughtered on these premises.

Mr. Maclean: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food on how many farms in Devon animals have been slaughtered because they were contiguous to a farm which eventually tested negative for foot and mouth disease; and how many animals were slaughtered. [159473]

Ms Quin [holding answer 27 April 2001]: The information requested is given in the following table.

DevonNumber
(a) Infected premises for which laboratory tests detected no FMD virus41
(b) Number of premises contiguous to (a)(32)31
(c) Total cattle slaughtered on (b)4,414
(d) Total sheep slaughtered on (b)20,024

(32) Some premises may also be contiguous to other infected premises

Note:

Figures subject to revision as more data become available.

Source:

MAFF Disease Control System as at 6 May


Cases are confirmed on the basis of either clinical or laboratory evidence of FMD. Cases are cleared when there is neither clear clinical evidence nor laboratory evidence of FMD.

11 May 2001 : Column: 477W

Mr. Maclean: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many infected premises classified as such in (a) England, (b) Cumbria and (c) Devon subsequently have proved not to be infected; and how many cattle and sheep were involved. [159464]

Ms Quin [holding answer 27 April 2001]: The position as at 3 May is shown in the table.

EnglandCumbriaDevon
(a) Number of infected premises for which laboratory testing proved negative2225540
(b) Number of cattle slaughtered on (a)23,8387,4574,548
(c) Number of sheep slaughtered on (a)125,07925,01919,512

Source:

MAFF Disease Control System database--figures subject to revision as more data become available


Cases are confirmed on the basis of either clinical or laboratory evidence of foot and mouth disease. Cases are cleared when there is neither clear clinical evidence nor laboratory evidence of foot and mouth disease.

Mr. Burnett: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many farm animal carcases were disposed of in Devon on each of the days from 16 to 25 April; and at what locations these farm animal carcases were disposed of during this period. [R] [159589]

Ms Quin [holding answer 30 April 2001]: The table shows the number of carcases disposed of in Devon on the days in question.

Cattle, sheep and pig carcases disposed of in Devon

DateNumber
16 April5,857
17 April2,326
18 April8,523
19 April2,762
20 April10,864
21 April16,513
22 April20,130
23 April67,084
24 April21,300
25 April13,984

Carcases in this period were disposed of through rendering by J. L. Thomas of Exeter and Peninsular Proteins of Great Torrington and on-farm burning at 48 premises.

Mr. Burnett: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many animals were slaughtered (a) on suspicion and (b) as confirmed cases of foot and mouth in Devon, indicating the farms concerned on each of the days from 16 to 25 April. [159590]

Ms Quin [holding answer 30 April 2001]: Our policy, based on legal advice, is to release details of infected premises as this information is necessary for the control of foot and mouth. For reasons of data protection and confidentiality we only release information on other premises affected by the outbreak to organisations that require it for the purpose of safeguarding public health and for co-ordinating rural recovery programmes, unless the individuals concerned have given written consent.

11 May 2001 : Column: 478W

For this reason, while I am able to release figures on the number of animals slaughtered in confirmed cases of foot and mouth, and on the number of animals slaughtered on suspicion, I cannot release the list of individual farms where animals were slaughtered on suspicion.

I have placed two tables in the Library. The first table gives the daily total of slaughter on suspicion and confirmed foot and mouth cases, the second identifies the farm locations of the confirmed foot and mouth cases.

Mr. John Burnett (Torridge and West Devon): To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, how many animals were slaughtered (a) on suspicion and (b) as confirmed cases of foot and mouth in Devon, indicating the farms concerned on each of the days from 16-25 April. [159590]

Ms Quin [holding answer 30 April 2001]: The table gives details of the numbers of animals slaughtered on suspicion in Devon (SOS cases) and the number of animals slaughtered on infected premises (FMD cases) in Devon from 16-25 April.

Animals slaughtered in Devon, 16-25 April 2001
Data as at 1900, 2 May 2001

SOS CasesFMD Cases
16 April 20013011,620
17 April 20012740
18 April 2001439164
19 April 20016183,558
20 April 200103,625
21 April 2001050
22 April 200101,624
23 April 20011,0700
24 April 20011,724740
25 April 20010317
Total4,42611,698

The following table gives details of farms in Devon which were identified as infected premises on 16-25 April and where the animals were slaughtered as a result.


NameAddress
M. & I. LittlejohnsMinehouse Farm, Okehampton, Devon EX20 4LN
S. & M.J. & J.M. CorkChuggaton, Chittlehampton, Umberleigh, Devon EX37 9SB
E.W. Underhill & SonUpcott, Barton Beaford, Winkleigh, Devon EX19 8AQ
R.W. & W.H. WeeksBeer Hill, North Tawton, Devon EX20 2AD
K. & R. ElworthyUpcott, Burrington, Umberleigh, Devon EX37 9LF
GriffinThorndon House, Ashwater Beaworthy, Devon EX21 5HD
G.M. & R.L. Macer & SonSummerwell, Hartland, Bideford, Devon EX39 6HB
AveryBeara Farm, Marwood, Barnstaple, Devon EX31 4EH
P.K. DunnHolmacott Farm, Instow, Bideford, Devon EX39 4LR
M.J. & S.A. HillHigher Broadpark, Iddesleigh, Winkleigh EX19 8BN

11 May 2001 : Column: 479W

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) if he will list the landfill sites in Surrey, Sussex and Kent that have been allocated to take animal carcases as a result of the foot and mouth crisis; [157602]

Ms Quin: The following landfill sites in Sussex and Kent have been identified by the Environment Agency, subject to meeting specific criteria, as suitable for carcase disposal. Biffa Waste Services Ltd., Brookhurstwood Landfill, Langhurstwood Road, Warnham, Horsham, West Sussex Viridor Waste Management, Horton Landfill Site, Horton Clay Pit, Small Dole, Henfield, West Sussex Waste Research Group Ltd., Norwood Farm, Lower Road, Brambledown, Isle of Sheppey, Kent Biffa Waste Services Ltd., Shakespeare Farm, St. Mary Hoo, Rochester, Kent. These sites have agreed to take carcases of animals slaughtered through the Livestock Welfare Disposal Scheme. To date, no suitable landfill sites have been identified in Surrey. This information is correct as of 8 May 2001.

Mr. Flynn: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food on how many occasions during the outbreak of foot and mouth disease he has rejected suggestions made in representations from the NFU. [159957]

Ms Quin [holding answer 1 May 2001]: Other Ministers in the Department and I have met the NFU and other organisations on numerous occasions to discuss the outbreak of foot and mouth disease. We have accepted some of their suggestions and rejected others. It is not possible to quantify the precise numbers.

Mr. Swayne: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food under what circumstances RSPCA officers are prevented from witnessing the slaughter of livestock under the current foot and mouth arrangements. [159841]

Ms Quin [holding answer 1 May 2001]: RSPCA officers are not permitted to enter premises without the permission of the owner concerned. In addition, if premises are under infected premises restrictions, only essential visitors are allowed access for the purposes of disease control. RSPCA officers have visited slaughter and burial sites, such as Great Orton, which are not under restriction.

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what the results were of foot and mouth tests carried out at Ashes farm, Ruswarp, near Whitby, North Yorkshire; [R] [159941]

Ms Quin [holding answer 1 May 2001]: Our policy, based on legal advice, is to release details of infected premises as this information is necessary for the control of foot and mouth. For reasons of data protection and confidentiality we only release test results to organisations

11 May 2001 : Column: 480W

that require it for the purpose of safeguarding public health and for co-ordinating rural recovery programmes, unless the individual concerned has given written consent. Ashes farm appears on the list of confirmed cases published on the MAFF website as confirmed on 6 April. Tests have been carried out on contiguous farms.

Mr. Flynn: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will assess the results of recent vaccinations against foot and mouth disease in (a) The Netherlands, (b) Albania, (c) Macedonia, (d) Taiwan and (e) Algeria. [159989]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 1 May 2001]: The Government will be considering what lessons can be learned for the future from various aspects of the current outbreak of foot and mouth disease including the approach to vaccination adopted by The Netherlands. The use of vaccination to control foot and mouth disease in The Netherlands, Albania, and Macedonia were in response to local outbreaks, which could be isolated by using vaccination. Vaccination was used in addition to other control measures.

Mr. Gill: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what representations he has received from people living in the Church Stretton area regarding the firebreak cull of sheep which took place in All Stretton on Wednesday 18 April; and if he will make a statement. [160076]

Ms Quin: The Ministry has received a large number of representations from members of the public over a wide range of issues associated with the Government's slaughter policy. Two meetings have been held with local representatives.

Mr. Luff: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what tests for foot and mouth disease were made in the stock of Mr. Philip Smith-Maxwell after the slaughter on suspicion of the disease that took place at Phepson Manor farm, Worcestershire on 12 and 13 April; what the results of such tests were; and if he will make a statement. [159847]

Ms Quin [holding answer 1 May 2001]: Our policy based on legal advice is to release details of infected premises, as this information is necessary for the control of foot and mouth. For reasons of data protection and confidentiality we release information on other premises affected by the outbreak only to organisations that require it for the purpose of safeguarding public health and for co-ordinating rural recovery programmes, unless the individual concerned has given written consent. The farmer mentioned does not appear on the list of confirmed cases published on the Ministry foot and mouth website. If the farmer wishes to know the results of tests done on samples taken from his animals he should approach his animal health office.

Mr. Grieve: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment has been made and testing carried out to ascertain the levels of dioxins and furans present on agricultural land in proximity to the sites of pyres for the incineration of dead livestock, and in particular in respect of the presence of TCDDs and TCDFs; and if he will make a statement. [159851]

11 May 2001 : Column: 481W

Ms Quin [holding answer 1 May 2001]: The Department of Health has recently published a risk assessment "Foot and Mouth--Effects on health of Emissions from Pyres Used for Disposal of Animals" available on www.doh.gov.uk. The risk assessment provides estimates of the release of dioxins and other air pollutants from pyres and predicted concentrations in air. The Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions has undertaken monitoring of dioxins, furans and other air pollutants in the vicinity of some larger pyres, being used to dispose of animal carcases. Some local authorities have also instigated such monitoring. In addition the Environment Agency have assisted Government by monitoring and modelling air pollution in the vicinity of pyres. An initial assessment by the Food Standards Agency suggests that the dioxins deposited onto farmland near pyres will lead to only a small increase to the current levels of dioxins in food. The Food Standards Agency will measure dioxins in agricultural produce, grass and soil in the vicinity of pyres as part of a concerted programme of monitoring with the Environment Agency. The results will be used to inform decisions about the safety of livestock grazing pasture and the growing of other crops.

Mr. Gale: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make the results of blood tests arising from suspected cases of foot and mouth disease available to private veterinary surgeons engaged by farms where the disease is confirmed by his Department's contracted veterinary laboratory services. [159408]

Ms Quin [holding answer 3 May 2001]: The results are available on application to the local divisional veterinary manager.

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if, for official statistical purposes, the definition of foot and mouth carcase disposal has changed since 20 February. [160215]

Mr. Nick Brown [holding answer 3 May 2001]: Carcase disposal has been and continues to be defined for official statistical purposes by reference to the date on which disposal was completed. This is reflected in the statistical data published on the Ministry's website http://www.maff.gov.uk.

Mr. Edwards: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what plans he has to make interim payments of compensation to farmers affected by foot and mouth disease. [160702]

Ms Quin: None. All farmers are paid compensation for any animals slaughtered as a result of the foot and mouth outbreak. Stock is valued immediately prior to slaughter and the Ministry's target is to process and pay all compensation claims within three weeks of slaughter. The Ministry is putting in further resources to help meet this target. However, we are aware that in some areas, such as Cumbria where a particularly large number of claims have had to be made, this target is not being met. This is a problem that is currently being addressed and the Ministry is doing all it can to process all claims as quickly as possible. To make interim payments would add further delay.

11 May 2001 : Column: 482W

Mr. Edwards: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what proportion of claims for compensation for stock slaughter as a result of foot and mouth disease have been paid within 21 days of the cull. [160703]

Ms Quin: The information requested is not readily available. The Ministry's target is to process and pay all compensation claims within three weeks of slaughter. However, we are aware that in some areas, such as Cumbria where a particularly large number of claims have had to be made, this target is not being met. This is a problem that is being urgently addressed with extra resources and the Ministry is doing all it can to process all claims as quickly as possible.

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what livestock has been slaughtered in North Essex constituency in the past seven days due to foot and mouth disease. [160609]

Ms Quin [holding answer 9 May 2001]: There have been no livestock slaughtered in the North Essex constituency in the past seven days (1-7 May). Two infected premises were previously reported in this constituency (foot and mouth disease numbers 125 and 401). Animals from these sites were slaughtered and disposed of by 22 March. Slaughter of livestock on premises identified as a dangerous contact to foot and mouth disease 125 took place on 28 April, and disposal occurred on 30 April.

Mr. Edwards: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement about the proposed reduction in the rates payable to farmers under the welfare disposal scheme. [160700]

Ms Quin: Revised payments under the Livestock Welfare (Disposal) Scheme (LWDS) for those categories of animals intended for the human food chain took effect for all animals collected for slaughter or slaughtered on-farm from Monday 30 April. LWDS was introduced to provide a means of resolving serious animal welfare problems arising directly from the FMD movement restrictions. It was specifically not to be used as an alternative to the market, where the market was available. With the introduction from 23 April of scope to market animals from inside Infected Areas and, more recently, from inside protection zones, the route into the market has now been largely re-established. There was already considerable evidence that the original payment levels were encouraging farmers to use LWDS as their preferred alternative to the market. In light of the greatly increased opportunities some payment rates were reduced to between 70 per cent. and 80 per cent. of market prices. Payment rates for animals not intended to enter the food chain remain unchanged.

Mr. Burnett: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what the cost is of the burial ground being constructed at Petrockstow, Devon. [R] [160655]

11 May 2001 : Column: 483W

Ms Quin [holding answer 9 May 2001]: The total cost of acquiring the site, including costs and compensation was £350,000. We are unable to give details of further costs at this time.

Mr. Edwards: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will meet the Minister for Rural Affairs in the National Assembly for Wales to discuss the operation of the Welfare Disposal Scheme in Monmouthshire. [160701]

Ms Quin: We meet regularly with Ministerial colleagues from the devolved Administrations to consider aspects of agricultural policy and their implementation.

Mr. Opik: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if the laboratory samples taken from stock at Eirianfa Farm, near Ardleen in Powys indicated (a) the existence of the foot and mouth virus or (b) an unreadable or other result; and if he will make a statement. [160741]

Ms Quin: The farm mentioned does not appear to be on the list of confirmed cases published on the Ministry's foot and mouth website. For reasons of data protection and confidentiality we only release information such as that requested by the hon. Member to organisations that require it for the purpose of safeguarding public health and for co-ordinating rural recovery programmes, unless the individual concerned has given written consent.

Mr. Davidson: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how much money has been paid in total to farmers in compensation for slaughtered livestock in the course of the foot and mouth outbreak to date; what the (a) average amount paid to each farmer and (b) largest payment to a single farmer has been; and if he will make a statement. [160904]

Ms Quin: Up to 9 May, the compensation paid to farmers was £116 million for 1,135 claims. The average claim was therefore £102,000. The largest payment to a single farmer is £4,238,800.

Mr. Steen: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he will deal with the claim lodged by Mr. and Mrs. Rogers of the Corner Cottage, Ashprington, Devon for their 10 in-calf cattle under the Welfare Scheme; and if he will make a statement on the reason for the delay in dealing with this claim. [160903]

Ms Quin: It is not practicable or appropriate to comment on the position of individual cases. The Livestock Welfare (Disposal) Scheme has attracted a very high number of applications--apparently 1.6 million animals initially registered from 6,000 applicants. Every effort is being made to minimise delay in processing these, and we are giving priority to the most urgent welfare cases. Given full information on individual applications, the Intervention Board will be happy to provide details of progress. To date over one million animals have been dealt with under the Livestock Welfare (Disposal) Scheme.

Mr. Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what criteria have been used in the appointment of valuers used in the valuation

11 May 2001 : Column: 484W

of livestock to be culled as a result of (a) foot and mouth disease contact and (b) inclusion in the Livestock (Welfare) Disposal Scheme. [160752]

Ms Quin [holding answer 10 May 2001]: Valuation of animals which are to be compulsorily slaughtered is carried out by a valuer appointed by the Ministry's local Divisional Veterinary Manager. In addition to existing contacts and nominations by farmers, DVMs may refer to lists of valuers for pedigree stock and commercial stock provided by the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers. No valuer is required if standard rates are used. Animals slaughtered under the Livestock (Welfare) Disposal Scheme qualify for payments that are designed to assist the farmer in resolving an identified welfare problem. Payments are set at fixed rates and do not represent compensation for the commercial value of the animal.

Miss Geraldine Smith: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many farms have had animals slaughtered in the contiguous cull. [160900]

Ms Quin: As at 19:00 on 8 May, animals had been slaughtered on 1,548 premises which were contiguous to infected premises. Source: MAFF Disease Control system database--figures are subject to revision as more data become available.

Mr. Baker: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many farm herds were slaughtered because (a) at least one animal had been infected by foot and mouth and (b) the herd was considered at risk due to proximity to an infected herd; how many individual animals were slaughtered, similarly broken down; and if he will make a statement. [160821]

Ms Quin: The information requested is provided in the tables: (a) Infected premises Number of infected premises--1,565

Number of herds/flocksAnimals slaughtered
Cattle1,286249,792
Sheep1,247690,865
Pigs8522,085
Goats50429
Total2,668963,171

(b) Contiguous dangerous contact premises Number of contiguous premises--1,855

Number of herds/flocksAnimals slaughtered
Cattle915101,139
Sheep1,295460,986
Pigs9933,598
Goats69787
Total2,378596,510

The total number of herds/flocks differs from the number of premises because premises may have more than one herd/flock.

All herds/flocks on an infected premise are slaughtered out where at least one animal in one herd/flock is found to be infected.

11 May 2001 : Column: 485W

Source: MAFF Disease Control System database at 19.00 on 8 May--figures are subject to revision as more data become available.

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what prohibitions exist on imports of animal feed into Britain from countries (a) where foot and mouth is endemic and (b) where there have been recent outbreaks of the disease. [153361]

Mr. Nick Brown: EU rules govern the production requirements of animal feed in the Community and also provide the conditions for import from third countries. With regard to FMD controls on imports from third countries which have had recent outbreaks, domestic legislation in England and Wales currently prohibits the import of meat from South Africa and Swaziland (since 5 January 2001), Argentina (since 14 March) and Uruguay (since 26 April) and Brazil (10 May). Scotland and Northern Ireland took similar action for each of these countries shortly after each of the dates specified. All meat imported from third countries is subject to veterinary checks at border inspection posts to ensure that import requirements are met. The UK will prohibit the import of any animal products which do not meet Community standards.


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