Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the President of the Council which grades of staff receive a salary broadly equivalent to that of an hon. Member in (a) the medical profession in hospitals, (b) general practice, (c) teaching, (d) local government, (e) civil service and (f) the armed forces. 
Mr. Robin Cook: Details of salary comparisons with other public sector groups are illustrated in Volume 2 of the Senior Salaries Review Body's report on parliamentary pay and allowances (Cm 4997). Copies of the Report are available in both the House of Commons Library and Vote Office.
The salary recommendation of the review body sought to ensure a broad equivalence to salaries for a major director in a district general hospital, a head of a large secondary school, a director in a district council or assistant director in a large unitary or county council, lower graded members of the Senior Civil Service and battalion commanders.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) if the Connexions Service will offer a personal adviser to young people with learning disabilities, and what arrangements will be in place to ensure that the Connexions Service provides support to young people with mental and physical disabilities; 
Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 9 July 2001]: The Connexions Service will provide access to a personal adviser to all young people aged 1319, including those with learning difficulties and/or disabilities. The personal adviser will provide advice, guidance, support and personal development opportunities based on each individual young person's needs, drawing on specialist services as necessary.
The Connexions Service will be required to arrange assessments for those with statements of special educational needs in the last year of compulsory schooling who intend to leave school, but continue in learning. The service will also have the power to arrange for assessments in other circumstances where they feel it would be beneficial, eg for young people with SEN, but without statements. These responsibilities are designed to ensure more effective transitions for young people with SEN on leaving school and moving through post-16 learning.
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To build on this, the Connexions Service will, in partnership with local agencies, continue to support young people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities up to their 25th birthday if they are not ready to access the adult services provided locally.
Mr. Timms: The Department has been validating local education authorities' asset management plan information and intends to publish analyses of the data in the autumn. This will include information on authorities' repair and maintenance needs.
Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when he last met representatives of further education colleges to discuss their funding and staffing situation; and if he will make a statement. 
John Healey [holding answer 11 July 2001]: The Secretary of State has not met representatives of further education colleges as yet but my hon. Friend the Minister for Lifelong Learning met with Mr. David Gibson from the Association of Colleges on 25 June, and I met Mr. Gibson on 12 July.
Mr. Timms [holding answer 12 July 2001]: Swimming is a compulsory part of the National Curriculum for Physical Education at Key Stage 2, unless pupils have met the full Key Stage 2 requirements during Key Stage 1. After Key Stage 2 it remains one of six areas of physical activity. The Ofsted report on swimming at Key Stage 2, published in November 2000, showed that well over four out of five schools inspected provided adequate time for swimming and four out of five children are able to swim 25m at the end of Key Stage 2. We acknowledge, however, that we need to work more with schools to make even more opportunities available for more children to be able to swim 25m by the time they reach secondary school.
Swimming and water safety are important life skills. We are investing heavily in school sport and swimming will benefit. The Government's commitment includes £581 million in England (out of a total of £750 million in the UK) from the New Opportunities Fund for school sport facilities.
We have established a Swimming Advisory Group, involving, as well as my Department, representatives of the swimming associations, Ofsted, the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, to discuss what more can be done to create even more opportunities for children to swim and announce proposals by the end of the year.
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Mr. Morley: The contingency plan for Great Britain was submitted to the EU for approval in 1991 and approved in 1993. An updated version was sent to the EU in July 2000. This plan is very much an outline strategy which in turn is supported by detailed veterinary instructions and regional contingency plans.
A copy of the July 2000 version of the GB contingency plan was placed in the Libraries of the House on 14 May 2001 and it will also shortly be available on the DEFRA foot and mouth disease website http://www.defra.gov.uk/, omitting names and personal telephone numbers on the grounds of confidentiality.
David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many farms in Cumbria have had sheep slaughtered in the voluntary cull; and how many sheep were slaughtered. 
Mr. Morley: Livestock in Cumbria were culled only where, in the opinion of the Chief Veterinary Officer, the animals had been exposed to the foot and mouth virus. Computer records show that in the cull of animals within 3 km of infected premises in Cumbria, 503,545 sheep were slaughtered on 1,732 farms.
Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many animals on infected and contiguous premises have been culled in the Ribble Valley as a result of the foot and mouth outbreak. 
Mr. Morley: The information is not available in the format requested. The Settle associated cluster includes the Ribble Valley and an additional area to the east currently extending as far as Ilkley. To subdivide the area as requested would incur disproportionate cost.
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Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what criterion she uses to determine the areas of infection covered by the declaratory orders for foot and mouth. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 2 July 2001]: When a case of foot and mouth disease is confirmed, an infected area with boundaries which are at least 10 km from the infected place has to be designated by a declaratory order. The boundaries may extend beyond the statutory minimum for disease control purposes and because, in order to simplify identification, they are determined by clear geographical features, such as roads or railway lines. Declaratory orders for England and Wales are made by my Department and a map depicting the infected area may be inspected in the DEFRA office at 1A Page street, London between 9 am and 5 pm, Monday to Friday. The maps are also reproduced on the DEFRA website.
David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much it cost to dispose of slaughtered animals in the eradication of foot and mouth disease, broken down by (a) veterinary bills, (b) transport, (c) accommodation, (d) fuel and materials for pyres, (e) land access for burial, (f) contractors and slaughtermen, (g) machinery hire, (h) wagon transport, (i) consumables and (j) rendering. 
Mr. Morley: The information is not available in the form requested. The table shows costs to date and estimated costs (as at 9 July) for the categories that most closely correspond to those about which the right hon. Member has asked.
|Cost to date
|Estimated total cost
|Temporary Veterinary Inspectors and Local Veterinary Inspectors (ie not full time employees of the Department)
|Disposal/haulage (incl. rendering and pyres)
|Carcase disposal sites
|Travel and subsistence (incl. accommodation and mileage)
|Reinstatement and cleansing and disinfection (incl. contractors)
|Protective clothing and other consumables
Taken from FMD estimated costs, 9 July 2001
David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what biosecurity measures were implemented during farm to farm milk tanker collections affected by foot and mouth restrictions. 
Mr. Morley: The Code of Practice for Hauliers and Buyers of Milk (drawn up under the Foot and Mouth Disease Order 1983 and revised in March 2001) lays down the measures that must be followed by milk hauliers and dairy personnel who are involved in the collection and
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transport of untreated milk originating from dairy farms in a foot and mouth disease infected area or from other farms known to be at risk of foot and mouth disease infection.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what precautions have been in place during the foot and mouth crisis to help prevent the disease being carried across the English channel by ferry and channel tunnel passengers; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 3 July 2001]: Details of precautionary measures are available from the DEFRA website at http://defraweb/footandmouth/about/index.htm. This includes guidance on taking vehicles abroad, imports and exports and trade issues.
Anyone who intends to import or export products of animal origin should check that they comply fully with the appropriate legal requirements which are in place to prevent the spread of diseases such as foot and mouth.
Mr. Morley [holding answer 3 July 2001]: Slurry and liquid manure are normally treated by adding chemicals to raise or lower the pH so as to inactivate any foot and mouth disease virus that may be present. However, on many large farms the volume of slurry involved may make pH adjustment practically difficult and inordinately expensive. Moreover, the ground state may now allow the application of treated slurry. In such circumstances slurry and liquid manure may well be kept in lagoons or holding tanks until it can be applied to the land.
Environment Agency authorisation is always sought about the construction and location of lagoons. Local animal health offices have cleansing and disinfecting teams who can give advice on handling large amounts of slurry and liquid manure. This advice will include the ease with which particular amounts might be treated and the preferred disposal methods taking into account the local ground conditions and the relevant environmental considerations.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her estimate is of the total cost of the recent foot and mouth crisis to date to the Exchequer; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 4 July 2001]: Our current estimate (as at 9 July) of the direct cost of the outbreak to the Exchequer is around £2.2 billion. Among other things, this includes the cost of disinfection and cleansing as well as compensation for compulsory slaughter of affected livestock.
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which of those recommendations contained in the 1969 Committee of Inquiry report into the 1967 foot and mouth outbreak were acted upon during the Government's handling of the 2001 epidemic; and if she will make a statement. 
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Mr. Morley [holding answer 4 July 2001]: The recommendations in "The Report of the Committee of Inquiry on Foot-and-Mouth Disease", parts 1 and 2, published 7 March 1969 and 3 November 1969 (the Northumberland report), form the basis of the Government's policy for keeping the disease out of the country, and of our contingency plans for fighting an outbreak of foot and mouth. Other reports also contributed to the lessons learned from the 196768 epidemic, such as the "Origins of the 196768 Foot-and-Mouth Disease Epidemic", by John Reid (Chief Veterinary Officer), 7 February 1968; and the internal Ministry of Defence report on the foot and mouth outbreak 196768 in Western Command.
Mr. Morley: Information on pyre and burial sites in Cumbria is being collected as part of a wider exercise relating to the whole of Great Britain. The location of all of these sites will be published once the information has been collated, cross-checked and validated.
David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations the Government have received regarding the efficacy of vaccination in efforts to eradicate foot and mouth disease. 
Mr. Morley: The Government and the Department have received representations from a broad cross-section of interested parties, both for and against vaccination, all of which have been carefully considered. The Government have made clear that they consider vaccination to be an option to keep under review as the outbreak develops.
David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many foot and mouth blood samples are awaiting processing at Pirbright; and what is the time from submission from the farm to confirmed result. 
Mr. Morley: As of Friday 6 July 2001 there were approximately 30,000 sera awaiting test. The time between the receipt of samples at the Pirbright laboratory and the submission of confirmed results to DEFRA depends upon the initial result and whether secondary testing is required. Over 40 per cent. of samples were being reported within seven days of receipt.
David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment the Government have made of ring vaccination as an eradication policy for foot and mouth disease. 
Mr. Morley: Vaccination against foot and mouth disease remains an option that is kept under continuous review. Ring vaccination is one possible approach, which aims to control the spread of infection within and outside an infected area. It reduces the amount of virus circulating in the area, as the vaccinated animals will be less infectious.
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We did not ring vaccinate at the start of the outbreak because it was apparent that the virus had potentially been spread across a wide area, due to the large number of movements that had taken place before the first case of foot and mouth disease was identified. This made ring vaccination an impractical option.
David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many premises that were confirmed as being infected with foot and mouth have subsequently received negative results from blood tests. 
Mr. Morley: As at 8 July, 382 infected premises in Great Britain gave a negative result when tested for foot and mouth disease in the laboratory. A negative test result does not necessarily mean that the premises was free from the disease. For instance, if the disease is old the virus may not be present in the sample collected, and blood tests from newly infected animals may not give a positive reaction to the laboratory test as antibodies may not yet be present.
David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on how many farms in (a) England and (b) Cumbria livestock have been slaughtered as a result of classification as (i) infected premises (ii) dangerous contacts, (iii) slaughter on suspicion and (iv) contiguous. 
|England (inc. Cumbria)
|Dangerous ContactContiguous Premises
|Dangerous ContactNon Contiguous Premises
|Slaughter on Suspicion
(3) Includes premises slaughtered out as part of the 3 km cull
David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many infected premises in each county of (a) England and (b) Scotland tested negative in the laboratory. 
|Hereford and Worcester
|Tyne and Wear
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A negative test result does not necessarily mean that the premises was free from disease. For instance, if the disease is old the virus may not be present in the sample collected, and blood tests from newly infected animals may not give a positive reaction to the laboratory test as antibodies may not yet be present.
Brian Cotter: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make it her policy to allow vaccination, rather than slaughter, where farmers and stockholders request it for those animals suspected of suffering from foot and mouth disease. 
Mr. Morley: Our priority is to eradicate the disease and so policy decisions will be based on the expert veterinary and scientific advice on the best way to achieve this. Vaccination protects animals from infection, and so would not be used for animals that are already infected with foot and mouth disease. The policy remains to slaughter animals which are infected, suspected of being infected or which have been exposed to infection.
Any steps to vaccinate need to be undertaken with full consideration of all the implications for the disease, the handling and control of vaccinated animals and products, and wide implications for the EU's 'foot and mouth disease-free, without vaccination' status. A decision to vaccinate against foot and mouth disease must, therefore, be taken at national level and take into account the views and wishes of all interested parties that would be affected by a vaccination programme.
Brian Cotter: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the advantages and disadvantages of the use of ring vaccination for animals suspected of suffering from foot and mouth disease. 
Ring vaccination is best deployed where one is confident that the size of an infected area is relatively small and the virus has not already spread beyond it, since the aim of ring vaccination is to control the spread of infection within and outside the infected area. We did not ring vaccinate at the start of the outbreak because it was apparent that the virus had potentially been spread across a wide area, due to the large number of movements that had taken place before the first case of foot and mouth disease was identified. This made ring vaccination an impractical option.
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