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Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many vehicles have been abandoned and had to be disposed of in each of the last two years in the Stroud district; and what was the cost of disposal in each year. 
Mr. Meacher: This is a matter for Stroud district council. The Department currently holds no central records of either the number of vehicles abandoned each year or local authorities' costs in disposing of them.
Information on the number of abandoned vehicles removed by local authorities is being collected in the Department's 200001 Municipal Waste Management Survey.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the Government's policy on the transport of live animals. 
Mr. Bacon: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to improve the conditions for animals which are exported alive; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: Our policy on the transport of live animals is rigorously to enforce the Welfare of Animals (Transport) Order 1997 and to negotiate for the highest possible animal welfare standards on an EU-wide basis. We are currently pursuing this objective in EU Council Working Groups on both the EU Directive on the protection of animals during transport and the Regulation on the standards for vehicles used for the long distance transport of livestock. But where possible, we believe that meat, rather than live animals, should be transported over long distances.
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Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many officials in her Department (a) in London and (b) in Leeds have (i) working and practical experience of farming and (ii) working and practical experience of veterinary practice. 
Mr. Morley: This information is not recorded and is available only at disproportionate cost.
Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what (a) building and (b) refurbishment projects are planned by her Department in (i) the current and (ii) the next financial year; and what the costs will be of each project. 
Mr. Morley: The information is as follows:
|The current year|
|Great Orton Containment Wall||4.2|
|DEFRA Drayton TSE/BSE Buildings||5.0|
|DEFRA Old Rectory TSE/BSE Buildings||2.1|
|VLA Weybridge Redevelopment Work||3.0|
|The next financial year|
|VLA Weybridge Redevelopment Phase I||24.5|
|Cambridge, Redevelopment of Government Offices||PFI scheme|
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she intends to take to ensure that animal welfare standards applicable to agricultural practice apply equally to (a) pheasant rearing and (b) pheasant shooting when carried out as sporting activities. 
Mr. Morley: The Protection of Animals Act 1911 applies to captive pheasants. There are no plans to extend the 1911 Act to birds that have been released for sporting activities.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what assessment her Department has made of threats posed by the metal deposits to (a) humans and (b) livestock; 
(3) what action her Department is taking over the discovery of toxic metal deposits on North Yorkshire farmland, deposited following the floods of 2000. 
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Mr. Meacher: We understand that the results of a study by the University of Wales at Aberystwyth into metal levels in river sediments deposited on floodplains in Swaledale have not yet been published. However, from the information so far available it appears that the lead levels found are similar to those found in previous studies in this area, where elevated levels of lead are sometimes found as a result of natural geology and historical mining activities. This is well known in the area and has been the subject of advice to local farmers in the past which has proved effective. Farmers can minimise risks to livestock from these deposits by simple good husbandry practices, to minimise the ingestion of soil by animals as they feed. The Food Standards Agency's standing advice is that these measures should also be effective in minimising any risks to consumers of foods produced by animals in these areas. The Veterinary Laboratories Agency have recorded no increases in livestock health problems that could be linked to the recent flooding.
A new European Commission Regulation ((EC) 466/2001), setting maximum limits for lead and cadmium in food and due to come into force on 5 April 2002, will introduce limits for cadmium in offal for the first time in the UK, and a lower limit for lead in offal than the current UK limit. The Food Standards Agency will be carrying out formal consultation on these proposals later this year. In parallel, it will be consulting Government and other stakeholders on whether any further guidance to farmers may be appropriate to help minimise any risks that offal from animals raised in areas where elevated levels of lead in soil occur could exceed these new limits.
The Department will assess the full results of this study when they are available, seeking advice from the Food Standards Agency on food safety issues. A risk assessment will be completed, and all the appropriate public authorities will be involved in the consideration of the findings.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what volume of fish was (a) landed and (b) discarded in (i) the United Kingdom and (ii) the European Union in the last year for which figures are available. 
Mr. Morley: Details of fish landings into the UK in 2000 are published in Section 3 of United Kingdom Sea Fisheries Statistics 1999 and 2000. This is available in the House of Commons Library.
Only incomplete information on landings into other member states of the EU is currently available, as set out.
|Tonnes product weight|
15 Oct 2001 : Column: 1095W
Comparable figures of the total quantities of fish discarded either by vessels from the UK or by those from other member states are not available. The majority of discards are undersized and unmarketable fish.
Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what impact the foot and mouth outbreak has had on (a) regular tuberculosis testing of cattle and (b) the culling of badgers for the study of TB. 
Mr. Morley: Routine TB testing of cattle has been suspended since late February and there is now a backlog of TB tests to be completed.
The effect of foot and mouth disease on the culling trial was considered by the Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB in its Third Report, and they concluded that:
Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the guidance given by (a) DEFRA and (b) the Environment Agency to district councils and county councils to deal with a rise in sea level and flooding as a result of climate change. 
Mr. Morley: The Government have provided specific guidance in relation to predicted sea level rise to all flood and coastal defence authorities since 1989. In December 1999 the guidance was reviewed, and promulgated in Flood and Coastal Defence Project Appraisal Guidance Volume 3Economic Appraisal (FDPAG3, MAFF Publication PB 4650). In March 2000 guidance on potential changes in river flooding was provided in Flood and Coastal Defence Project Appraisal Guidance Volume 4Approaches to Risk (FCDPAG4, MAFF Publication PB 4907).
Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the extent and division of Governmental responsibility for flood prevention; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: Flood defence is a fully devolved matter. DEFRA has policy responsibility for flood defence in England; the devolved Administrations have responsibility in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
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Operating authorities are responsible for delivery of the flood defence service in England. The Environment Agency is the principal operating authority and exercises a general supervision over all matters relating to flood defence. Following the creation of DEFRA, the Department now has policy responsibility for all of the functions of the Environment Agency in England.
We are currently conducting a review of the funding arrangements in England and this may lead to consideration of the related institutional arrangements for delivering the service.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will announce the conclusions of her review of the effectiveness of the Flood Defence Committee arrangements. 
Mr. Morley: The conclusions of the review of flood and coastal defence funding arrangements will be published later this autumn.
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