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Mr. Morley: The priority for action to help the fishing industry is to reduce the current excess of fishing capacity. I have therefore announced a grant scheme for the decommissioning of fishing vessels. Grants are also available for the conversion of vessels to introduce more environmentally sensitive fishing methods and to improve the handling of fish.
David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what estimate she has made of (a) current and (b) projected cod stocks for the next three years in the North sea; 
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Mr. Morley: The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) estimates that the spawning stock biomass of cod in the North sea will stand at 55,400 tonnes at the beginning of 2002, which ICES considers to be outside safe biological limits. The biomass in future years will depend on the level of exploitation as regulated by management measures and on natural developments. The Government's policy is to work with EU partners, through recovery plans and other measures, to ensure a sustainable future for trawling and for other sectors of the British fishing industry, exploiting opportunities in the North sea and elsewhere.
Mr. Morley: The volume of beef imported into the UK from France in the 12-month period from September 2000 to August 2001, as recorded by the overseas trade statistics, was approximately 5,700 tonnes. The country from which these imports originated is not recorded in the overseas trade statistics; therefore, not necessarily all beef shown as being imported from France will be of French origin. Similarly, this figure will exclude any beef of French origin imported from other member states.
Mr. Morley [holding answer 1 November 2001]: DEFRA is responsible for the promotion of sustainable development across government and society at large, both in the UK and internationally, leading the renewal of rural areas and promoting an efficient, competitive and sustainable food chain. The main objective of the Food Standards Agency is to protect public health from risks which may arise in connection with the consumption of food, including risks caused by the way in which it is produced or supplied, and otherwise to protect the interests of consumers in relation to food. The two Departments have a close working relationship.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what information she has collated on (a) variations in the prices of horticultural plants in the EU and (b) the impact of localised funding support on such prices. 
Mr. Morley: No such information is collated by the Department, though we do compile data on UK horticultural production, including the price of selected flowering pot plants in certain wholesale markets in England.
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subsidy from the (a) UK and (b) EU Bramley apple growers have received in (i) Northern Ireland, (ii) Scotland, (iii) Wales and (iv) England each year since 1981; 
(3) how many apple processing plants have closed in (a) Northern Ireland, (b) Wales, (c) Scotland and (d) England since 1991. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 2 November 2001]: The information is not available in the form requested. Apple growers may have received payments under a variety of schemes and from a number of Departments but are not generally identifiable as such from the records held.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many representations she has received for arable compensation from British farmers in the year prior to the 31 October deadline; and from whom they came. 
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with EU Ministers about a replacement to the agrimonetary compensation scheme; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Alan Reid: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) when will she reply to the letters from the hon. Member for Argyll and Bute, dated 27 July, regarding (a) import of German beef, (b) prawn quotas and (c) sheep farming in Kintyre; 
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Mr. Morley [holding answer 5 November 2001]: Veterinary resources in Gloucestershire are still subject to pressures of work in support of foot and mouth disease control. TB testing will resume as and when resources become available. It will be prioritised in accordance with veterinary risk assessment.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make provision to compensate for the cleansing and disinfecting costs involved in animal movement; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 5 November 2001]: There is currently no provision to compensate farmers for the cost of cleansing and disinfecting involved in the movement of animals and there are no plans to do so.
Mr. Morley: Adequate measures are in place to control legally presented imports of products of animal origin. All products of animal origin imported from third countries into the UK must enter at designated UK border inspection posts (BIP) where they are subject to veterinary inspections. All consignments are subject to documentary and identity checks and a percentage of consignments undergo physical checks. These checks are designed to establish that the products meet EU import conditions. Contaminated consignments would be rejected.
In respect of food not of animal origin, the Food Standards Agency monitors general food enforcement activity by all local authorities, including port health authorities, and has recently begun a programme of audits to provide more detailed information on enforcement standards.
Mr. Morley: Between 1988 and the end of June 2001, there were 8,572 approved applications in England under the farm woodland premium scheme and/or its predecessor the farm woodland scheme. Individuals may make more than one application.
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