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Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much his Department spent on information literature, advertising and campaign material in the financial years (a) 199596, (b) 199697, (c) 199798, (d) 199899, (e) 19992000 and (f) 200001; and if he will make a statement. 
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Expenditure figures for years 199798 and 199899 cover the production of information literature, advertising and campaign material in the following subject areas; absent voting/electoral voting, accelerated promotion scheme for graduates (APSG) police, special constables recruitment and fire safety. No significant marketing campaigns were run in these financial years.
Expenditure in the years 19992000 and 200001 however, covers campaigns in the following areas: police recruitment, vehicle crime reduction, fire safety, rolling/ electoral registration and postal voting, passports advice and the introduction of the Human Rights Act 1998.
|Rolling registration and postal voting||7|
|Crime (including vehicle crime reduction)||10|
Vernon Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the abolition of the Intervention Board for Agricultural Produce and the progress towards agency status of the Rural Payments Agency; and if she will publish its framework document, corporate plan and business plan. 
Mr. Morley: The Rural Payments Agency was launched as an executive agency of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on 16 october 2001. It received accreditation as an EU paying agency on the same date. The chief executive is Mr. Johnston McNeill.
Since that date and until 15 November, when the Intervention Board for Agricultural Produce (Abolition) Regulations 2001 came into force, the agency has been operating as a joint enterprise between the Intervention Board for Agricultural Produce and the Department under a single management structure headed by the chief executive.
The House has already been informed of the agency's performance targets on 17 October 2001, Official Report, column 1247W. I am arranging for copies of the framework document, the corporate plan and the business plan for 200102 to be placed in the Library of the House.
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Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make it her policy to reduce the number of bodies involved in controlling illegal imports of food. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 15 November 2001]: There are a number of bodies with an interest in the control of food imports. We are co-ordinating action to identify practical ways to simplify the situation.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on how the Government will test for scrapie-causing agents in apparently scrapie-resistant sheep. 
Mr. Morley: Next year we will be testing a sample of sheep brains for signs of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) including scrapie. At present the number of sheep to be tested is 23,000 but this may increase. The relevant European Union legislation requires that, if a test performed under that legislation gives a positive result for the presence of TSEs, the sample material must be genotyped. This will reveal any case where the sheep had a scrapie-resistant genotype.
We are also carrying out experiments to see if sheep that are fully resistant to scrapie can be infected with BSE. Over five years the sheep will be culled so that, using a range of available tests, their tissues can be examined for signs of infectivity. Results so far have been very encouraging, as infectivity has not been detected.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the level of consultation on the Animal Health Bill before its publication. 
Mr. Morley: We have had to draw up this legislation swiftly to prepare for any emergency and there has not been time to consult in the way that we normally would. However, over the coming weeks and months, while the Bill is before Parliament we will consult widely on key provisions and their practical implementation.
With specific regard to the provisions on scrapie and TSEs, we signalled the possibility of introducing a compulsory programme of genotyping and breeding restrictions for TSE-susceptible sheep when we launched a public consultation exercise on the proposed national scrapie plan in July 2000. We are currently consulting stakeholders about the detailed arrangements including the timing of the introduction of a compulsory scheme.
Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many named day parliamentary written questions were tabled to her Department between 15 October and 5 November; and what proportion of these have received holding answers. 
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Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of those named day parliamentary written questions to her Department that received a holding answer between 15 October and 5 November received the substantive answer (a) within three parliamentary days, (b) within seven parliamentary days, (c) within 10 parliamentary days, (d) within 15 parliamentary days and (e) over 15 parliamentary days after the holding answer was issued. 
Mr. Morley: The proportion of named day parliamentary written questions that received a holding answer between 15 October and 5 November, and have subsequently received a substantive answer is in the table:
|(a) Within three||40||20|
|(b) Within seven||62||31|
|(c) Within 10||19||9.5|
|(d) Within 15||19||9.5|
|(e) Over 15||61||30|
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many mink farms were inspected during the slaughter period in November and December 2000; and what were the methods of slaughter observed. 
Mr. Morley: Our records show that three mink farms were inspected during November and December 2000. However, slaughter was only observed at two of these farms. Exposure to carbon monoxide was observed on one farm, and exposure to carbon dioxide was observed at the other.
Mr. Morley: The Government want to see a sustainable, competitive and diverse farming and food sector which contributes to a thriving and sustainable rural economy and advances environmental, economic, health and animal welfare goals. The independent Policy Commission on the future of farming and food, announced on 9 August, has been established to advise us on how to achieve these objectives.
One key policy objective is to secure further positive change to the common agricultural policy, framing much of our domestic agriculture policy. In particular, we want to see market price support and production controls phased out, with transitional support payments to help farmers to adjust. This should be complemented by a shift towards the "second pillar" of the CAP, expanding the resources available for targeted support for rural development and agri-environment schemes.
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Mr. Jon Owen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what information she has collated on (a) how many vets in each of the last five years have been struck off or disqualified and (b) how many were struck off or disqualified for mistreating domestic pets; 
Mr. Morley: This Department does not collate figures regarding this matter, as responsibility for these matters rests with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. However, figures furnished to this Department by the college indicate that during the last five years a total of four vets have been struck off. Of these one was struck off for the mistreatment of pet animals.
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