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Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which areas of England and Wales can resume hunting and at what date; what precautions they must take; and what the timetable is for resumption of hunting in all other areas. [16758R]
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Alun Michael [holding answer 21 November 2001]: Hunting (except the hunting of deer) will be able to resume in foot and mouth disease free counties of England and Wales from 17 December under a temporary system of permits issued by DEFRA local animal health offices. I published details of the system and the Veterinary Risk Assessment on 15 November and placed copies in the House of Commons Library . The list of foot and mouth disease free counties is updated weekly and can be viewed on the Department's website http://www.defra.gov.uk/. The Veterinary Risk Assessment is that hunting should be permissible in other areas once those areas also achieve foot and mouth disease free status.
Restrictions on hunting arise from the need to prevent further outbreaks of foot and mouth disease, which remains a central concern of the Government. We also want to enable the countryside to return to normal as quickly as possible. To keep the balance right we are allowing hunting to resume to the extent that is consistent with the Veterinary Risk Assessment and with conditions that reflect the assessment.
The precautions to be taken when different forms of hunting resume are outlined in proposed permit conditions, which have been placed in the Library of the House and are also available on the DEFRA website. I have invited interested parties to let us have any comments on the proposed permit conditions by 7 December. I have already met representative groups to explain the background and to discuss the arrangements.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what advice her Department issues to (a) local authorities and (b) other parties on the disposal of household waste including needles used by diabetics in landfill sites; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Meacher: Where people regularly self-inject at home, used syringes should not be disposed of in the domestic waste. Disposal arrangements should be made with local hospitals, health centres, clinics, local authorities or pharmacists. Syringes disposed of via these routes will be incinerated rather than sent to landfill. Guidance on the safe disposal of clinical waste has been issued by the Health and Safety Commission. The Environment Agency has issued supplementary guidance on managing waste from healthcare activities.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment her Department has made of the potential hazards to refuse collectors posed by the inclusion of needles used by diabetics in household refuse; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Meacher: My Department has made no such assessment. Where people regularly self-inject at home, used syringes should not be disposed of in the domestic waste. Disposal arrangements for used syringes can be made with local hospitals, health centres, clinics, local authorities or pharmacists. Syringes disposed of via these routes will be incinerated rather than sent to landfill. Under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Human Health Regulations 1999, employers are required to assess
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and adequately control the risks to employees from clinical waste. Guidance on good practice is contained in the HSE publication "Safe Disposal of Clinical Waste".
Mrs. Browning: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the gross costs were (1) of the regulatory impact assessment for (a) the Prohibition of Fishing with Multiple Trawls Order 2001, (b) the Specified Risk Material (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2000, (c) the Pesticides (Maximum Residue Levels in Crops, Food and Feeding Stuffs) (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2000, (d) the Rendering (Fluid Treatment) (England) Order 2001, (e) the BSE Monitoring (England) Regulations 2001, (f) the Medicines (Products for Animal Use-Fees) (Amendment) Regulations 2001 and (g) the Animal By-Products (Amendment) (England) Order 2001; 
(3) of the regulatory impact assessment for (a) the Pet Travel Scheme (Pilot Arrangements) (England) (Amendment) Order 2001, (b) the Pig Industry Development Scheme 2000 (confirmation) Order 2001, (c) the Sea Fish (Specified Sea Area) (Regulation of Nets and Other Fishing Gear) Order 2001 and (d) the Home-Grown Cereals Authority Levy (Variation) Scheme (Approval) Order 2001. 
Mr. Morley: These costs are shown in the published regulatory impact assessments which are in the House Libraries.
Matthew Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when livestock markets will reopen for the sale of (a) sheep and (b) cattle; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: Livestock markets in Scotland have reopened subject to strict conditions. The decision to reopen livestock markets for either sheep or cattle in England or Wales will be taken in the light of veterinary and scientific advice on progress towards eradicating the foot and mouth disease. It is hoped that it may be possible to open some markets in the early part of next year.
Matthew Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many weeks after the last confirmed case of foot and mouth disease will livestock markets be reopened for the sale of (a) sheep and (b) cattle. 
Mr. Morley: The decision to reopen livestock markets for sheep or cattle will be made in the light of scientific and veterinary advice on progress with eradication of foot and mouth disease. It is not possible to state a precise period which will need to elapse after the last case.
Matthew Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what contingency plans she has made for permanently closing livestock markets and compensating their owners. 
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Mr. Morley: There are no plans to close livestock markets permanently.
Matthew Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what notice period will be given for the re-opening of livestock markets for the sale of (a) sheep and (b) cattle. 
Mr. Morley: In reaching a decision on the re-opening of livestock markets, account will be taken of the need to give farmers, auctioneers and other interested parties as much notice as possible.
Matthew Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the restrictions and regulations that will be in force on livestock markets when they re-open which were not in force prior to the outbreak of foot and mouth disease. 
Mr. Morley: When livestock markets reopen strict biosecurity provisions will be laid down which individual markets will have to meet before they will be permitted to operate. These matters are under active discussion between the Department and representatives of the interested parties.
Mr. Beith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what restrictions her Department has kept in force in the movement under licence into Northumberland from Scotland of cattle not intended for slaughter; and what the reason is for these restrictions. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 22 November 2001]: With effect from 20 November 2001, Northumberland has been reclassified for the purposes of foot and mouth disease controls from 'High Risk' to 'At Risk'. This means that under the Animal Movements Licensing Scheme cattle may move into Northumberland from 'FMD Free' counties under a licence issued by a local authority subject to prior veterinary inspection. All counties in Scotland are designated as 'FMD Free'. The licence system is in place to minimise the risk of spreading FMD.
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) if she will take steps for protect security of tenure of farming sub-tenants following the case of Barratt v. Morgan; 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 22 November 2001]: Following the House of Lords judgment in the Barrett v. Morgan case the then Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food consulted on whether the Lord Chancellor should be invited to use the powers available under the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986 to make regulations to protect the position of sub-tenants. The general consensus among the organisations consulted was that the Barrett v. Morgan judgment does not significantly further weaken the position of sub-tenants.
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In the light of the responses received we decided not to ask the Lord Chancellor to make regulations.
If, following the Barrett v. Morgan ruling, it becomes apparent that collusion between landlords and tenants poses a serious threat to a significant number of sub- tenants we will review the decision not to regulate further.
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