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Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of poultry in the United Kingdom were slaughtered before the end of the medication withdrawal period for (a) nicarbazin, (b) lasalocid and (c) dimetridazole in (i) 1998, (ii) 1999, (iii) 2000, (iv) 2001 and (v) November and December of (i), (ii) and (iii). 
Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what the permitted concentrations of (a) nicarbazin, (b) lasalocid and (c) dimetridazole residues in poultry are which were deemed safe for human consumption in the United Kingdom (i) 1998, (ii) 1999, (iii) 2000 and (iv) 2001; 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 23 November 2001]: The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) has set an Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) for nicarbazin of 0400 g/kg of body weight24,000 g for a person weighing 60 kg. This represents the amount of nicarbazin that could be consumed every day over a lifetime without harm to human health. A single exposure over this amount would be unlikely to be harmful.
Poultry are sampled as part of the Veterinary Medicines Directorate's (VMD's) Statutory National Surveillance Scheme, in accordance with the requirements of EC Directive 96/23. The sample numbers tested for nicarbazin, lasalocid and dimetridazole over the period are given in the table.
No samples of poultry have been found to contain residues of dimetridazole in the period. Residues of nicarbazin and lasalocid have been found in samples of UK poultry, but toxicologists' advice has confirmed that none posed a risk to consumer safety. The presence of nicarbazin in poultry products is a food contaminant issue, rather than a food safety issue.
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(16) The 2001 figures are the number of samples that are planned to have been collected by the end of the year's programme
Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of poultry was slaughtered in the United Kingdom before the withdrawal period for finisher feed was completed in November and December of (a) 1998, (b) 1999 and (c) 2000. 
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how much funding was set aside to test for transmissible spongiform encephalopathies in sheep in (a) 19992000, (b) 200001 and (c) 200102; 
Mr. Morley [holding answers 23 November 2001]: The cost of surveillance of TSEs, including scrapie, in sheep is as follows: (i) 19992000 £442,000; (ii) 200001 £205,000; and (iii) 200102 £212,000. Costs for 200102 are estimates only.
In the new year the Department will be launching an abattoir survey to test for TSEs, including scrapie, some 23,000 sheep aged over 18 months. This part of an EU-wide programme designed to give information on the incidence of scrapie and other TSEs in the European Union. The total cost will be around £5 million.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to her answer of 16 November 2001, Official Report, column 972W, what was (a) the number of scrapie-resistant sheep that were infected with BSE over the last 12 months, (b) the proportion of sheep deemed necessary for infectivity
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of BSE in sheep to be confirmed and (c) the proportion of sheep that have tested positive for TSEs in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many members of staff work in the correspondence unit of her Department; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 23 November 2001]: The Department's correspondence section is currently comprised of nine permanent staff and 10 temporary staff. The size of the section has increased substantially in recent months to deal with the sheer volume of letters received during the foot and mouth disease outbreak and since the creation of DEFRA.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to her answer of 16 November 2001, Official Report, column 972W, how many representations she has received (a) from stakeholders on the Animal Health Bill between its publication and 20 November and (b) on the Government's National Scrapie Plan between July 2000 and 20 November 2001. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 23 November 2001]: The Department had received approximately 10 written representations relating to the Animal Health Bill from stakeholders as at 20 November. This figure includes correspondence from both private individuals and organisations, and correspondence from MPs.
One hundred submissions were received from stakeholders in response to the original proposals on the National Scrapie Plan (NSP) published for consultation between 28 July and 31 October 2000. Thirty-one submissions were received in response to proposals to extend the NSP (and on issues relating to scrapie reporting) published for consultation between 9 October and 1 November 2001.
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Mrs. Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to bring forward legislation (a) introducing a regulatory system of licensing for farmers wishing to grow crops or raise animals and (b) making it compulsory for farmers to purchase insurance against agricultural disaster such as disease; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: I have no such plans at this point but both these ideas are among the many options which the Government and the Policy Commission will need to consider to help build a sustainable, modern farming industry. No decisions will be taken before we have received the recommendations of the Policy Commission or without full consultation with all interested parties.
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