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Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the growth promoters that are permitted to be given to (a) pigs, (b) poultry and (c) other farm animals. 
Mr. Morley: The following growth promoters are authorised under directive 70/524/EEC to be used as feed additives for pigs, poultry and other farm animals:
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what reason and how much EU compensation is being paid in this financial year to Spanish fishermen for loss of fishing opportunities in Morocco; what the UK contribution is to this compensation; and what EU compensation is to be paid to British fishermen for loss of fishing opportunities under Cod Preservation plans. 
Mr. Morley: The European Council, at its meeting in Nice in December 2000, asked the Commission if it did not prove possible to conclude a future fisheries agreement with the Kingdom of Morocco to propose, keeping within the financial perspective, a specific action programme for restructuring the Community fleet which had fished within the framework of the old agreement.
Now that negotiations between the EU and Morocco on a new agreement have failed, the proposal before the Council of Fisheries Ministers on 27 November would provide 197 million euros of new Community money, over two years, towards the restructuring of the fleets concerned, which are Spanish and Portuguese. We have made sure in negotiating that the terms of the measures are aimed at achieving real restructuring which avoids diversion of effort to Community waters.
This measure will not increase the UK's contribution to the EU budget.
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No EU compensation has been paid to British fishermen as a result of recovery measures to protect cod stocks. I would find it difficult in principle to justify making compensation payments for a decline in stocks, particularly when the cause of the problem could relate to overfishing, or for conservation measures put in place to improve stocks and fishing opportunities in the future.
However, in order to promote the restructuring of the UK fleet, decommissioning schemes totalling £36 million are currently in place in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Mrs. Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the level of testing of sheep brains for BSE and scrapie; and when she expects to publish the results of the next round of testing. 
Mr. Morley: Between November 2000 and the end of September 2001, 465 sheep scrapie suspects have been tested at the VLA. 284 were found to be positive for scrapie; none have given results indicative of BSE. The Department is also strain-typing, using mouse bioassay, brains from scrapie-infected sheep collected since 1996. In about 180 cases, experiments have reached the first point at which, if BSE was clearly present, it might have become apparent. It has not done so, although the work is still on-going and experiments cannot therefore be interpreted as excluding the presence of BSE. It is likely to require several more years before the strains can be definitively identified. The outcome of all investigations, whether research or surveillance, are kept under continual review, and guidance sought from SEAC where necessary. We will continue to put all our research into the public domain at the earliest opportunity.
In the new year, the Department will be launching an abattoir survey and a fallen stock survey to test for TSEs, including scrapie, some 23,000 sheep aged over 18 months. This is part of an EU-wide programme designed to give information on the incidence of scrapie and other TSEs in the European Union. Quantitative data in terms of numbers of animals tested, and number positive, will be reported regularly to the European Commission in accordance with our statutory obligations. This information will also be put in the public domain. Qualitative analysis, whether in terms of the prevalence of scrapie infection in the population sampled, or the nature of any scrapie identified, will under normal circumstances require completion of the survey, and possible further investigations.
Mrs. Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) if she will make a statement for the forecast level of the ewe premium for 2001; 
Mr. Morley: The European Commission has made forecasts of the final rate of the ewe premium during the course of the year to enable advances of the premium to
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be paid; its most recent forecast is for a final rate of 10.779 euros. However, the final rate of the premium will not finally be determined until the average community market price for sheepmeat for the marketing year is known.
The European Commission has proposed a number of changes to the sheepmeat regime. These include replacement of the current deficiency-type premium calculation with a fixed rate premium of 21 euro with effect from 2002. The proposals were considered by the Agriculture Council on 20 November and I refer the hon. Member to my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Clydesdale (Mr. Hood) on 26 November 2001, Official Report, column 690W.
Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will grant a right for farmers to appeal against the slaughter of stock thought to be infected with foot and mouth before they are killed. 
Mr. Morley: If a farmer does not agree with the decision to cull his stock, he has the right to make representations to the district veterinary manager.
This right is not affected by the Animal Health Bill currently before Parliament.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to make insurance against outbreaks of foot and mouth disease compulsory for livestock farmers. 
Mr. Morley: The Department is continuing to study the options for insurance against the consequences of outbreaks of livestock diseases.
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if the industrial action by her Department's civil servants has led to a backlog in processing (a) IACS payments and (b) compensation payments; and if the Government will pay interest to farmers affected by late payments. 
Mr. Morley: Industrial action by PCS members has affected the Department's ability to process payments as normal, although every effort continues to be made to make payments within the appropriate time scales. It is not Government policy to pay compensation for payments which might miss payment deadlines because of industrial action.
Gareth Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what representations she has received with regard to the level of sheep annual premium for the forthcoming year; 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 26 November 2001]: We have received a number of representations on the European Commission's proposal to replace the current deficiency-type premium calculation with a flat rate
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premium of 21 euro with effect from 2002. Under the Commission's proposals, member states would be able to pay the flat rate from 16 October 2002.
The proposals were considered by the Agriculture Council on 20 November. No agreement was reached at that meeting and we expect that discussions will resume in the Council in December.
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many formal notices her Department has received in the last year from the parliamentary ombudsman expressing an intention to carry out an investigation; and in respect of each notice how long it took to respond. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 27 November 2001]: Information on the outcome of statutory investigations which were concluded during 200001 are set out in the parliamentary ombudsman's annual report for 200001, copies of which are available in the Library of the House, or on the parliamentary ombudsman's website at
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