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Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations she has received against the recommencement of hunting following the foot and mouth outbreak. 
Alun Michael: I have met with the Campaign for the Protection of Hunted Animals which incorporated representatives from the RSPCA, League against Cruel Sports and International Fund for Animal Welfare. Correspondence has also been received from the Hunt Saboteurs Association, Protection of Wild Animals and the New Forest Animal Protection Group. A number of individuals have also written to the Department. In general, those who oppose hunting have made clear their continued opposition to hunting per se, but appreciate that our own decision is entirely about the extent to which activities that were allowed before the advent of foot and mouth disease can be permitted within the disease control measures that are necessary to eradicate the disease.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what advice she has issued to farmers and landowners concerning liability for losses should foot and mouth be spread by hunts on their land. 
Mr. Morley: The Department has not issued any advice to farmers concerning liability for losses connected with any activity which might cause the spread of foot and mouth disease. The decision on whether to allow
8 Jan 2002 : Column: 730W
Mr. Beith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many letters from right hon. and hon. Members received more than four months ago have not been given a substantive reply. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 7 November 2001]: Of letters received over four months ago (i.e. 19 June 19 September) 1,370 have not yet been given a substantive reply. In this period the Department received 2,874 letters from right hon. and hon. Members.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what reason the letters of the hon. Member for Vale of York of (a) 15 May on behalf of Mr. R. Corner of Bedale, concerning the foot and mouth epidemic, (b) 5 June on behalf of Mr. and Mrs. Pearson of Bedale, concerning the foot and mouth epidemic, (c) 21 June on behalf of Mrs. P. Crosby of Thirsk, concerning the foot and mouth epidemic, (d) 11 July on behalf of Mr. Peter Winston of Sullivan Agriculture Ltd., York, concerning the foot and mouth epidemic, (e) 17 July on behalf of Mr. D. Creer of Wigginton, York, concerning the Policy Commission on Food and Farming, (f) 3 August on behalf of Mr. R. J. H. Cobbold of Harrogate, concerning the foot and mouth epidemic, (g) 8 August on behalf of Mrs. I. Wilkinson of York, concerning the foot and mouth epidemic and (h) 18 September on behalf of Mr. John Trenholme of Thirsk, concerning the foot and mouth epidemic, have not been replied to; and if she will send responses to each constituent before 19 December. 
Mr. Morley: All of the above letters were responded to by 19 December with the exception of the 21 June letter on behalf of Mrs. P. Crosby of Thirsk, concerning the foot and mouth epidemic. We will respond to this as soon as possible.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State wrote to all Members of Parliament on 14 November explaining the scale of the current problems faced by those dealing with Members' correspondence within the Department and setting out the mechanisms put in place to overcome these problems.
Mrs. Roe: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when the hon. Member for Broxbourne will receive a reply to her letters of 14 June, 11 July, 10 August, 20 September, 18 October, 16 November and 12 December, relating to correspondence from her constituent, Mr. I Dukes of Cheshunt, Hertfordshire. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 17 December 2001]: The hon. Member's letters were transferred to the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (DTLR) on 28 December 2001 for a reply as the issues raised falls under their remit.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State wrote to all Members of Parliament on 14 November explaining the scale of the current problems faced by the Correspondence Section and setting out the mechanisms put in place to overcome these problems.
8 Jan 2002 : Column: 731W
Mrs. Roe: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when the hon. Member for Broxbourne will receive a reply to her letters of 17 July, 16 August, 13 September, 11 October, 16 November and 12 December, relating to correspondence from her constituent, Mr. Stan Kitchiner, of Cuffley, Hertfordshire. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 17 December 2001]: My noble Friend Lord Whitty replied to the letters dated 17 July, 16 August, 13 September, 11 October, 16 November and 12 December from the hon. Member for Broxbourne on 20 December.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State wrote to all hon. Members of Parliament on 14 November explaining the scale of the current problems faced by the Correspondence Section and setting out the mechanisms put in place to overcome these problems.
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the projects in her Department which have been considered as potential public-private partnerships since 1997 which have not been undertaken because the public sector comparator had a lower net present value than the public private partnership proposed; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: In our 1997 reforms of PFI, the Government abandoned the requirement to submit all capital projects to PFI testing. Accordingly, it will be concluded at a very early stage in the option appraisal process whether a PPP approach is likely to deliver value for money (vfm); where it is not, a public sector comparator (PSC) will not be constructed. Only when it is concluded, following careful consideration, that PPP is likely to offer value for money, will a PSC normally be developed.
Against this background, and with the maturing of the PPP process and the PPP market, it is likely that a high proportion of projects which do embark on the PPP route will contract on that basis, with competition helping to secure value for money and the PSC acting as a quantitative aid to informing judgment.
PPP deals continue to account for only a small proportion of the total sums invested to improve the delivery of public services. Public sector gross investment is projected to rise from £19 billion in 200001 to £35.2 billion in 200304. Over the same period, capital investment by the private sector through PFI will be about £3 billion annually.
From information held centrally the Department is not aware of any potential public private partnerships which have not been undertaken because the public sector comparator had a lower net present value than the public private partnership proposed.
8 Jan 2002 : Column: 732W
farm diversification as set out in "Planning Consultancy Advice for Farm Diversification", published by her Department. 
Margaret Beckett [holding answer 8 November 2001]: This scheme was launched on 12 September 2001 and has attracted a good level of interest from farmers. To date DEFRA has received 113 applications for planning consultancy advice, of which 62 have been approved so far. The cases approved have yet to result in any claims on public funds, which are only made once the consultant's work has been completed and the farmer satisfied with the service provided.
Mr. Morley: With regard to Free Planning Advice for farmers pursuing a viable diversification project, which was launched in September, to date we have received 373 applications; 237 of these have been approved; 97 are currently being processed.
In addition, the Farm Business Advice Service, which was introduced in October 2000 under the Action Plan for Farming and consists of three days of free on-farm business advice, is available to help farmers take stock of their businesses and decide on the future directionwhether it is improving their business, diversifying or leaving the industry. Since its launch, 7,613 farms have requested the service, 4,637 farms have received an initial diagnostic visit and 2,851 farms have received the full three-day service resulting in an Action Plan.
Mr. Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations she has received about failures to pay slaughter premium on cattle slaughtered during the foot and mouth outbreak. 
Mr. Morley: Slaughter premium is not payable on cattle slaughtered during the foot and mouth outbreak but if the market value for such animals would have been influenced by expectation of slaughter premium then the valuation for compensation should reflect this. Standard valuations, which operated between 22 March and 29 July, took account of slaughter premium.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) on how many premises culling took place of (a) cattle, (b) sheep, (c) pigs and (d) other animals under the (i) infected premises, (ii) dangerous contact, (iii) slaughter on suspicion and (iv) contiguous cull schemes operating during the foot and mouth disease outbreak broken down by (A) county and (B) region; and how many samples were taken and how many positive tests were found at each premises; 
8 Jan 2002 : Column: 733W
Mrs. Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on what date she intends to disband her Department's teams of foot and mouth disease blood testers operating in the south-west of England; what plans she has to divert foot and mouth disease blood tester personnel and resources to the testing of cattle for bovine tuberculosis in the south-west of England; and if she will make a statement. 
Under the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 blood sampling for laboratory testing can be undertaken by paraprofessionals. The TB test can only be carried out by qualified veterinary surgeons who are accredited to the relevant LVI Panel. The number of blood samplers who can be diverted to TB skin testing is minimal. The only other resource that will be required for the restart of TB testing is a sufficient supply of Tuberculin to meet the projected future need.
8 Jan 2002 : Column: 734W
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many temporary veterinary inspectors have written to her about their experiences during the foot and mouth epidemic. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 11 December 2001]: We have no record of letters from temporary veterinary inspectors (TVIs) to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State about their experiences during the foot and mouth outbreak. Some may have written on an individual and personal basis.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on how many farms animals have been slaughtered in relation to foot and mouth disease; and how many animals have been slaughtered by type in each case since 30 September. 
Margaret Beckett [holding answer 17 December 2001]: As at 17.30, 12 December 2001, 9,578 premises have been affected by foot and mouth disease ie premises which have been classified as an Infected Premises, Dangerous Contact or Slaughter on Suspicion on which slaughter of animals has occurred.
The following table details all slaughterings on foot and mouth disease affected premises since 30 September 2001. There have been no outbreaks since that date; these figures therefore relate to slaughter on suspicion cases or to dangerous contact cases identified by surveillance bleeding.
|1 October 2001||0||80||0||0||0||0||80|
|2 October 2001||0||183||0||0||0||0||183|
|10 October 2001||0||1||0||0||0||0||1|
|10 October 2001||5||1,739||0||0||0||0||1,744|
|10 October 2001||0||57||0||0||0||0||57|
|11 October 2001||0||25||0||0||0||0||25|
|11 October 2001||0||141||0||0||0||0||141|
|13 October 2001||0||100||0||0||0||0||100|
|17 October 2001||0||387||0||0||0||0||387|
|18 October 2001||324||0||0||0||0||0||324|
|24 October 2001||0||131||0||0||0||0||131|
|24 October 2001||0||0||0||2||0||0||2|
|26 October 2001||0||1||0||0||0||0||1|
|27 October 2001||0||247||0||0||0||0||247|
|30 October 2001||0||1||0||0||0||0||1|
|31 October 2001||0||80||0||0||0||0||80|
|1 November 2001||1||0||0||0||0||0||1|
|10 November 2001||0||128||0||0||0||0||128|
|10 November 2001||0||129||0||0||0||0||129|
|10 November 2001||0||2||0||0||0||0||2|
|10 November 2001||0||57||0||0||0||0||57|
|10 November 2001||0||178||0||0||0||0||178|
|10 November 2001||0||50||0||0||0||0||50|
|13 November 2001||0||1||0||0||0||0||1|
|20 November 2001||0||60||0||0||0||0||60|
|21 November 2001||0||2||0||0||0||0||2|
|27 November 2001||0||1||0||0||0||0||1|
|27 November 2001||0||1||0||0||0||0||1|
|27 November 2001||0||8||0||0||0||0||8|
|6 December 2001||0||2||0||0||0||0||2|
|10 December 2001||0||1||0||0||0||0||1|
DEFRA Disease Control System Database as at 17.30 12 December 2001. Figures subject to change as more data become available.
8 Jan 2002 : Column: 735W
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what reasons animals with foot and mouth disease anti-bodies and no other symptoms of the disease were slaughtered during the foot and mouth outbreak. 
Mr. Morley: Foot and mouth disease (FMD) antibodies are not found in healthy livestock in FMD free countries. Their presence indicates that the animal has been exposed to the virus. Such exposed animals could be diseased and infectious or they could be convalescent. It is also possible that a carrier state may develop in some animals which have FMD antibodies whereby the animal can carry the virus for prolonged periods and could possibly cause a recrudescence of disease. This is particularly so in the case of sheep. It is therefore essential that animals with FMD antibodies are promptly culled as part of the control mechanisms in place to eradicate FMD.
8 Jan 2002 : Column: 736W
after an outbreak of foot and mouth disease; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: Of the 132 premises in Worcestershire affected by Foot and Mouth disease, secondary cleansing and disinfection has been completed on 130. Significant work has been undertaken on the remaining two premises, but in both cases has been halted. No other premises in Worcestershire will require cleansing and disinfection.
Nationally, the secondary cleansing and disinfection operation is well advanced with 88 per cent. of premises subject to secondary C and D now complete, a further 7 per cent. in progress and only 1 per cent. to start. 4 per cent. of premises will not undergo secondary C and D.
Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many foot and mouth cases there were, broken down by (a) farm and (b) animals slaughtered, by category, in each (i) constituency and (ii) local authority in 2001. 
|Number of||Number of animals slaughtered on infected premises|
|Bishop Auckland County||44||4,194||19,481||2,808||13||0||0||26,496|
|Blyth Valley Borough||1||0||2,000||0||0||0||0||2,000|
|Bradford South Borough||2||155||0||0||0||0||0||155|
|Brecon and Radnorshire County||45||2,608||34,243||2||22||0||0||36,875|
|Brentwood and Ongar County||2||206||0||308||0||0||0||514|
|Bristol North West Borough||1||0||5||1||8||0||0||14|
|Cannock Chase County||2||131||243||0||0||0||0||374|
|City of Durham County||3||410||1,099||0||0||0||0||1,509|
|Crewe and Nantwich County||1||158||0||0||0||0||5||163|
|Cynon Valley County||1||112||994||0||0||0||0||1,106|
|East Devon County||1||125||2,109||0||0||0||0||2,234|
|Forest of Dean County||48||2,987||14,121||153||0||0||0||17,261|
|Galloway and Upper Nithsdale County||39||9,986||22,331||55||0||0||0||32,372|
|Lancaster and Wyre County||2||457||49||0||0||0||0||506|
|Maldon and East Chelmsford County||1||0||604||2||0||0||0||606|
|Mid Worcestershire County||6||421||6,819||0||0||0||0||7,240|
|Morecambe and Lunesdale County||8||1,726||2,440||0||1||0||0||4,167|
|Newcastle upon Tyne North Borough||6||379||628||134||0||0||0||1,141|
|Newport West County||3||463||2,123||3||4||0||0||2,593|
|North Cornwall County||3||313||1,726||0||0||0||0||2,039|
|North Devon County||40||4,280||27,118||1||3||0||0||31,402|
|North Essex County||2||96||2,565||2||0||0||0||2,663|
|North Shropshire County||4||512||1,621||3||3||0||0||2,139|
|North West Durham County||37||4,941||18,768||50||26||0||0||23,785|
|North West Leicestershire County||1||0||1,506||0||0||0||0||1,506|
|Northampton South Borough||1||0||558||0||0||0||0||558|
|Oxford West and Abingdon County||1||0||266||0||0||0||0||266|
|Penrith and The Border County||642||113,945||302,176||2,278||115||20||0||418,534|
|Ribble Valley County||37||5,378||13,586||10||6||0||133||19,113|
|Richmond (Yorks) County||40||5,292||19,477||1,380||0||0||0||26,149|
|Roxburgh and Berwickshire County||11||1,012||9,590||4||37||2||0||10,645|
|Rutland and Melton County||1||0||179||0||0||0||0||179|
|Scarborough and Whitby County||19||2,072||5,313||3||2||0||0||7,390|
|Shrewsbury and Atcham County||3||137||1,340||319||0||0||0||1,796|
|Sittingbourne and Sheppey County||1||0||347||0||0||0||0||347|
|Skipton and Ripon County||62||7,608||41,558||16||17||0||104||49,303|
|South Derbyshire County||8||610||782||0||34||0||0||1,426|
|South East Cornwall County||1||69||236||70||0||0||0||375|
|South Staffordshire County||5||105||2,870||0||0||0||0||2,975|
|South West Devon County||1||443||0||0||0||0||0||443|
|Stockton South Borough||4||870||2,325||0||1||0||0||3,196|
|The Wrekin County||1||0||271||584||0||0||0||855|
|Tiverton and Honiton County||9||1,004||4,233||22||5||0||6||5,270|
|Torridge and West Devon County||122||19,112||48,497||1,653||4||0||0||69,266|
|Vale of York||11||1,065||4,138||5||8||3||0||5,219|
|Warrington North Borough||1||371||4||0||0||0||0||375|
|West Worcestershire County||4||0||9,062||0||0||0||0||9,062|
|Westmorland and Lonsdale County||18||1,842||12,875||0||0||0||0||14,717|
|Wyre Forest County||8||975||2,115||0||0||0||0||3,090|
|Ynys Môn County||13||636||7,296||5||0||0||0||7,937|
8 Jan 2002 : Column: 737W
|Number of||Number of animals slaughtered on infected premises|
|Bradford District||Metropolitan District||5||418||243||0||0||0||0||661|
|Castell-Nedd Port Talbot Neath Port Talbot||Unitary Authority||1||416||2||0||0||0||0||418|
|City of Bristol||Unitary Authority||1||0||5||1||8||0||0||14|
|County of Herefordshire||Unitary Authority||44||4,408||38,475||52||3||0||0||42,938|
|Dumfries and Galloway||Unitary Authority||176||34,572||86,462||191||155||0||0||121,380|
|Greater London Authority||Greater London Authority||1||198||0||6||0||0||0||204|
|Leeds District||Metropolitan District||1||75||0||0||0||0||0||75|
|Newcastle upon Tyne District||Metropolitan District||6||379||628||134||0||0||0||1,141|
|North Yorkshire County||County||133||16,197||72,797||1,404||27||3||104||90,532|
|Rhondda, Cynon, Taf-Rhondda, Cynon, Taff||Unitary Authority||1||112||994||0||0||0||0||1,106|
|Scottish Borders||Unitary Authority||11||1,012||9,590||4||37||2||0||10,645|
|Sir Fynwy-Monmouthshire||Unitary Authority||23||1,876||12,828||587||0||0||0||15,291|
|Sir Ynys Môn-Isle of Anglesey||Unitary Authority||13||636||7,296||5||0||0||0||7,937|
|South Gloucestershire||Unitary Authority||3||116||35||5,490||3||0||0||5,641|
|Telford and Wrekin||Unitary Authority||1||0||271||584||0||0||0||855|
|Wigan District||Metropolitan District||1||47||0||0||0||0||0||47|
Figures subject to revision as more data become available
DEFRA Disease Control system Database as at 21 December 2001
8 Jan 2002 : Column: 739W
Mrs. Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the Institute of Animal Health's polymerase chain reaction test for the foot and mouth disease virus in livestock; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: The Institute of Animal Health at Pirbright has improved the speed of Foot and Mouth Disease diagnosis using polymerase chain reaction methods. This system involves the automated extraction of nucleic acid from tissues and robotic control of the reverse transcription reactions using a probe and primers capable of detecting all seven serotypes of Foot and Mouth Disease viral RNA. The results can be available in around four hours when fewer than 30 samples are tested. The sensitivity and specificity of the method is comparable with virus isolation in cell culture which takes several days.
Mrs. Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) if she will list by county (a) the number and (b) the location of individual burial pits containing the carcases of livestock slaughtered as a result of foot and mouth disease control measures; 
8 Jan 2002 : Column: 740W
Mr. Morley: The Department's policy is to make available the locations and addresses of premises on which individual burial pits are sited only to third parties with a legitimate interest in the information. This interest may for example include environmental monitoring or farmer support.
Mr. Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when Dr. Iain Anderson's Lessons Learned Inquiry into the foot and mouth outbreak is to start; and if she will make a statement. 
8 Jan 2002 : Column: 741W
I welcome the start of the Lessons Learned Inquiry. This inquiry, and the Royal Society's independent scientific review, will be rigorous investigations of all the relevant scientific and policy issues and will enable us to establish the best way forward. We are contributing fully to the independent inquiry process.
Mr. MacKay: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) infected premises and (b) contiguous premises there were from which samples were taken during the foot and mouth disease outbreak; what was the total number of premises recorded by region in each category; how many animals in each category were culled; and, of those culled, how many returned positive tests. 
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the value is of the (a) VAT and (b) council tax deferred as a result of the economic impact of foot and mouth disease for which payment is being sought. 
Margaret Beckett [holding answer 6 December 2001]: There has been no change in the Government's policy on the collection of taxes due from businesses affected by foot and mouth disease. A total of £202 million of payments of income tax, VAT and national insurance contributions (of which £88 million relates to VAT) have been deferred by agreement beyond their due date without interest becoming payable. Customs and Excise and the Inland Revenue continue to take a sympathetic approach, on a case-by-case basis, to recovery of the outstanding amounts.
No records are held centrally of any council tax payments that local authorities may have agreed to defer. Partial information is available on deferred business rate payments: a survey by the Local Government Association shows that 101 local authorities have deferred rate payments from nearly 6,000 businesses, and, based on information from 54 of those authorities, estimates the value of deferred payments in their areas at around £2 million. To help authorities meet the demand to defer rate payments, the Government deferred 50 per cent. of all payments into the national rate pool from 151 rural authorities between April and August 2001.
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