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Mr. Morley: There were no livestock markets open in England and Wales for the auction and sale of live animals on 1 December 2001 although some were open as collecting centres for animal movements under licence.
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HM Customs and Excise
HM Customs and Excise
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Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to her oral answer of 15 November 2001, Official Report, column 961, on BSE, what peer reviews the Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee has used of the research work of Professor Ebringer on BSE. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 17 December 2001]: The Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee has invited Professor Ebringer to attend its next meeting in February 2002. The Committee, which comprises independent and eminent scientists in the field, will then review Professor Ebringer's work. Generally, research is not peer reviewed specifically for the purposes of aiding SEAC's deliberations. On this occasion, however, an independent scientist has been approached to review the work prior to SEAC's discussion.
Mr. Morley: The Department has a Public Service Agreement (PSA) target for this area; that is to reduce the annual incidence of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) to less than 650 cases by 2001 and by 2004 be on track for fewer than 30 cases by 2006, a 99 per cent. reduction compared with 1997 when there were 4,312 cases.
The actual figure for 2001 is likely to be around 750 confirmed BSE cases in cattle presented as clinical suspects. Progress against the PSA target has been affected by movement restrictions introduced to deal with the foot and mouth disease outbreak. This has disrupted the slaughter of older cattle under the over-30-months scheme (OTMS) because available rendering capacity has been used to dispose of the carcases of animals arising from the control of foot and mouth disease. This, in turn, has increased the mean age of the cattle population and resulted in more cases than previously anticipated. Nevertheless, the outturn for 2001 still represents a reduction of more than 40 per cent. compared to 2000 (1,311 cases in cattle presented as clinical suspects), so that the epidemic continues rapidly to decline. There is no particular concern at present in relation to the 2004 and 2006 targets.
Mrs. Browning: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what the gross costs are for the acquisition of the land used as a holding/transit area for carcases at Westlake Farm, Oakford, Devon; 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 17 December 2001]: The site at Westlake Farm was not purchased. Negotiations are ongoing with the owner over the terms of the rental arrangements and about reinstatement of the site, taking into account of the council's requirements. Construction costs for the holding facility were £668,640.
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Mr. Morley: Information on UK farm incomes was published on 29 November 2001. Total Income from Farming (TIFF) is forecast to increase by 15 per cent. in real terms in 2001, compared with 2000. There are no plans to publish farm incomes data for the constituency of Buckingham.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many farmers in the constituency of Buckingham have received free consultancy advice from the Farm Business Advice Service. 
Mr. Morley: Management Information for the Farm Business Advice Service is collected by Business Link region and we are unable to provide figures for the constituency of Buckingham. However, figures for the Business Link region of Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire show that in the year since the launch of the service in October 2000, 95 farms have received a first visit and 85 farms have completed the full three days resulting in an Action Plan.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many people in the constituency of Buckingham have received funding from the (a) rural enterprise scheme, (b) processing and marketing grants scheme, and (c) vocational training scheme since their introduction, indicating the level of funding received from each scheme. 
Mr. Morley: Since the introduction of the rural enterprise, processing and marketing grants, and vocational training schemes, four projects have been approved in Buckinghamshire. Two were under RES, attracting total funding of £58,054 and two under VTS, attracting total funding of £34,483.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if the costs awarded to MAFF following the case of MAFF v. TT Smith (Mink) Ltd. (11 March 1999) have been paid by the defendant. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 17 December 2001]: The fine of £5,000 has been paid but the costs of £10,000 remain unpaid. Enforcement of payment is a responsibility of the magistrates court and we are pressing them to enforce payment.
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Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the number and type of each animal slaughtered at (a) Beirhope farm, Jedburgh and (b) Renniestone, Jedburgh and on (i) contiguous premises and (ii) 3 km premises in April. 
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many premises were tested for evidence of foot and mouth disease as a result of the outbreaks at (a) Beirhope farm, Jedburgh and (b) Renniestone, Jedburgh in April; and what the result of the tests was. 
Margaret Beckett [holding answer 17 December 2001]: Animals on both Beirhope farm and Renniestone were tested for foot and mouth disease and the test results were positive, confirming the disease in both cases. No tests were conducted on animals on the contiguous premises or on premises within the 3 km area surrounding each farm.
A total of 92 premises located in the area between 3 and 10 km from both farms were tested for foot and mouth disease. As both farms are in the same ownership separate records of this surveillance blood testing were not kept. All of these tests were negative. However, a negative result does not guarantee that there are no traces of virus present.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) contiguous and (b) 3 kilometre premises were slaughtered out following outbreaks of foot and mouth disease at (i) Beirhope farm, Jedburgh and (ii) Renniestone, Jedburgh in April. 
Margaret Beckett [holding answer 17 December 2001]: There are six premises contiguous to Beirhope farm, Jedburgh and nine premises contiguous to Renniestone, Jedburgh. Animals on a further four premises were included in the 3 km cull surrounding Beirhope farm and a further 15 premises were included in the 3 km cull surrounding Renniestone.
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