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Mr. Collins: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) when the Minister of State, the right hon. Member for Cardiff, South and Penarth (Alun Michael), will reply to the letter of 18 November 2001, from Ms Anne Parker concerning the implementation of the recommendations of Task Force for the Hills; 
(3) when the Under-Secretary, Lord Whitty, will reply to the letter of 18 November 2001 from Ms Anne Parker concerning the implementation of the recommendations of Task Force for the Hills. 
Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the answer of 15 January, ref. 26357, if she will make a statement on the reasons for the delay in responding to the letter to the hon. Member for West Chelmsford sent to him via the Foreign Office on 12 June 2001 re Dr. Reza Hussain. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 21 January 2002; pursuant to his reply, 22 January 2001 column 779W]: the answer I gave the hon. Member on 22 January 2001, Official Report, column 779W, I said that a response to the hon. Member's constituent's letter of 12 June for West Chelmsford was sent on 18 January 2002. This was incorrect. The letter was sent out on 21 January 2002.
23 Jan 2002 : Column 929W
Mr. Morley: Detailed guidance for auctioneers covering biosecurity and other conditions relevant to the reopening of livestock markets is currently being drawn up. It will be disseminated shortly to the Livestock Auctioneers' Association and it will also be placed on the DEFRA website www.defra.gov.uk.
Mr. Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what guidance she intends to issue to agricultural societies concerning the resumption of local agricultural shows. 
Mr. Morley: Detailed guidance for agricultural societies, covering biosecurity and other conditions relevant to the resumption of livestock shows, is currently being drawn up. It will be issued as soon as possible to the Association of Agricultural Shows and other interested organisations. It will also be placed on the DEFRA website www.defra.gov.uk.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the likely cost implications of Directive 200/53/EC and Regulation 2037/2700 on (a) county councils, (b) London boroughs and (c) district councils. 
Mr. Meacher: The End of Life Vehicles Directive 2000/53/EC has far reaching consequences for a number of different economic operators. However, it is not intended that local authorities will have any direct responsibility for implementing this directive.
The directive requires producers to be responsible for all or a significant part of the costs of take back and treatment of end of life vehicles from 2007. These arrangements should help to ease the situation for local authorities in dealing with abandoned vehicles. It has not yet been decided how take back and treatment of end of life vehicles between 2002 and 2007 will be funded.
A Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) on the proposal for a Council Regulation (EC) on substances that deplete the ozone layer was undertaken in December 1998. The RIA did not estimate compliance costs for the extraction of ozone-depleting substances from the insulating foam in domestic refrigeration equipment as the draft proposal did not make it mandatory. It was not until June 2001 that the European Commission gave EU member states its final interpretation of EC Regulation 2037/2700 that it did require the recovery of controlled substances in the insulating foam of domestic fridges and freezers.
The Department recently announced a payment of £6 million to English local authorities to cover their costs of handling fridges and freezers until March 2002. We are urgently assessing the impacts of the regulation, including the costs, and will determine what further action is required beyond that.
23 Jan 2002 : Column 930W
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to reassess the case for independent regulation and inspections of fox hunts; and if she will make a statement. 
Mrs. Lawrence: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if the terms of the agreement with SCIMAC setting up farm-scale evaluations of GMOs that (a) plants that have been harvested should be removed from the trial sites and (b) the sites should be subsequently ploughed, destroying any remaining roots, have been complied with. 
Mr. Meacher: The agreement on the Farm Scale Evaluations requires that produce from the trials should not enter the food or feed chain. It does not specify how this requirement is to be met. The specific rules that apply on crop disposal and post-harvest management are those set out in the statutory release consent (in the case of the beet and oilseed rape) and the relevant part of the SCIMAC code of practice on GM herbicide-tolerant crops. These provisions have been complied with, although there is a case currently under review to determine whether a breach of consent has occurred.
Mr. Pickthall: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) egg products and (b) shell eggs were imported; and how many egg products were imported from the USA in each of the last three years. 
|(a) Egg products(11)||1,468.8||1,601.8||1,470.5|
|(b) Shell eggs||610.1||707.9||1,652.2|
(11) Converted to shell egg equivalent
23 Jan 2002 : Column 931W
|(a) Egg products from USA(12)||36.3||30.2||63.7|
(12) Converted to shell egg equivalent
HM Customs and Excise
Data prepared by Statistics (Commodities and Food) Accounts and Trade, ESD, DEFRA
Mr. Randall: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to help local authorities to control illegal meat imports at airports (a) in the UK and (b) at Heathrow airport. 
Mr. Morley: Under the relevant UK legislation which implements European rules, local authorities are responsible for checks on imports of animal products. DEFRA already provides detailed guidance and advice to them on discharging their functions at Borders Inspection Posts. We have taken steps to improve co-ordination and ensure that enforcement authorities obtain information to help target resources effectively. We have also improved publicity to bring to the attention of travellers the rules on what can be legally imported. We are examining the enforcement powers available to local authorities to ensure that they are adequate.
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