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Reed Beds

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what evaluation she has made of the potential use of reed beds as a way of alleviating foul sewerage problems exacerbated by flooding. [29327]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 23 January 2002]: Reed beds form part of the portfolio for sustainable drainage systems. DEFRA, the Environment Agency and other stakeholders are looking at how future drainage systems ensure that water quality can be better protected, although no specific evaluation has yet been made of this potential role for reed beds.

Farming Subsidies

Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will (a) devote a minimum percentage of farming subsidies to sustainable rural development and (b) negotiate on this principle as a start during the mid-term review negotiations on the CAP. [29989]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 24 January 2002]: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has stated that our policy for the mid-term review is to see a switch from production support under the first pillar of the CAP

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to support for agri-environment and sustainable rural development schemes under the second pillar, and we will be pressing for this in the negotiations.


Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on what grounds under the clauses in the Animal Health Bill the Government will withhold part of the compulsory purchase payment for animals slaughtered for posing a risk of spreading disease, where the Government considers that the farmer's biosecurity measures are substandard. [27740]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 24 January 2002]: The Department launched a public consultation on the implementation of key provisions of the Animal Health Bill on 11 January 2002.

Included in this package are proposals for the matters to be covered by the disease risk assessment that will help to determine the amount of adjusted compensation paid for animals slaughtered on infected premises. We are seeking key stakeholders' views by 15 March.

The consultation document and list of stakeholders can be found on the DEFRA website at http://

Agrimonetary Compensation

Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to apply for agrimonetary compensation for the livestock sector in April; and if she will make a statement. [29994]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 24 January 2002]: The European Commission have yet to confirm whether there is any agrimonetary compensation available for the livestock sector. Although this aid relates to the second and third stages of compensation paid last year, the EU rules provide for these later payments to be reduced or cancelled if the market prices and exchange rates have since moved in a direction which ameliorates the situation which leads to the compensation. We will not know for some months what the Commission assessment will be. When we do the Government will have carefully to consider the case for payment.

Agricultural Co-operatives

Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she is taking to improve the competitiveness of agricultural co-operatives in the UK; and if she will make a statement. [29996]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 24 January 2002]: We are supporting a number of initiatives to improve the competitiveness of both agricultural co-operatives and collaborative marketing groups.

With the NFU, we have been running a collaborative marketing initiative since 1998. This is aimed at helping farmers to recognise the many advantages of working together, particularly in relation to economies of scale and access to professional expertise. We have used joint representation at agricultural shows across a range of sectors to generate interest in this initiative.

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Under the Agriculture Development Scheme, aimed at helping farmers and growers improve their competitiveness through better marketing, collaborative activities were given priority under bidding rounds held in 1999, 2000 and 2001. Successful bids in 1999 and 2000 included a project to benchmark best practice in farmer controlled businesses (Plunkett Foundation) and several projects from collaborative producer groups or co-operatives.

Opportunities for improving the competitiveness of co-operatives and collaborative marketing groups are also provided under the England Rural Development Programme through awards under the Processing and Marketing Grant and the measure on the marketing of quality agricultural products under the Rural Enterprise Scheme.

Bovine TB

Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list

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research projects associated with bovine TB, indicating for each (a) the cost in 2001–02 and (b) the total cost of the project. [29833]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 24 January 2002]: The Krebs badger field trial, TB99 epidemiological survey of risk factors which may dispose some farms to TB breakdowns and road traffic accident survey of badger carcases are projects associated with bovine TB. These were suspended for most of 2001–02, because of the foot and mouth disease emergency and little expenditure in respect of them has, therefore, been incurred in the present financial year. With the present resumption of work on these projects, revised costings are being drawn up but the total cost of the trial is expected to remain at £35 million over five years.

A list of individual research projects and their 2001–02 and total costs are given in the table. The list is subject to change as new projects come on stream and others end and costs are revised. The table represents the position at 23 January 2002.


Research projectCost in 2001–02 Total costs
Generation of vaccine candidates against Mycobacterium bovis313,2011,566,005
Testing of vaccine candidates for bovine tuberculosis using a low dose aerosol challenge guinea pig model208,2471,068,045
Testing TB vaccines in cattle263,6421,316,635
Development of badger vaccines167,889370,274
Antigen presenting cells and T cell responses to Mycobacterium bovis400,0001,200,000
Development of badger immunological reagents152,908432,642
Improved diagnostics for cattle170,449511,347
Cost-effectiveness of using the gamma interferon test in herds with multiple tuberculin reactors38,850124,682
Assessment of the economic impacts of TB and alternative control policies48,049156,959
Development and evaluation of strain typing methods for Mycobacterium bovis387,8101,275,223
An integrated approach to the application of Mycobacterium bovis genotyping for the control of bovine tuberculosis in GB334,439927,801
Survival of Mycobacterium bovis in laboratory made silage4,4084,408
Mycobacterium bovis pathogenesis681,9332,440,159
Pathogenesis and diagnosis of tuberculosis in cattle—complementary field studies105,0001,975,135
A spatial analysis using GIS of risk factors associated with TB incidents in cattle herds in England and Wales11,683188,373
Genome sequence analysis of Mycobacterium bovis50,9321,156,293
Ecological correlates of tuberculosis incidence in cattle118,729374,181
Quantification of the risk of transmission of bovine TB from badgers to cattle within localised areas41,816167,504
Integrated modelling of M. bovis transmission in badgers and cattle276,540902,769
The risk to cattle from Mycobacterium bovis infection in wildlife species other than badgers460,9451,214,788
The risk to cattle from wildlife species other than badgers in areas of high herd breakdown risk195,822608,095
Understanding the route of TB transmission from badgers to cattle34,980266,942
Develop innovative methods to estimate badger population density268,572882,090
Novel methods of estimating badger numbers in the wider countryside70,201230,426
An integrated study of perturbation, population estimation, modelling and risk299,8771,252,592
A molecular genetic analysis of badger social structure and bovine tuberculosis162,451766,069
Ecological consequences of removing badgers from an eco-system323,6251,000,810
Using herd depopulation for effectively controlling TB26,75826,758
Exploratory study to model the distribution and spread of bovine TB using multi-temporal satellite imagery42,45042,450
Application of postgenomics to reveal the basis of virulence, pathogenesis and transmissibility of M. bovis350,0003,318,624

Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment her Department has made of the merits of reintroducing the bovine TB programme; and if she will make a statement. [29999]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 24 January 2002]: The need to control bovine TB in herds remains a top priority for the Department. Before the restart of routine testing, and restart of the badger culling trial, veterinary risk assessments were made. The restart of the programme has been dependent on when counties were declared free of foot and mouth disease.

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