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Animal Movements (Restrictions)

Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her estimate is of the financial losses incurred by UK farmers through animal movement restrictions preventing transport to market until after stock had passed 30 months of age. [27028]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 15 February 2002]: It is not possible to make a reliable estimate of these losses. There are no statistics available to identify the number of cattle that entered the over thirty months scheme as a result of the movement restrictions introduced to control the spread of foot and mouth disease.

Departmental Payments

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

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instances in which her Department, agencies and non-departmental public bodies failed to pay valid invoices within 30 days or after the agreed credit period in the financial year 2000–01. [32036]

Mr. Morley: All departments are committed to pay 100 per cent. of correctly presented invoices on time, however payment terms may vary between departments and suppliers. For the financial year 2000–01 DEFRA and its agencies paid 93.9 per cent. of invoices on time. The failure has been cut by 4.4 per cent. since 1999–00.

Foot and Mouth

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many press releases were issued about foot and mouth disease between 19 February and 18 March 2001; and how many refer to an epidemic. [33711]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 5 February 2002]: Between 19 February and 18 March 2001, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food issued 17 press releases. The word epidemic was not used in any of them.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what samples were kept for further investigation of those animals slaughtered on suspicion during the recent foot and mouth outbreak. [37475]

Mr. Morley: As at 19 February 2002, samples had been taken on 331 Slaughter on Suspicion (SOS) premises to investigate the presence of foot and mouth virus.

Many samples used for diagnosis during the outbreak remain in storage at the Institute of Animal Health at Pirbright, but we are informed that to identify how many of these samples were originally from SOS premises would be possible only at disproportionate cost.

New Potatoes

Mrs. Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the derivation, by country, of UK cultivated new potatoes; and what measures are in place to ensure the accurate labelling of early new potatoes entering the retail chain. [35880]

Mr. Morley: Only those seed potatoes which have been produced in EU member states or in Switzerland are permitted to enter the UK and be planted here. These measures are laid down in the Plant Health (Great Britain) Order 1993 (as amended) and in the Plant Health Order (Northern Ireland) 1993 (as amended). However, information on the seed varieties imported is not available so it is not possible to distinguish between those destined for early and ware production.

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As far as labelling is concerned, the Food Labelling Regulations 1996 require only the variety of potato to be mentioned on the label.

Rural Land Register

Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress has been made on data gathering and database design for the Rural Land Register; and if she will make a statement. [35276]

Mr. Morley: A contract was awarded on 8 November 2001 to a consortium to capture and digitise all land parcels registered under the Integrated Administration and Control System. The work is in progress and is due to be completed by December 2003. A prototype of the database to hold the digitised field data has been prepared and will be further developed over the coming months.

Cameraria Ohridella

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to her answer of 31 January 2002, Official Report, column 477W, on cameraria ohridella, if she will state (a) how close cameraria ohridella has spread towards the UK and on what date this was, (b) what the rate of spread towards the United Kingdom is and (c) what action the Government plan to take to prevent transmission across the channel; and whether she estimates that the disease is likely to have spread to the UK by the spring. [35820]

Mr. Morley: Since it was first detected in Macedonia in 1985, cameraria ohridella has spread rapidly across Europe and is now present in the Netherlands where it was found in 1999 and in France and Belgium where it was found in 2000.

Although the natural rate of spread of the moth is quite low, passive carriage on vehicles from infested areas is a highly effective and speedy means of dispersal, which explains the recent expansion of range across Europe. Because of this, it is not considered practicable to try to prevent its spread through the imposition of phytosanitary controls. Transmission to Britain is considered highly likely, although it is not possible at this stage to estimate when this might happen.

As I indicated previously, in my answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Leyton and Wanstead (Harry Cohen) on 25 October 2001, Official Report, column 362W, the Forestry Commission will shortly publish an exotic pest alert which will be sent to foresters, local authority tree experts and others. In addition to providing a colour-illustrated guide to the biology and symptoms of the moth, it will ask readers to report any sightings so that these can be investigated without delay.

May I also draw the hon. Member's attention to the Forest Research Annual Report for 2000–01 (HC 247), copies of which are in the Library of the House. The report gives a detailed account of the information known to date about this pest, an assessment of the level of threat posed to this country and the control options that have been assessed.

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Union Duties

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many staff in her Department, agencies and non-departmental public bodies receive paid leave to undertake union duties; how many days they are allocated; and what has been the cost to public funds in each of the last four years. [36216]

Mr. Morley: In the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and its agencies, 378 staff have received paid leave to undertake union duties throughout 2001–02. During 1998–99, 1999–2000, and 2000–01, the figures for the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food totalled 230, 364 and 389 respectively.

During each of these years, up to 25 days was available to each union representative to undertake trade union activities although the average claimed was less.

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From the information received annually over the 1 April to 30 March period, the cost to public funds has been £431,990 during 1998–99; £438,753 during 1999–2000, and £439,130 during 2000–01 based on full salary cost. Figures for the 2001–02 financial year are not yet available.

In the time available and given the number of NDPBs for which DEFRA is responsible, it is not possible to confirm the position for all NDPBs at reasonable cost.

Fish Quotas

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the (a) overall and (b) cumulative change in fish quotas available to UK regional fishing vessels for the past five years has been according to (i) sector and (ii) species. [37949]

Mr. Morley: The following table gives the UK quota figures for the past five years organised by species and ICES fishing areas:

UK quota 1998–2002 by species

Stock1998 UK quota1999 U quota2000 UK quota2001 UK quota2002 UK quota
Sandeel IIa North Sea20,00020,00020,00020,00017,794
Herring I, II113,00025,19024,21016,46016,460
Herring IVa,b38,91040,57040,57040,57038,169
Herring IVc, VIId1,7001,6931,6931,6934,094
Herring Vb, VIaN, VIb46,36039,24024,99021,57021,571
Herring VIa (Clyde)1,0001,0001,0001,0001,000
Herring VIIa6,6604,8803,9605,1003,550
Herring VIIe,f500500500500500
Herring VIIg-k3030303010
Herring IIa North Sea industrial by-catch550660660660
Cod I, lib2,7892,0341,650
Cod IIa, IV58,74056,26034,36018,93019,397
Cod Vb, VI, XII, XIV5,5205,9603,5302,2222,960
Cod VIIa2,0451,5856058951,378
Cod VIIb-k, VIII, IX, X1,6601,5701,330870712
Megrim IIa North Sea2,8802,8802,6002,599
Megrim Vb, VI, XII, XIV1,5201,5201,5201,3701,367
Megrim VII3,2103,2102,5702,1501,874
Dab and Flounder IIa North Sea2,5902,5902,3302,331
Anglers IIa North Sea17,96014,37011,4958,545
Anglers Vb, VI, XII, XIV2,6502,6502,4601,9751,513
Anglers VII4,8004,8004,1403,8703,295
Haddock IIa, IV66,00057,04553,04541,78059,805
Haddock Vb, CI, XII, XIV20,71015,11015,11010,82010,992
Haddock VII, VIII, IX, X2,0002,2001,3201,200830
Haddock VIIa (additional to haddock VII)2,3901,6291,293622
Whiting IIa, IV27,41524,59019,47013,33518,853
Whiting Vb, VI, XII, XIV5,8054,0602,7752,5802,157
Whiting VIIa1,9301,7201,020685443
Whiting VIIb-k2,9002,6802,4102,2503,402
Hake IIa, IV370350270160170
Hake Vb, VI, VII, XII, XIV5,9605,5504,2402,5002,662
Blue whiting IIa, IV1,0701,0701,0701,070592
Blue whiting Vb, VI, VII, XII, XIV35,00038,03045,35025,032
Blue whiting VIIIabde7,2417,2417,2414,004
Lemon sole IIa North Sea7,3307,3306,5805,937
Nephrops IIa, IV13,16513,16514,89513,38014,398
Nephrops Vb, VI12,30512,30512,30511,07011,072
Nephrops VII7,5457,5456,8856,2005,856
Northern prawn IIa, IV1,9481,9481,7781,074
Plaice IIa, IV23,88028,07026,81021,78020,808
Plaice Vb, VI, XII, XIV1,4501,4501,4501,1701,050
Plaice VIIa8858858858351,223
Plaice VIId,e1,6602,1501,8901,7501,946
Plaice VIIf,g250205185180119
Plaice VIIh,j,k170170170150146
Pollack Vb, VI, XII, XIV400400400400403
Pollack VII2,9602,9602,9602,9602,964
Saithe IIa, III, IV7,7908,8306,8206,98010,838
Saithe Vb, VI, XII, XIV3,4253,1253,0803,2553,211
Saithe VII, VIII, IX, X1,3501,3509708051,340
Turbot and brill IIa North Sea1,3901,3901,1101,042
Skates and rays IIa North Sea3,9203,9203,1283,136
Mackerel IIa (EC), III, IV1,3901,3901,5401,5801,611
Mackerel IIa (non-EC), Vb, VI, VII, VIIIabde, XII, XIV179,590165,480193,240197,069201,647
Sole II, IV820945945815686
Sole Vb, VI, XII, XIV3030303025
Sole VIIa200200240240244
Sole VIId1,0059057908851,000
Sole VIIe395410385355309
Sole VIIf,g240270325285301
Sole VIIh,j,k120120120110138
Sprat II, IV4,9505,9008,3508,3508,348
Sprat VIId,e6,3006,3006,3006,3006,300
Spurdog IIa, IV7,1777,1777,1775,745
Horse mackerel IIa North Sea5,5305,8404,9604,9604,960
Horse mackerel Vb, VI, VII, VIIIabde, XII, XIV30,70025,31022,85022,85014,026

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