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Mr. Morley: The Government have made it clear that we expect France to comply with the judgment of the European Court of Justice and lift its ban on British beef exports as soon as possible. The Secretary of State has
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21. Mrs. Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on her Department's role in the implementation of European directives on the environment at present under consideration. 
Mr. Meacher: DEFRA has responsibility in the main for ensuring that the UK meets its obligations to implement EU legislation on the environment, and particular responsibility in respect of legislation where we have the policy lead.
22. Mr. Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the delays of the delivery of integrated control and administration system cheques to farmers. 
Mr. Morley: IACS payments were not made as early as in previous years and our target of paying at least 96 per cent. of payments was not met by the regulatory deadline of 31 January. This was the result of industrial action in the autumn and winter months. The unions however suspended industrial action on the 11 January and through overtime and some redeployment of staff we succeeded in paying 94 per cent. of AAPS claims by the end of the payment window.
Mr. Morley: The Government have welcomed the publication of the Energy Review by the Performance and Innovation Unit, which draws attention to the key role of renewable energy sources, including energy crops, in moving to a low carbon economy. The Government plan a public consultation on the key recommendations of the report leading to a White Paper in the autumn. This Department has allocated support of £29 million to solid biomass crops through the energy crops scheme, part of the England Rural Development Programme. The Renewables Obligation will permit the co-firing of energy crops with fossil fuels. We are working with other Departments to put in place further schemes with funding of £70 million which will develop markets for biomass, including purpose grown energy crops and material from forests, in heat, combined heat and power and electricity generation.
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deliver the Government's strategy for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD). DEFRA, working closely with other Departments, is leading on UK preparations. At official level DEFRA chairs a High Level Steering Group, and an Inter-Departmental Group to discuss WSSD. My officials are fully involved in the international preparations for the summit.
A communications strategy to raise awareness of the summit has also been agreed. We are working closely with local authorities, NGOs, business and other organisations to ensure that we engage a wide range of stakeholders. A key element of our communications strategy is the development of the Government sustainable development website www.sustainable-development.gov.uk, to include information on WSSD.
Mr. Meacher: It is difficult to place a financial value on many of the benefits of the Water Framework Directive which include: improvements in the quality and availability of raw water; protection and enhancement of aquatic wildlife; more coherent management of river basins; better targeting of water protection measure; and accountability and transparency in the river basin management planning process.
A study undertaken in 1998 by consultants on behalf of DETR and the National Assembly for Wales made a preliminary assessment of the value of some of the tangible benefits the directive will bring in informal recreation, angling, general amenity, non-use values and low flow alleviation. On this basis, benefits for England and Wales were estimated at between £1.6 billion and £6.2 billion.
Implementation of the directive and the assessment of its benefits in Scotland and Northern Ireland, and with respect to the devolved functions in Wales are matters for the Scottish Executive and the Northern Ireland Executive and the National Assembly for Wales. In Scotland and Northern Ireland, implementation of the Directive and the assessment of its benefits are being managed wholly by the Scottish Executive the Northern Ireland Executive.
27. Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement regarding the impact of the regulations governing animal movements on the viability of livestock markets. 
Mr. Morley: I am pleased to say that a number of livestock markets have met the new bio-security rules introduced on 11 February and have now re-opened. I expect more to do so as the disease situation continues to improve. Livestock markets have an important role to play in the marketing of farm animals between the various stages of production and some are developing a broadened range of services to farmers. We will be considering carefully the recommendations from the Policy Commission on future developments in livestock marketing.
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28. Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she next expects to meet representatives of the livestock sector to discuss policies to combat further outbreaks of foot and mouth disease. [38021R]
A high-level imports forum will be held in March to consider the next steps for intensifying our efforts to reduce the risks posed by illegal imports of meat and other animal products, and to agree further priorities and action.
Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how many people have been (a) prosecuted and (b) convicted of deliberately infecting livestock since 20 February 2001; 
(3) how many people have been (a) prosecuted and (b) found guilty of obstructing Government inspections of farm premises since 20 February 2001. 
Mr. Morley: [holding answer 28 February 2002]: There is no specific offence of deliberately infecting livestock at present, although the Animal Health Bill, currently being considered by Parliament, would create such an offence.
Responsibility for the enforcement of animal health legislation lies with my Department and the local authorities. My Department has taken one prosecution for obstructing a Government inspection of a farm premises. The defendant was found guilty.
There is currently no complete record of local authority prosecutions taken during the foot and mouth outbreak. However, we are not aware of any local authority prosecution for the above offences. My Department is liaising with the Local Authority Co-ordinating Body on Food and Trading Standards (LACOTS) to a compile a complete record of local authority prosecutions.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what figures she has collated on the origin of those animals destined for re-stocking of UK farms following foot and mouth culls. 
Mr. Morley: All animals used for controlled restocking must come from farms which are free from any animal healths restrictions including foot and mouth disease. No figures are collected on the geographical origin of animals used for restocking.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many cases of animals known to have the foot-and-mouth antibody there have been since 30 September 2001. 
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Mr. Morley [holding answer 28 February 2002]: Antibody to foot and mouth disease virus has been detected in 177 animals on 18 farms since 30 September last. All cases were thoroughly investigated and no evidence of foot and mouth virus was found in any of these animals.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on what dates since 30 September 2001 (a) tests have been carried out for foot and mouth disease, (b) the diagnosis of those tests has been received and (c) those animals tested and found to be dangerous contacts have been slaughtered. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 7 March 2002]: Since 30 September, and before, samples have been taken from premises to investigate the presence of foot and mouth virus on a daily basis. Sample types may include the following material; epithelium from the feet and mouth, blood and probang samples. Results from initial tests on epithelium are usually returned within 24 hours of receipt. Results from the completion of final virology and serology tests, if negative, usually take up to four days, sometimes longer.
There have been 18 cases (farm premises) since 30 September where foot and mouth antibodies have been detected in animals and these animals were slaughtered as dangerous contacts on the dates set out as follows:
17 October 2001: 1 case
24 October 2001: 1 case
26 October 2001: 1 case
27 October 2001: 1 case
31 October 2001: 1 case
10 November 2001: 3 cases
13 November 2001: 1 case
20 November 2001: 1 case
27 November 2001: 2 cases
10 December 2001: 1 case
22 December 2001: 1 case
9 January 2002: 1 case
24 January 2002: 1 case
22 February 2002: 1 case.
Mr. Morley [holding answer 4 March 2002]: I was notified by my officials of the suspected outbreak of foot and mouth disease on St. Agnes Farm, Hawnby at around 5.00 pm on 26 February and was informed at around 7.00 am the following day, 27 February, that initial tests had returned negative results. Results of the final set of tests were received on 3 March.
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serology tests usually took up to four days, although it was not uncommon for a longer period to pass in some circumstances.
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