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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 6 February 2002, Official Report, column 943W, what the total area in square feet of all empty properties owned by (a) his Department, (b) his agencies and (c) other public bodies for which he has had responsibility was in each year since May 1997. 
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11 Mar 2002 : Column 779W
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many press releases were issued by his Department (a) between 1 May and 31 December 1997 and (b) in each year from 1998 to 2001 inclusive. 
The Cabinet Office press office also issues press releases on behalf of the Privy Council Office. The figures for 1997, 1998 and 1999 include operational notes/invitations. The figures for 1999 and 2000 also include press notices issued by the Year 2000 Media Co-ordination Unit, which operated from the Cabinet Office.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many people were employed in a press or public relations function in his Department on 1 January in (a) 1997, (b) 1998, (c) 1999, (d) 2000, (e) 2001 and (f) 2002. 
Mr. Leslie: Before 1998 the number of press officers in the Cabinet Office press office is available only as an average for financial years. In the financial year 199697 the average number of press officers was seven.
|1 January 2000||20|
|1 January 2001||16|
|1 January 2002||18|
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|GO||Running costs 200102|
|Yorkshire and Humber||10,467|
(48) GO London figures include the Regional Co-ordination Unit
The Cabinet Office is committed to supporting part- time working, job-sharing and other forms of alternative working patterns. It is Cabinet Office policy that all advertised posts will normally be open to anyone wishing to work an alternative working pattern, including part-timers and job sharers although there will be some instances where this is not possible due to the nature of the work. The flexibility of any alternative working pattern is decided in conjunction with local management to suit an individual's needs and the needs of their work.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list the non-Governmental organisations operating in the South West Region that receive public funds from his Department; and what amount of annual funding they received in the most recent year for which figures are available. 
The Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State: Details of non-governmental organisations which receive grants from the Cabinet Office can be found on page 143 of the Cabinet Office Departmental Report 2001 (Cm 5119).
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Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when, and by whom, she was informed of the latest cases of meat from the offspring of BSE-infected cows entering the food chain; and when she informed the Food Standards Agency. 
Margaret Beckett: DEFRA headquarters were verbally informed by the Animal Health Divisional Office on Friday 8 February. Ministers and the Food Standards Agency were informed on Monday 11 February when a more detailed report of the incident was received.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what action she is taking in relation to the latest instances of meat from the offspring of BSE infected cows which has entered the food chain; and if she will make a statement. 
Margaret Beckett: We are urgently checking to see whether there are any more cases and enhancing our computer systems to reduce the risk of this happening in future. We have also reminded farmers that animals subject to restriction notice must not enter the food chain.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the farms in North Yorkshire which became foot and mouth infected premises after their appeal against her Department's decision to cull on their land was upheld by the Divisional Veterinary Manager. 
P. T. Stephenson of Bishopdale parishIP 2001/1812
Mr. and G. D. Beresford of Haltonwest parish, Settle IP 2001/1663
J. H. Clarke Partners of Kepwick parish, ThirskIP 2001/1930
Bainbridge Partners of Lealholm parish, WhitbyIP 2001/1815
Wade and Son of Linton parish, SettleIP 2001/1770
W. and D. Scaife and Son of Nether Silton parish, Thirsk IP 2001/1847.
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In the 3km cull animals were culled under the powers in the Animal Health Act 1981, on the basis that they had been exposed to infection. However, it was implemented by dealing first with those farms where keepers were willing to co-operate with the cull, hence the use of the term "voluntary cull" as a shorthand for the 3km cull operation.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if the flock of sheep in Kirkby Stephen in which one animal was found to be foot and mouth antibody positive was tested for the presence of antibodies prior to its arrival on the farm. 
Margaret Beckett [holding answer 28 February 2002]: Yes, the flock of sheep from which the seropositive sheep originated had been tested previously for the presence of antibodies, with negative results.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether confirmed cases of foot and mouth are determined according to clinical signs of the disease, the presence of disease antibodies, the presence of a live virus, or by other means; and if she will make a statement on whether the criteria for determining infected premises has changed since 30 September. 
Margaret Beckett [holding answer 28 February 2002]: During last year's outbreak, diagnosis of food and mouth disease (FMD) was normally confirmed by the National Disease Control Centre on the basis of clinical observations of a veterinary inspector on the spot. Some cases were confirmed on the basis of laboratory tests which confirmed the presence of FMD antibodies or virus. It is nearly five months since the last outbreak of foot and mouth and confirmation of any future case would need to be based on laboratory tests that confirm the presence of the virus.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what reports she has received from police officers on police involvement in the culling of animals during the foot and mouth epidemic. 
Margaret Beckett [holding answer 4 March 2002]: Since 30 September there have been 75 suspected cases of foot and mouth disease reported in the United Kingdom. All have been thoroughly investigated and in all cases no evidence of the foot and mouth virus was found.
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Margaret Beckett [holding answer 4 March 2002]: The Department keeps stocks of a range of warning notices for the control of food and mouth disease. The following orders were placed by the Animal Disease Control Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, with the Department's own printing services.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the contractors involved in the slaughter and disposal of animals at Sparum Farm, Kidderminster, during the foot and mouth epidemic; and what the cost to public funds of their work was. 
Margaret Beckett [holding answer 4 March 2002]: The contractors involved in the slaughter and disposal of animals at Sparum Farm, Kidderminster, during the foot and mouth epidemic were: F. M. Caine and Sons, Ruttle Plant Hire Ltd. and Farm Assist Ltd. The invoices and accounts for this work have not been finalised.
Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to her answer of 5 March 2002, Official Report, column 212W, on culls, what measures she is taking to compensate those animal owners whose appeals against culls were upheld; and if she will make a statement. 
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senior officials not to be recorded verbatim during the Anderson Lessons Learned inquiry; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 5 March 2002]: This is a matter for the Lessons Learned inquiry. The conditions under which any person will be interviewed (not just Ministers and senior officials) in London by the inquiry are outlined in Dr. Anderson's "Procedures for Gathering Information at Inquiry Meetings", which is available on the Lessons Learned website.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to her answer of 5 March 2002, Official Report, column 212W, on foot and mouth disease monitoring, how many sentinel animals have been tested for foot-and-mouth since restocking of culled premises began; and what proportion were identified as carrying the foot-and-mouth (a) live virus and (b) antibody. 
Mr. Morley: 189,694 blood samples from sentinel animals have been tested since restocking began. Six samples (0.003 per cent.) have tested positive for Foot and Mouth Disease antibodies. No live virus has been detected.
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