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14 May 2002 : Column 556W
for what reasons she does not intend to recruit additional veterinary surgeons in 200203; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: There are no plans to recruit State Veterinary Service (SVS) veterinarians during 200203. The Government are determined to ensure that the SVS has the ability to operate with maximum efficiency and be able to respond rapidly to any emergency. For this reason, plans are being put in place to recruit additional staff should the need arise. We have recently finalised a recruitment exercise and the number of permanent veterinary officers is broadly similar to 1997.
SVS veterinarians are supported by approximately 7,832 Local Veterinary Inspectors who act as agents of the SVS. Temporary Veterinary Inspectors (TVIs) are also appointed throughout Great Britain, there are approximately 280, over half of whom are currently working on foot and mouth clear up.
Mr. Morley [holding answer 10 May 2002]: The declaration of interests for members of the Veterinary Products Committee (VPC) is published in the Medicines Act 1968 Advisory Bodies Annual Report, a copy of which is available in the Library. A regularly updated version is also available on the VPC website (www.vpc.gov.uk).
Mr. Morley [holding answer 10 May 2002]: The Veterinary Residues Committee (VRC) discussed declaration of interests at their meeting on 7 March 2002. The minutes of the meeting are available on the VRC website at vet-residues-committee.gov.uk. Officials at the Veterinary Medicines Directorate subsequently wrote to all members of the Committee asking them to update their declarations. These are being placed on the VRC's website.
Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what data she has collated relating to the statutory programme on multiple veterinary medicines residues for (a) 1996, (b) 1997, (c) 1998, (d) 1999 and (e) 2000; and if she will make it available. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 10 May 2002]: The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) published annual reports on surveillance for veterinary residues for the years 1996 to 2000. Copies are in the Library. Statutory surveillance is undertaken to comply with Council Directive 96/23/EC. Analysing samples for more than one substance is not required by the directive, but in practice the nature of the analytical techniques used may reveal the presence of more than one substance. Each of these would then be individually identified. Multiple
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Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what recent research her Department has undertaken to investigate whether organic and conventional farms differ in total factor productivity growth and its composition; and if she will place copies in the Library; 
(3) what assessment she has made of the (a) efficiency and (b) productivity of (i) organic and (ii) conventional dairy and livestock farms; and if she will make a statement; 
(4) what assessment she has made of the relationship between a farmer's yield and their decision to switch to organic production; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: One of the key objectives of the DEFRA organic R & D programme is to obtain and evaluate data on the agronomic performance as well as profitability and costs of the main types of organic farm system during and after conversion. Studies are in place on stockless arable, pigs and poultry, upland sheep and beef, specialist dairy and field vegetables enterprises in which data from conventional systems is taken into account. In addition, the programme has funded the development of organic conversion planning software; a prototype is shortly to be tested with organic advisers. A summary of the Department's organic farming research programme can be found on the DEFRA website: http://www.defra.gov.uk/research/Publications/ OFR_Research_Project_Summaries.zip
The Department has also funded a study of farmers' attitudes to organic conversion. The report on this study, which was carried out by the Welsh Institute of Rural Studies, can be found on the website of the University of Aberystwyth: http://www.organic.aber.ac.uk/library/ Attitude%20survey.pdf
Mr. Morley [holding answer 13 May 2002]: We have no plans at present to introduce such a scheme. We consulted on the early retirement provisions of the EU Rural Development Regulation when drawing up plans for implementation of the regulation, but in the light of responses to that consultation we decided that the limited funds available for implementation would be better directed towards other measures to assist the industry. This is because the type of early retirement scheme
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available under the regulation could not be targeted effectively towards those who should benefit, such as tenant farmers.
The general question of policy on helping farmers to leave the industry will, however, be considered further in the light of the feedback we receive on the issues we have asked stakeholders to consider following publication of the Policy Commission report.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what pecuniary incentives offered to those companies volunteering to place an absolute cap on their emissions under the UK Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme (a) since its inception and (b) for its duration. 
Mr. Meacher [holding answer 15 April 2002]: At the inception of the UK Emissions Trading Scheme, the Government offered £215 million to encourage organisations to take on voluntary binding emissions reductions targets for their greenhouse gas emissions. This incentive money was allocated to organisations through an auction in March. 34 organisations bid into the final round, taking on binding emission reduction targets totalling 4,028,176 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO 2 e) by the end of the five years of the scheme. The auction cleared after nine rounds at a price of £53.37 per tonne of CO 2 equivalent emission reduction. After tax, and when related to the reduction from the baseline for each year, this equates to about £12.50 per tonne. Firms will receive their annual incentive payments only after they have achieved their annual emission reduction targets.
Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much was spent by departmental special advisers on food, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks for entertainment purposes in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much has been spent by Ministers in her Department since its creation on food, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks for official entertainment purposes. 
Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations concerning the future funding of village halls she has received from Action with Communities in Rural England; and if she will make a statement. 
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Alun Michael: Action with Communities in Rural England has sent me its report, "The Status of Funding for Village Halls", which I have read with interest. My officials will meet representatives of Action with Communities in Rural England on 17 May. We shall consider what further action may be needed after that meeting.
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