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Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will derogate from the EC directive on carcase disposal in respect of farms in Dumfries and Galloway. 
Mr. Morley: No. The EU animal by-products regulation will permit member states to derogate from the regulation to permit the burial or burning of fallen stock in defined remote areas. Although this is a matter for Scottish Ministers in Scotland, all agriculture Ministers in the UK consider the Highlands and Islands of Scotland to be the only areas which can be considered to be remote within the terms of the regulation.
Mr. Morley: New EU rules (the Animal By-Products Regulation) will prohibit the routine burning or burial of fallen stock, except in defined remote areas, and will specify standards for incinerators which are used to dispose of fallen stock.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when her Department will conclude its examination of the potential benefits of using X-ray equipment to scan for illegal meat imports. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 13 June 2002]: We are still in the process of assessing the X-ray equipment already in use by HMCE and will be discussing with other countries their experiences with particular technologies.
Mr. Michael Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) if she will take steps to assist householders to find insurance cover for properties affected by flooding; 
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(3) what estimate her Department has made of the impact on householders of the withdrawal of flood insurance cover. 
Mr. Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what agreement exists for the present year with the Association of British Insurers about maintaining insurance cover for households in areas at risk of flooding; 
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations the Government made to the insurance industry during and following the serious floods in 2000 to ensure that property insurance would continue to be available to owners and tenants of residential and commercial premises in areas at risk of flooding; what undertakings the insurance industry gave at that time; if she will respond to Esure's statement that insurers have decided to deny home insurance cover to prospective new clients in the 10 per cent. of postcodes most susceptible to flooding; and if she will make a statement about what steps the Government intend to take to ensure that property insurance remains available to all at a reasonable cost. 
Mr. Morley: There is an agreement in place with the Association of British Insurers member companies that during 2002, other than in exceptional circumstances, they will continue to provide flood cover for domestic properties and small businesses which they currently insure. Cases where there is an alleged breach of this agreement will be investigated by the ABI.
The insurance industry is a competitive one. Government have no plans to intervene in the market either generally or with individual companies. While recognising concern about the recent announcement by Esure, I understand their position to be that they will not provide cover to new clients in areas at risk of flooding. This decision is not a breach of the ABI agreement which relates only to renewal of existing policies. It is also my understanding that as a relatively newly formed company, Esure have few existing clients in the floodplain.
While no formal assessment has been made, I am aware that there could be a significant impact if insurers were to withdraw cover for households and businesses at risk of flooding. The Government are therefore working hard with the industry to try to ensure the continued, widespread availability of affordable flood cover beyond the end of 2002. There have been regular meetings with the insurance industry, at both ministerial and official level, to consider their calls for increased investment in flood and coastal defence, controls on development in areas at risk of flooding, simplified arrangements for implementing flood defences and better information on real flood risk. I expect to meet again with the industry later in the summer.
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Mr. Morley: The Association of British Insurers (ABI) estimate that total insurance losses from weather-related damage in autumn 2000 were some £1.3 billion. This includes damages from both storms and flooding; the ABI do not have separate figures for flooding alone.
Mr. Morley: The information sought is not systematically collected in a consistent form though the Environment Agency have estimated that some 130,000 properties are at risk from a 1 in 50 year event. This is from a total of 1.8 million properties in the floodplain in England.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on how many occasions in the past year (a) UK fisheries enforcement officers have visited and inspected the enforcement regime of another EU fishing nation and (b) enforcement officials from other EU fishing nations have visited the UK to inspect the enforcement regime in the UK. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 17 June 2002]: The fisheries enforcement authorities in the UK, including the Royal Navy, have frequent contact with their counterparts in other member states on a wide range of monitoring, control and surveillance matters. Comprehensive records of such contacts are not maintained but in the year ending 31 March 2002 there were at least nine occasions when inspectors from the UK visited other member states and three occasions when inspectors from other member states visited the UK with the purpose of discussing or observing enforcement activity.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate she has made of the expected cut in the United Kingdom fishing fleet following the publication of the indicative figures contained within the European Commission's monthly published road map for the future reform of the Common Fisheries Policy. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 17 June 2002]: The Commission have made clear that they do not seek to impose cuts in fleet capacity on member states. Their figures, which detail fleet cuts by member states, are to be taken as purely illustrative. The scale of decommissioning in any individual member state will depend on the decisions taken by the council on measures to reduce fishing effort and on the decisions by fishermen in the light of the impact of these measures.
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Department is taking to prevent the import of foot and mouth disease from South Korea; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: Korea is not authorised to export meat or animals to the European Union. DEFRA official veterinary advice is that there is no significant risk of travellers bringing foot and mouth disease back from Korea, provided rules on personal imports of animal products are observed.
In relation to the World cup, the games are played a long distance from the outbreaks and we have issued advice to fans via the Football Association website to keep away from farms and to avoid bringing back animal products.
The British consulate in Korea have placed similar advice on their website. Enforcement agencies were notified of the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in Korea and advised to be vigilant of passengers travelling back from Korea.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions her officials have had with their South Korean counterparts about the spread of foot and mouth disease in that country; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: We have received timely, detailed information from Korea on their disease situation through the EU, the Office International des Epizooties (OIE) and direct from the Korean authorities. The foot and mouth disease outbreak in Korea was discussed at a recent bilateral meeting at the OIE General Assembly in Paris.
Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when her Department will finalise the analysis of the questionnaires completed by foreign veterinary surgeons who assisted in the eradication of foot and mouth disease; and if she will place the analysis in the Library. 
Mr. Morley: Due to other priorities, it has not yet proved possible to finalise the analysis of the questionnaires completed by those foreign veterinary surgeons who assisted in the eradication of foot and mouth disease.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list, on a county basis, the weekly laboratory test results for foot and mouth disease on infected premises, broken down by (a) negative, (b) antibody positive and (c) virus positive results; and how many infected premises in each county were not the subject of laboratory tests. 
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Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she is taking to reduce the possibility of a further outbreak of foot and mouth disease; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: We are taking a number of steps to reduce the possibility of a further outbreak of foot and mouth disease through initiatives covering prevention; disease surveillance and contingency planning.
On 28 March the Government launched an action plan to reduce the risk of plant and animal disease entering the country illegally and threatening our agricultural and horticultural industries. A copy of the action plan can be found in the House Libraries. As recommended by the Policy Commission on Food and Farming, the action plan commits the Government to undertake a risk assessment of the threat posed by contaminated illegal meat imports. This is well under way and due to report in the autumn. The information provided by the risk assessment will help inform decisions about the nature of risks from imports so that resources can be efficiently targeted. Along side the risk assessment, work is being carried out to improve publicity and raise awareness of the risks posed by personal imports. Other work is concerned with improving detection and a pilot detector dog scheme will be operational later in the year.
We attach great importance to veterinary surveillance for the early detection of new or exotic diseases/ infections, including foot and mouth disease. Work on a strategy to enhance veterinary surveillance was curtailed last year because of the foot and mouth epidemic. This work has resumed and a strategy document is now in early draft form and will be issued for public consultation later this year.
In the event of a future outbreak of foot and mouth disease our ability to quickly contain and eradicate the disease will be vital. DEFRA has already published an interim operational contingency plan to support the European Union approved strategic plan, veterinary instructions and local plans that already existed. This draws extensively on experience of the 2001 outbreak and DEFRA will develop this further to achieve better emergency preparedness, taking full account of the recommendations of the independent inquiries.
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