|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the impact of the foot and mouth disease livestock movement restrictions, with special reference to the 20-day standstill rule, on the operation and profitability of livestock producers in Cheshire; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: Discussions are in progress with industry stakeholders on the basis of preliminary work by the Department's economists in order to gain a better understanding of the economic impact of the current rules both in aggregate and for particular sectors.
Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the reasons for the maintenance of the foot and mouth disease livestock movement restrictions, with specific reference to the 20-day standstill rule. 
The 20 day standstill is an important element of these controls for two reasons. Firstly, it allows time for the disease to become evident in animals brought on to a holding and so improves the prospect of identifying disease on infected premises before animals move off. Secondly, it also prevents potentially infected animals being moved off the holding during the 20 day period and so slows the rate of spread of any undetected disease.
16 Jul 2002 : Column 135W
movement restrictions, with particular reference to the 20-day standstill rule; whether she proposes to lift the 20-day standstill rule in time for the marketing of the lamb crop at the autumn sales; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Martlew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans there are to increase the number of ports that will allow the import and export of animals that have been vaccinated against rabies. 
Mr. Morley: Animals subject to the Rabies (Importation of Dogs, Cats and Other Mammals) Order 1974, as amended, must enter the UK through Dover (Eastern Docks), Harwich (Parkeston Quay), Hull, Portsmouth or Southampton. If the animals are vaccinated against rabies but do not meet the requirements of the Pet Travel Scheme they must go into quarantine.
However, dogs and cats which fully meet the requirements of the Pet Travel Scheme may enter England, without going into quarantine, through the ports at Dover, Portsmouth, Harwich, Poole and Plymouth. These ports are the ones used by carriers on routes approved by this Department. My Department will consider applications for approval from transport companies for routes into England using other ports. It is currently processing an application for a route which would use Newhaven. Whether transport companies choose to seek approval is a commercial and operational decision for them.
Mr. Morley: The Secretary of State does not hold such a map. However, "Waterways for Tomorrow", the Government's policy paper on the waterways contains a general map of the inland waterways of England and Wales. A copy of this document is in the Library of the House. Maps of the inland waterway system are also available from commercial sources.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she plans to seek derogations from the EU Animal By-Products Regulation to allow the on-farm trial of fallen stock in the upland areas of (a) Wales, (b) England, (c) Southern Scotland and (d) Northern Ireland. 
16 Jul 2002 : Column 136W
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much sheepmeat was imported into the United Kingdom from each of the other countries of the European Union in each of the last five years. 
(2) Product weight. Excludes exports of live sheep.
H.M. Customs and Excise
Ms Atherton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to her answer of 11 March 2002, Official Report, column 786W, on badger culling, what preliminary findings have emerged from badger culling triplets B, C and F. 
Mr. Morley: The Independent Scientific Group for Cattle TB (ISG) advise that it is too early for an analysis of results. It is a basic rule for scientific trials that results are not published prematurely. It has however been possible to complete a preliminary analysis of the risk factors associated with cattle TB, and this is set out in the ISG's Third Report, available in the House Library.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what recent steps the Department has taken to open (a) more footpaths in the countryside and (b) more private land to the public; 
Alun Michael: The Department recently consulted on draft guidance to local highway authorities in relation to the requirement in the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 to prepare and review rights of way
16 Jul 2002 : Column 137W
improvement plans. Once the relevant provisions are in force, later this year, local highway authorities will be required to take a strategic look at how the local network of rights of way takes into account the needs of the public and to prepare a statement of the action that they propose to take to improve the network, including creating new rights of way where they are shown to be needed.
In January this year we issued a consultation paper on proposals for regulations under section 16 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 which enables landowners voluntarily to give people a statutory right of access to their land. The consultation ended on 15 April and we are presently considering the responses from landowners and others. The Department is also working closely with the Forestry Commission which, earlier this year, arranged a number of seminars for private woodland owners on the provision of access under section 16. In addition, private landowners are encouraged to allow permissive public access under DEFRA's agri-environment schemes. The provisions are currently the subject of a public consultation that began on 8 July and will end on 27 September 2002.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps the Government have taken to improve safety on public footpaths and other rights of way that are (a) poorly lit, (b) in desolate areas and (c) in areas where crime is above average. 
Alun Michael: I recently published draft guidance arising from rights of way provisions in the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. The draft guidance encourages local highway authorities to take positive management measures, such as consideration of the use of lighting and schemes to encourage informal surveillance to counter problems of criminal activity on public rights of way.
Paddy Tipping: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the development of a National Access Database; what funding she has made to the Countryside Agency to fund a feasibility study into a national access database; and when the feasibility study will be published. 
Alun Michael: The Government announced the plan to establish a National Access Database in the Rural White Paper "Our countryside: the future a fair deal for rural England" in November 2000. The Countryside Agency has commissioned consultants to look at the feasibility of establishing such a database. The feasibility study is being funded from within the Agency's annual grant in aid settlement. The Agency will publish a research note in September 2002 and use the findings of the study to make recommendations on how the project should proceed.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|