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Farming Research

Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to her answer of 20 June 2002, Official Report, column 472W, on farming research, how many projects, by category, were funded in each year since 1991–92. [64851]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 27 June 2002]: Many hundreds of new research projects are initiated every year. I regret that a breakdown of these projects in the form requested could be supplied only at disproportionate cost. However, details of current DEFRA funded projects can be found on the Department's website at http:// Information on all rural livelihoods, natural resources and environment projects funded by the Department for International

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Development since 1992 can be found on the Natural Resources Information System (NARSIS) searchable on-line database

Feed Additives

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the use of feed additives for animals reared for country sports; and if she will make a statement. [67251]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 5 July 2002]: Any additive used in animal feed for food producing animals (including birds reared to be shot for the table) must be authorised centrally by the European Commission under EU law. Under these arrangements each product is considered on its own merits.

No general assessment has been made of the use of feed additives for animals reared for country sports. We are aware that dimetridazole (DMZ) is used by game bird producers as a veterinary medicinal product in feed. DMZ was also authorised as a feed additive for use in turkeys and quail but this authorisation was withdrawn by the European Commission after a six month selling off period on 15 May 2002 because the manufacturer did not provide sufficient data to support the product under a review of all feed additive authorisations.

The legality of the UK's authorisation of DMZ as the active ingredient in three veterinary medicinal products for game birds has been challenged by the European Commission. We are seeking early discussions with the European Commission on this issue. In the meantime the marketing authorisations for these three veterinary medicines remain valid.


Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether it is the UK Government's policy that the principle of relative stability underpinning the CFP is non-negotiable. [67318]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 8 July 2002]: The Government have stated on many occasions that we consider relative stability to be an integral part of the common fisheries policy (CFP), and we have no intention of moving from that position. We shall argue for this, and our other objectives, to be achieved during this year's review of the CFP.

Foot and Mouth

Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many farmers' markets have not re-opened since the foot and mouth crisis last year; where these markets are; and what information she has collated on the reasons why they have not re-opened. [70269]

Mr. Morley: The re-opening of livestock markets has been monitored since the introduction of the interim livestock movement rules on 11 February this year.

A livestock market has been taken to be a market opening on a non-seasonal basis, selling livestock species susceptible to foot and mouth disease and which had been operating as a livestock market prior to last year's outbreak.

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As of 1 July 2002, of the 171 livestock markets to which the above definition applied:

Of those markets with no plans to re-open, the reasons for not re-opening were understood to be:

These 12 markets are set out in the table:

AylshamNorfolkInterim rules
Llanfair CaereinionPowysInterim rules
GowertonSwanseaInterim rules
KnaresboroughNorth YorkshireInterim rules
RiponNorth YorkshireCommercial
GranthamLincolnshireInterim rules
Newport (Isle of Wight)Isle of WightInterim rules
RyeSussexInterim rules

These data have been collected from DEFRA Animal Health Offices and are kept under review.

Illegal Meat Imports

Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if her Department has plans to form a partnership with countries in central and west Africa to tackle the trade in illegal meat imports. [70304]

Mr. Morley: The Department has already established links with countries in central and west Africa through the establishment of the CITES Bushmeat Working Group and via the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's UK diplomatic missions in Harare, Accra, Abuja, Cairo, Pretoria, Kampala, Abidjan, Maseru, Dakar, Luanda, Nairobi, Kigali, Mbabane and Tunis. We believe the latter approach, in particular, to be important in raising the profile of UK restrictions and rules for personal imports of meat and other food items.

Egg Industry

Mr. Page: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations she has made to the EU in respect of the Doha Development Agenda negotiations in order to prevent loss of competitiveness in the UK egg industry from (a) increased domestic regulatory costs and (b) reducing barriers to trade. [70335]

Mr. Morley: Reducing barriers to trade is fundamental to Government policy. However, I am concerned that there should be no competitive disadvantage as a result of higher EU regulatory costs than those faced by third country competitors. We have played an active part in formulating EU policy in this area and these concerns are

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fully reflected in the context of specific proposals on animal welfare that the European Commission has submitted in the Doha Development Agenda.

State Veterinary Service

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she is taking to increase the numbers of vets employed by the State Veterinary Service. [70265]

Mr. Morley: The State Veterinary Service has recently received additional funding in 2002–03 which will allow the lifting of a moratorium on the recruitment of veterinary staff in the current financial year. We will be reviewing how best to take forward the recruitment of replacement and additional staff in the context of this year's revised budget and anticipated budgets for future years in the light of the SR2002 settlement.

Due consideration will also be given to any relevant recommendations made by the Lessons Learned and Royal Society inquiries.

Department-sponsored Organisations

Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs further to her answer of 8 July 2002, Official Report, column 685W, on department-sponsored organisations, what plans she has to ensure that organisations sponsored by her Department are given their budgets prior to the beginning of the financial year. [70294]

Mr. Morley: The Spending Review 2002 settlement will provide the opportunity to allocate indicative budgets for 2003–04 to 2005–06. This also provides the opportunity to give an indication of the anticipated level of support over the period. Following the creation of DEFRA, we are further examining how the budget planning process can be enhanced, and the timetable we are working to should finalise allocation decisions prior to the start of the financial year.

Animal Welfare

Mrs. Helen Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research she has commissioned and what assessment she has made of evidence on how high standards of farm animal welfare can be incorporated in an economically viable manner in her strategy for the future of farming. [70611]

Mr. Morley: Developing and maintaining high standards of farm animal welfare are at the heart of Government policy. Comprehensive legislation and species-specific welfare codes will form the basis to any new sustainable strategy for food and farming.

Mr. Prosser: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs where health certification was carried out in respect of the five consignments of live sheep exported from Dover to continental Europe on 15 July, how many of the sheep were rejected as unfit for the intended journey; where those sheep were taken; what final destination address was given on the route plan for each of the consignments; and what responsibility she had to check whether the arrangement foreseen in the route plan to rest, feed and

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water the animals, and the requirements of European Community law, were adhered to once the animals left the United Kingdom. [71540]

Mr. Morley: Health certification was carried out at four approved assembly centres in North Wales. At the time of inspection for certification, three sheep were rejected as unfit for their intended journey and eight sheep were rejected on animal health grounds. The sheep were transported from the assembly centres to Dover and then via Holland to EU approved slaughterhouses, four in France and one in Italy. All route plans are checked before they are stamped to ensure that the proposed journey complies with requirements for rest, feed and water. Completed route plans must be returned within 15 days of the end of the journey showing details of the actual journey and any deviations from the planned journey. Returned route plans are checked and any queries followed up.

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