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Countryside and Rights of Way Act

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which regulations under Part I of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 need to be in force before the Act can be implemented in any region before 2005. [72940]

Alun Michael: Regulations on the following must be put in place before land shown on maps of open country and registered common land may be opened up for access under Part I of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000:


(a) mapping of access land and consultation on draft maps (section 11);
(b) the issue of provisional maps, appeals against such maps, and the issue of conclusive maps (section 11);
(c) the exclusion or restriction of access under Chapter 11, including appeals (section 32);
(d) the exclusion of access in emergencies (section 31);
(e) appeals relating to notices in respect of means of access (section 38);
(f) references to public places in existing enactments (Section 42).

Regulations under (a) came into force on 1 November 2001. Regulations under (b) will come into force on 29 July 2002. We have completed consultations on (c) and, subject to the outcome of consultations on the remaining regulations, expect all of them to be in force by the end of 2003.

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Free Range Poultry Units

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations she has received concerning planning applications for the erection of mobile and static free range poultry units. [72519]

Mr. Morley: Producer interests wish to see a positive approach taken by local planning authorities when planning permission is needed for new or enlarged poultry units. Other interests are concerned about the environmental effects of some proposals. Government planning policies for local authorities make clear that an efficient and competitive agricultural industry is very important. In particular, local authorities are encouraged in general to support proposals relating to the requirements of new environmental, hygiene and welfare legislation.

DEFRA contributes to both national and regional planning and, through Government offices, provides technical advice to local authorities to help achieve sustainable development. This includes advice on giving farmers flexibility to adapt to changing animal welfare legislation and market conditions. In doing so, local authorities are enabled to take due account of these aspects as part of considering all economic, environmental and social issues when preparing their local development plans and assessing individual planning applications.

Air Conditioning

Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to her answer of 25 March 2002, Official Report, column 717W, on air conditioning, if she will make a statement on the results of the monitoring of the Building Research Establishment's Environmental Assessment; and what progress has been made in BREEAM to discourage the procurement of refrigerants with a high global warming potential. [71453]

Mr. Wilson: I have been asked to reply.

BREEAM is a commercial product of the Building Research Establishment and its methodology is revised annually. I understand that the current revision, which is due to be applied for assessments from September 2002 onwards, is likely to address the global warming potential of refrigerants.

Sausages

Mr. Challen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what scientific evidence she has collated that supports the proposed ban on the use of sheep's intestines in the manufacture of sausages. [68068]

Ms Blears: I have been asked to reply.

I am advised by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) that the basis of their recommendation to the European Commission that sheep intestine be banned as specified risk material (SRM) is outlined in a report by a core group of stakeholders endorsed by the Board of the FSA on 13 June 2002. The risk assessments taken into account in this report indicate that the proposed ban, added to the current controls, could increase the reduction in potential infectivity entering the food chain to up to two-thirds if BSE were found in sheep. Current precautionary SRM

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measures are estimated to reduce risk by very approximately one-third. The FSA believes the proposed measure has to be considered in the context of the lives that might be saved from variant Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease (vCJD) if BSE were present in sheep.

A copy of the report can be found on the FSA's website www.food.gov.uk

Mr. Challen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment has been made of the potential presence of BSE in beef protein collagen used in the manufacture of sausages. [68069]

Ms Blears: I have been asked to reply.

The Food Standards Agency have advised me that the European Commission Scientific Committee gave an opinion on safety with respect to TSEs (transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, including BSE) and the risks of collagen produced from ruminant hides at its meeting of 10–11 May 2001. They concluded that on the basis of current knowledge the parts of ruminant hides used for the production of collagen do not present a risk with regard to TSEs, provided contamination with potentially infected material is avoided. It is a regulatory requirement that food and food products (including collagen) must not be derived from BSE cases or suspected cases, or from specified risk material.

Chickens

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what checks are made for the presence of nitrofurans and chloramphenicol in chicken imported into the United Kingdom (a) directly from non-EU countries and (b) from a third country via another EU member state. [64117]

Ms Blears: I have been asked to reply.

Chloramphenicol and nitrofurans are veterinary medicines no longer permitted in the European Union for use in food producing animals and therefore residues of these chemicals should not be present in food.

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Imports of products of animal origin for human consumption such as poultry meat to the United Kingdom from third countries are subject to harmonised EU import controls and must enter the EU through designated border inspection posts (BIP). Where the official veterinary surgeons at the BIPs have reason to suspect that poultry meat being imported to the UK direct from a third country may be contaminated with chloramphenicol or nitrofurans, they may take samples of the product for testing.

Imports of poultry meat from third countries to other EU member states must enter the EU through designated BIP where they may be subject to checks for chloramphenicol and nitrofurans. Once a food product is in free circulation within the EU it is not subject to routine checks at points of entry to the UK under EU single market requirements.

In response to concerns that poultry meat from South East Asia may be contaminated by illegal residues of veterinary medicines, the Food Standards Agency initiated a retail survey. As a consequence of the publication of these results and others from the Netherlands, an EU Commission Decision has recently required sampling and testing of poultry meat coming from Thailand. This requirement to sample and test applies to all EU member states.

The veterinary medicines directorate also undertakes testing of imported poultry meat as part of its non-statutory surveillance programme. In 2001, 50 samples of raw chicken were tested for the presence of chloramphenicol. No residues above the reporting limit were detected.

CULTURE, MEDIA AND SPORT

Consultations

Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport in what format her Department has published the results of its 2001 written consultations. [70978]

Dr. Howells: The following table indicates in what format the Department published the results of all its 2001 written consultations:

TitleFormat that results were published
National Gallery/National Portrait Gallery Review: stage one consultationSummary of the views of consultees was published on the Department website and copies were also placed in the libraries of both Houses.
National Heritage Memorial Fund Review: stage one consultationResults not yet published.
Report of the Gambling Review BodyResults of the consultation were published in A safe bet for success (Cm 5397). In addition, copies of all the substantive responses (unless respondents requested otherwise) were placed in the libraries of both Houses.
National Museum of Science & Industry Review: stage one consultationSummary of the views of consultees was published on the Department website and copies were also placed in the libraries of both Houses.
Geffrye Museum/Horniman Museum/Museum of London Review: stage one consultationAll responses (unless respondents requested otherwise) and a summary of the views of consultees were published on the Department website and placed in the libraries of both Houses.
Consultation on the draft Digital Television Action PlanResponses to the consultation were confidential but they informed the content of a revised Digital Television Action Plan, which was published on 20 December 2001.
English Heritage Review: stage one consultationSummary of the views of consultees was published on the Department website.
Public Lending Right. Quinquennial Performance Review: Consultation PaperResults not yet published.
Quinquennial Review on the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of ArtResults not yet published.
National Maritime Museum Quinquennial Performance ReviewResults not yet published.
Consultation on Media Ownership RulesAll responses (unless respondents requested otherwise) and a summary of responses were published on the Department website.
Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester: Quinquennial Performance ReviewResults not yet published.
Spectrum Planning ConsultationAll responses (unless respondents requested otherwise) were published on the joint DCMS/DTI digital television website.
Council of Europe—Convention on the Protection of Audiovisual HeritageResults not yet published.

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