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19 Sept 2002 : Column 273Wcontinued
Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what reason glass, ceramics and metals, recovered after thermal and other industrial processing, cannot be included in recycling targets under the Audit Commission's best-value definition. 
Mr. Meacher: The Government encourages material recovery in all its forms. However in line with the waste hierarchy set out in the Waste Framework Directive and Waste Strategy 2000, the Government particularly wants to see a major increase in the primary recycling and composting of household waste rather than in landfill or incineration. The Government has therefore set local authorities statutory targets for the recycling and composting of household waste that exclude residues from incineration.
Mr. Meacher: Bottlenose dolphins are protected in the Great Britain under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Section 9 of the 1981 Act makes it an offence to intentionally kill or injure this species. In England and Wales this protection was strengthened by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 that introduced a new offence of intentional or reckless disturbance.
The bottlenose dolphin is also listed under Annex II of the Council Directive (92/43/EEC) on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Fauna and Flora. This requires the designation of protected areas for bottlenose dolphins. Three such areas have been designated as candidate Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) for their local bottlenose dolphin populations. Cardigan Bay and the Lleyn Peninsula and the Sarnau in Wales and the Moray Firth in Scotland.
As part of the UK's biodiversity strategy, the Government has developed action plans for the conservation of certain species and habitats. Small dolphins, which include bottlenose dolphins, have such a plan. This aims to maintain the dolphins' current range and abundance and, in the longer term, to increase the ranges of small dolphin populations where appropriate. The plan's objectives include minimising the incidental capture of dolphins in fishing nets, reducing acoustic disturbance and improving coastal water quality by reducing pollution. A co-ordinated steering group has been set up to take forward cetacean action plans and comprises representatives from non-government organisations, such as the RSPCA, the government, fishermen and other stakeholders.
19 Sept 2002 : Column 274W
Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what level of support her Department has given initiatives aimed at encouraging new business diversification in each of the past five years. 
Alun Michael: DEFRA provides grants for farmers in England seeking to pursue good diversification projects under the Rural Enterprise Scheme. The scheme was launched in October 2000 as part of the England Rural Development Programme. Grant expenditure on diversification projects amounted to £5.3 million in 2001. The level of activity in 2001 was affected by the Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak and is expected to rise to about £7.5 million in 2002.
Support for diversification in earlier years was provided via the Objective 5b Scheme, now closed, which was targeted on six disadvantaged rural areas in England. The scheme encompassed support for a range of measures and disaggregated figures for diversification projects are not available. Total scheme expenditure for the past five years is shown in the following table.
|Year||Objective 5b expenditure (£ million)|
In addition, the Farm Business Advice Service was launched in October 2000 to provide farm businesses with a business health check and identify possible future business options, including whether or not to diversify. Expenditure under this initiative amounted to £0.7 million in 2000 and £6.25 million in 2001. From September 2001 the Department has also offered assistance in the form of free planning consultancy advice to farmers who intend to pursue an eligible diversification project through the Rural Enterprise Scheme.
|Pollutant||Objective*||Concentration||Date to be measured as achieved by|
|Benzene||16.25 g/m 3 (5ppb)||running annual mean||31 December 2003|
|1,3-butadiene||2.25 g/m 3 (1ppb)||running annual mean||31 December 2003|
|Carbon monoxide||11.6mg/m 3 (10ppm)||running 8 hour mean||31 December 2003|
|Lead||0.5 g/m 3||annual mean||31 December 2004|
|0.25 g/m 3||annual mean||31 December 2008|
|Nitrogen dioxide||200 g/m 3 (105ppb)||1 hour mean||31 December 2005 not to be exceeded more than 18 times a year|
|40 g/m 3 (21ppb)||annual mean||31 December 2005|
|Particles (PM 1 0 )||50 g/m 3 not to be exceeded more than 35 times a year||24 hour mean||31 December 2004|
|40 g/m 3||annual mean||31 December 2004|
|Sulphur dioxide||350 g/m 3 (132ppb)||1 hour mean||31 December 2004 not to be exceeded more than 24 times a year|
|125 g/m 3 (47ppb) not to be exceeded more than 3 times a year||24 hour mean||31 December 2004|
|266 g/m 3 (100ppb)||15 minute mean||31 December 2005 not to be exceeded more than 35 times a year|
|Ozone||100 g/m 3 (50ppb) not to be exceeded more than 10 times a year||daily maximum of running 8 hour mean||31 December 2005|
|Objectives for the protection of vegetation and ecosytems|
|Nitrogen oxides||30 g/m 3 (16ppb)||annual mean||31 December 2000|
|Sulphur dioxide||20 g/m 3 (8ppb)||annual mean||31 December 2000|
|20g/m 3 (8ppb)||winter average (1 October to 31 March)||31 December 2000|
1 *g/m: micrograms per cubic metre
2 mg/m: milligrames per cubic metre
3 ppb/ppm: parts per billion/million
19 Sept 2002 : Column 275W
Further details of these objectives, together with modelled forecasts for each pollutant, are set out in the January 2000 Air Quality Strategy for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The document can be viewed on the DEFRA website at http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/airquality/index.htm.
19 Sept 2002 : Column 276W
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Carlisle (Mr. Mathew) of 12 July 2002, Official Report, column 1233W, on overcharging, how many cases are being pursued for overcharging; and if she will initiate an investigation following the settlement of accounts to determine the (a) scale and (b) implications of this aspect of the foot and mouth clean-up. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 19 July 2002]: Pursuant to the answer I gave to the honourable Member for Carlisle of 12 July, I refer my Hon. Friend to Figure 60 in Chapter 4 of the recent NAO Report The 2001 Outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease published on 18 June 2002. The Report is available on the NAO's website on http://www.nao.gov.uk/publications/naoreports/ 01-02/0102939.pdf. Information other than that provided in the NAO report cannot be provided at this time for reasons of legal and commercial confidentiality. A value for money study and a commercial lessons learned report are being prepared though they cannot be finalised until the forensic examination of the accounts of contractors is completed. The findings and recommendations of the study and report will be shared with the National Audit Office and the Office of Government Commerce. It is the Department's intention to publish these findings and recommendations on the Departmental website subject only to unavoidable obligations in respect of legal and commercial confidentiality.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make it her policy to apply different standstill rules for movements of different species of livestock. 
Margaret Beckett: We wish to considerand discuss with stakeholdersthe relevant recommendations of the Royal Society and Lessons Learned Inquiries before making any decisions about the future of the 20-day standstill.
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent representations she has received concerning problems created by the urban fox population; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Meacher [holding answer 19 July 2002]: We have received a small number of representations concerning problems arising from the presence of urban foxes. The Department recognises that foxes can cause problems in urban areas and publishes advice to householders on managing fox problems. Responsibility for the control of foxes rests with those people who most benefit from such control, that is, individual property owners and occupiers, who may engage private pest control contractors to undertake this work. There is no statutory requirement for local authorities to control foxes in their areas.
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her latest estimate is of the total fox population of the United Kingdom, by region; and what the figures were in each of the past five years. 
19 Sept 2002 : Column 277W
Mr. Meacher [holding answer 19 July 2002]: The latest estimate of the fox population in the United Kingdom is taken from a CSL report published in 1997. In 1995 the total pre-breeding fox population in Britain was estimated to be 240,000, comprising:
No more recent figures are available.
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