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Import Controls

Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many representations she has had urging her to tighten import controls on meat from (a) the Meat and Livestock Commission, (b) the NFU and (c) others. [75143]

Mr. Morley: Frequent high-level meetings, at both ministerial and official levels, have been held with representatives of the NFU and, to a lesser extent, the MLC. Both the MLC and NFU sit on the Illegal Imports Risk Assessment Steering Group. Ben Gill, NFU President, addressed the Illegal Imports Stakeholders' Forum held on 21 March 2002. Also present were the International Meat Trade Association, British Meat Manufacturers' Association, National

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Beef Association, National Pig Association, National Sheep Association, World Wildlife Fund, UK Association of Frozen Food Producers, Local and Port Health Authorities, British Airports Authority and British Ports Association. Meetings of foot and mouth disease stakeholders groups have been held regularly this year, addressing the issue of illegal imports. We have also received a substantial number of written representations from individuals, and organisations including the Wl, Townswomen, Councils, legal firms and agricultural equipment suppliers.

Intervention Stocks

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on her policy towards Commission allowances for intervention stocks to be directed towards deprived persons; what categories of recipients exist; and in how many instances the Government have applied for such relief in the UK. [77253]

Mr. Morley: The EC Surplus Food Scheme was introduced in 1988 to reduce intervention stocks and benefit the most deprived persons in the Community (those receiving income support, family credit, disability working allowance, together with those living in welfare hostels, and the homeless and destitute). The UK withdrew from the scheme from 1996 because of the reduction of EC food mountains.

Meat Statistics

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much meat was (a) produced in the UK, (b) consumed in the UK and (c) imported into the UK in the last 10 years for which figures are available; and if she will make a statement. [79240]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 4 November 2002]: The following table shows the volume of UK home-fed production, UK imports and UK total new supply of meat for the years 1992–2001.

Supplies indicate the amount of meat available for immediate consumption in the UK.

000 tonnes

Beef and veal
Home-fed production9738889471,002710698699679706645
Total new supply(22) 1,014885844880799901842853892889
Mutton and lamb
Home-fed production401402395403383351385403389265
Total new supply(22) 376347354356376362380386390334
Home-fed production810813836791801888931831725610
Total new supply(22) 768796798771806817829831790807
Bacon and ham
Home-fed production189216233245241239236233209197
Total new supply(22) 418450451467497471459457468460
Home-fed production1,2171,2771,3561,4151,4761,5201,5451,5251,5131,564
Total new supply(22) 1,3161,3611,4581,5031,5841,5841,6641,6871,6941,730
Home-fed production3,5913,5963,7673,8563,6113,6953,7983,6703,5413,281
Total new supply(22) 3,8913,8393,9053,9774,0624,1354,1754,2144,2354,221

(21) 2001 data are provisional.

(22) Total new supply = home-fed production plus imports minus exports, and is the total amount of produce available for consumption.


DEFRA Statistics website, www.defra,

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Nitrate Vulnerable Zones

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement about (a) the areas included and (b) the exclusion of river water in the nitrate vulnerable zone scheme; how it will be policed; and how many extra forms will be generated by it. [79243]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 4 November 2002]: The Nitrates Directive requires the identification of polluted waters using the following criteria: (a) surface and groundwaters which contain or could contain, if preventative action is not taken, nitrate concentrations greater than 50 mg/l; (b) surface waters which are or could become, if preventative action is not taken, eutrophic.

The Nitrates Directive then requires all known land draining into these waters, from which agriculture could contribute to the pollution, to be designated as Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZs). Around 55 per cent. of England has been designated as NVZs on the basis that it drains into these waters.

The Environment Agency (EA) are adopting a risk based approach to the enforcement of action programme measures which farmers located in the NVZs will be required to apply from 19 December 2002. The EA will prioritise farms that have the greatest potential for nitrate loss rather than visiting all farms, and will aim to work with farmers to help achieve compliance over a period of time.

There is no requirement for farmers to fill in any new forms to comply with this legislation. Farmers in Nitrate Vulnerable Zones are expected to keep records of their application of manures and fertilisers. However, there is complete flexibility for farmers to do this in whatever way is most convenient for them, including using existing field records.

Non-food Uses of Crops

Brian White: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress the Government Industry Forum on Non-Food Uses of Crops has made; and if she will make a statement. [79869]

Mr. Meacher: Over the past year the forum has met six times and has been working on a number of studies of areas of potential development in the non-food crops sector. Examples include biopackaging, the use of natural fibres in composite materials, biosolvents and biolubricants. The forum has also considered generic

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issues which affect this sector. The forum published its first annual report in August 2002 which details its work and sets out its first series of recommendations to Government. I am placing copies of the report in the Libraries of both Houses.


Mr. George Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations Her Majesty's Government has made to the EU about EU member states still using pigswill. [76314]

Mr. Morley: In negotiations on the EU Animal By-Products Regulation, the UK opposed any delay in introducing an EU-wide ban on swill feeding. However, to secure adoption of the regulation, the UK accepted that a transition period might be appropriate for two member states, Austria and Germany, providing suitable controls were in place during that period.

Public Paths

Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when the Government intend to bring forward statutory instruments to implement the part of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 that will reclassify roads used as public paths as restricted byways. [79379]

Alun Michael: Our aim is to consult on the content of the regulations needed to implement the restricted byway provisions no later than March 2003.

Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how many roads used as public paths have been reclassified as bridleways following review of their usage in accordance with section 54 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981; [79381]

Alun Michael: The reclassification of RUPPS is the responsibility of Highway Authorities. The information sought is not available centrally.

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