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Waste Tyres

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what her estimate is of the stock pile of waste tyres in England in each of the last five years. [78470]

Mr. Meacher: These data are not collected centrally in the format requested. However, the Environment Agency estimate that about 13 million tyres are currently stockpiled in 38 sites in England. The majority of the tyres are held within 8 sites, including one which holds about 9 million of the tyres. This site is covered to provide protection.

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what research she is undertaking into the environmentally safe disposal of waste tyres; [78472]

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Mr. Meacher: The Government in partnership with the tyre industry through the Used Tyre Working Group (UTWG) is investigating alternative disposal, recycling and recovery options for those tyres displaced from landfill with the aim of ensuring that sufficient capacity is available to handle those tyres.

The prospect of the extra required tyre recovery capacity being developed in time for the 2006 ban appears encouraging. It is likely that cement kilns (who use tyres as fuel) will take very significant numbers of tyres provided they obtain the necessary authorisations (four kilns already use tyres).

In addition, the market for tyre granulate is growing. Tyre granulate has a number of applications including carpet underlay and sports and safety surfaces. Government is supporting a number of end-use studies including its incorporation in road surfaces and as an aggregate replacement in concrete. Other studies are looking at new processes to break down used tyres as well as looking at ways of improving the efficiency of present materials recycling operations. Government is also supporting research into the use of tyres in coastal and flood protection schemes.

There is also research underway, funded through the Landfill Tax Credits Scheme in collaboration with the Transport Research Laboratory and the Institute of Civil Engineers, to produce guidance on civil engineering applications for used tyres to stimulate market development. Whole tyres are already used extensively as an engineering material in landfill sites.

More widely, research is underway on creating longer-lasting tyres (without compromising safety) in order to help reduce the amount of tyres entering the waste stream in the first place.

Organic Cattle

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will make a grant to Mr. Richard Smith of Sharpham, Totnes, Devon, to make good the failure of the Beef Assurance Scheme in relation to his cows and followers; and if she will make a statement as to the practices undertaken by her Department to help farmers rearing organic cattle. [78918]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 5 November 2002]: No grants are available for Beef Assurance Scheme members who are having difficulties finding local abattoirs willing to slaughter cattle aged 30–42 months because of EU requirements on testing and the removal of vertebral column. However, the Food Standards Agency will seek to put members in touch with abattoirs which will slaughter such cattle.

The Department seeks to promote all aspects of organic farming in line with the Organic Action Plan published on 29 July. Free advice is available to all farmers contemplating organic farming through the Organic Conversion Information Service. Aid for

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organic conversion, delivered through the England Rural Development Programme, amounts to some #140 million. The Department also funds organic R&D, including projects on both organic dairy and beef cattle husbandry and it is providing a series of meetings to help organic cattle farmers maintain high standards of health and welfare in their herds.

Public Consultations

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what public consultations have been commenced by her Department in each month since 20 July; and what the (a) start date, (b) closing date and (c) website address of each were. [80267]

Alun Michael: Information on public consultation processes undertaken by Defra is held in the public domain and can be obtained from the Defra website at in the section titled ''Consultation Exercises''.

Details as to the issue date and deadlines for comments are available and contact details regarding each consultation are provided. Responses to public consultations where the respondents have not asked for anonymity are also listed on this website page.

Welbeck Tip

Mr. Hinchcliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when she expects to be able to answer the letters sent to the Environment Minister on 5 October 2001 and 20 February 2002 by the hon. Member for Wakefield regarding the Welbeck Tip. [62309]

Mr. Meacher: I regret that the Department can find no trace of my hon. Friend's correspondence.


Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what agreements were reached at the recent World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg relating to chemicals. [77572]

Mr. Meacher: The main points agreed at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in relation to chemicals are contained in paragraph 22 of the Plan of Implementation.

These include an overarching target of ''aiming to achieve by 2020 that chemicals are produced and used in ways that lead to the minimisation of significant adverse effects on human health and the environment''. This would include actions at all levels to:

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A copy of the Plan of Implementation is in the House Library and can be found at http://www/, along with a copy of the Political Declaration made at Johannesburg.

Plastic Waste

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what her latest estimate is of the value of non-recyclable plastic waste used for (a) landfill and (b) incineration for each London borough. [79639]

Mr. Meacher: This information is not available.

Animal Movements

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what changes have been made in the 20 day rule on animal movements since its introduction; and if she will make a statement. [79405]

Mr. Morley: A number of changes to the 20 day whole farm standstill rule have been made over recent months, following detailed discussions with industry and veterinary organisations. These include exemptions, subject to risk mitigating conditions, for breeding animals, calves, tack sheep and all movements direct to slaughter. Most recently, an exemption from the whole farm standstill was introduced on 6 September 2002 for cattle and sheep moved for breeding purposes, if they remain in approved isolation facilities for 20 days.

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will make an amendment to the 20 day standstill rule in the event of livestock being brought to feed for a period ranging from three to 12 months where the bid price is not reached to enable the producer to take livestock home and to prevent cattle and sheep from being slaughtered. [79437]

Mr. Morley: The mixing of animals at auction markets and their subsequent dispersal poses a particular disease risk so it is unlikely that any special exemptions to the 20 day rule will be introduced to cover these particular circumstances.

More generally, future animal movement controls will reflect the outcome of the detailed risk assessment and cost benefit analysis which is being carried out in line with the FMD Inquiry recommendations. We hope to be able to take account of emerging findings when we make decisions about any changes to the current rules in time for the 2003 Spring movement season.

Horticulture Research International

Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what funding has been allocated to Horticulture Research International in each of the last 10 years. [79757]

Mr. Morley: Defra funding at Horticulture Research International (HRI) relates to specifically commissioned R & D projects and work won by HRI in the main through R & D competitions. We have also

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provided funding for capital and other purposes. A summary of the funding provided by Defra (and, prior to 2001–02, MAFF) in each of the last ten years is given in the table below.

Table showing Defra funding of Horticulture Research International over the period 1992–2002

YearR&D payments(12) CMF(13) Restructuring and pensionsCapital & other paymentsTotal (#m)


(12) Figures given on an acruals basis as shown in HRI's accounts

(13) Funds from HMT's Capital Modernisation Fund

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