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Funding Applications

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many late applications for EU and other funding, broken down by category, have occurred in her Department and its predecessors since 1997; and if she will list them by amount. [81144]

Alun Michael: Such detailed information is not readily available. I will write to the hon. Member with details as soon as it has been collated.

Global Warming

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the estimated total cost of global warming to the British economy was in each year since 1997. [80875]

Mr. Meacher: Estimates for the total cost of global warming to the British economy during this period are not available. The Department has however sponsored preliminary research by Environmental Resources Management Ltd. to estimate the cost of adapting to climate change in key sectors such as water and flooding. Copies of this report have been placed in the House of Commons Library.

In addition, the Association of British Insurers has estimated that weather damage claims associated with the current climate cost an average of #710 million per year over the period 1998–89 to 1998–99. The damage costs associated with extreme weather are likely to rise as such events become more frequent in future due to climate change.

Green Ministers

Jane Griffiths: : To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when the Green Ministers have met since June 2001. [81769]

Mr. Meacher: Following the general election in June 2001, the previously informal Green Ministers Committee was upgraded to a Cabinet Sub-Committee of ENV. It is established practice under exemption two of Part II of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information not to disclose information relating to the proceedings of Cabinet Committees.

However, progress made by ENV(G), and its parent committee ENV, on the contribution of all Departments to sustainable development is made public annually through the Sustainable Development in Government Report (the successor to the Greening Government reports). The next report is due to be published shortly. In addition, key developments during the year are posted on the Sustainable Development in Government website, (launched in July 2002). The Environment Audit Committee is of course already free to call for reports and evidence at any time.

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Greenhouse Gases

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the average (a) consumption of energy by and (b) emission of greenhouse gases from the average family house was in each year since 1997. [80865]

Mr. Meacher: The information is as follows:

Average UK household energy consumption (GJ)Average UK household carbon dioxide emissions (tonnes CO2)Average UK household greenhouse gas emissions (tonnes CO2 equiv.)
1997 77.25.666.27
1998 78.95.736.44
1999 78.15.606.22
2000 78.95.636.36
2001 81.36.07

The greenhouse gas figures are higher than those for CO2 alone since they include indirect emissions of methane attributable to household use of gas and of coal-and gas-generated electricity.

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate she has made of the percentage of greenhouse gas emissions which emanate from (a) the US, (b) other OECD countries and (c) developing countries; and what this represents in each category as emissions per person. [80876]

Mr. Meacher: The International Energy Agency has published global greenhouse gas emissions estimates by country for 1995. These data suggest that in that year the United States and other OECD countries accounted for around 20 per cent. and 25 per cent. of global greenhouse gas emissions respectively. Developing countries accounted for around 45 per cent. Emissions per capita were around 7, 3 and 1 tonnes of carbon equivalent per person averaged over the US, other OECD countries and developing countries respectively. These estimates include all greenhouse gases covered by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol. They do not include the countries with economies in transition in Central and Eastern Europe which in 1995 accounted for the remaining 10 per cent. of global emissions, with emissions per capita of about 3 tonnes of carbon equivalent.


Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what discussions her Department has held with the authors of the Joint Universities Study on Deer Hunting (The physiological response of red deer (Cervus elaphus) to prolonged exercise undertaken during hunting, 1998) about the physiological effects on deer which (a) escape after being hunted and (b) are hunted and shot; [80834]

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Alun Michael: Our objective in respect of (a) foxes, (b) hares, (c) deer and (d) mink is to permit their humane management where they are in conflict with agriculture, forestry, food, fisheries or property interests.

Evidence relating to the physiological responses of hunted deer was presented to the Department at the Hunting with Dogs, Hearings on the Evidence (9–11 September 2002) by Professor Roger Harris of University College Chichester. His written and oral evidence related to his own studies and those of Professor Bateson and the Joint Universities Group. Professor Bateson's work was also presented to the inquiry led by Lord Burns and discussed at length with the Burns inquiry.

The following studies have been evaluated by the Department to assess the economic cost of agricultural damage caused by:

(i) Foxes

Dr. Piran White of the University of York presented evidence on the costs of agricultural damage associated with foxes to the Hunting with Dogs, Hearings on the Evidence (9–11 Sept 2002). This was based on two particular publications: White P.C.L, Groves, H.L, Savery, J.R., Conington, J. and Hatchings, M.R. (2000) Fox predation as a cause of lamb mortality on hill farms. Veterinary Record 747:33–37: and Moberly, R.L (2002) The costs of foxes to agricultural interests in Britain. PhD Thesis, University of York.

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The Countryside Alliance submitted written evidence to the hearings that included details of surveys to assess the impact of fox predation among sheep breeding flocks in England and Wales undertaken by Produce Studies Ltd.

Previous data on the occurrence of fox killing on sheep farms, was submitted by The Game Conservancy Trust (Reynolds 2000). A review of literature by the Central Science Laboratory has included: Lloyd, H.G. (1980) The red fox. Batsford, London. MacDonald, D.W. (1984) A questionnaire survey of farmers' opinions and actions towards wildlife on farmlands. In Agriculture and the Environment (ed D. Jenkins) ITE Publications. MacDonald, D.W. (1987) Running with the fox. Unwin Hyman, London 224pp. Reynolds, J.C. (2000) Fox control in the countryside. The Game Conservancy Trust. The then Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food funded the Central Science Laboratory to conduct a literature review on 'The impact of the fox in Rural and Urban Britain'. The report reviewed the literature on: population status and distribution, trends in the fox populations, economic and environmental damage by foxes, methods of fox control and management, and their effectiveness.

(ii) Deer

The Department has funded XA review of Lowland deer" (CSL and R.J. Putman). This literature review covered the distribution and status of lowland deer in England and Wales, damage caused by deer, management of deer, particular problem areas and priorities for future deer research.

(iii) Mink

The Department funded the Central Science Laboratory to review the ecological and economic impacts of mink in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland on behalf of Scottish Natural Heritage.

A Report to Scottish Natural Heritage. Moore, N.P., Robertson, P.A. and Aegerter, J.N. (2000) Feasibility study into the options for management of mink in the Western Isles.

Stephen Harris et al. (1995) estimate the following pre-breeding population sizes for mammals in Great Britain. There is no 10-year comparison or population data arising from research funded by the Department or available elsewhere.

EnglandScotlandWalesTotal GB
Brown hare572,250187,25058,000817,500
Red deer12,500347,000<50360,000
Fallow deer95,000<4,000<1,000100,000
Roe deer150,000350,00050500,000
Sika deer2,5009,000011,500
Muntjac deer40,000<50<25040,000
Chinese water deer65000650


Harris, S., Morris P., Wray S. and Yalden D. 1995. A Review of British Mammals: population estimates and conservation status of British mammals other than cetaceans. J/VCC, Peterborough.

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The Department has also funded the following range of studies on deer.

The Department collects no data on numbers of foxes, deer, mink or hares killed each year, but the most recent information on numbers of foxes, deer, mink and hares killed by hunting with dogs may be found in the Burns Report.

The Department has not commissioned any studies into the predation of water voles and fish by mink, but is aware of research undertaken in this field by others.

In 1997 the then Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food commissioned the Central Science Laboratory to carry out a one-year project to assess badger damage to agriculture and forestry in England and Wales, involving a questionnaire survey backed up with damage assessments on the ground.

A badger culling field trial is being carried out as part of Defra's extensive bovine tuberculosis (TB) research programme. The trial has been designed to find out what role, if any, badgers play in the transmission of bovine TB to cattle and whether badger culling is an effective or sustainable bovine TB control mechanism.

The Department is currently funding the research project, 'Quantification of wild deer damage to agriculture, crops and pastures'. There are no data available to assess trends over the last 10 years.

The Department is not aware of any scientific studies that have examined negative physiological effects on foxes, hares or mink which escape after being hunted. However, observations on the behaviour of such animals were given to the Hunting with Dogs, Hearings on the Evidence (9–11 Sept 2002). A copy of the transcript and videos of the proceedings are available in the House of Commons Library.

In June 2001 Defra let a GB wide research contract entitled XDesign and pilot a multi-species terrestrial mammal monitoring project" to the British Trust for Ornithology and the Mammal Society. The overall aim is to design and pilot a winter monitoring project involving both visual recording of mammals and the recording of their signs using a volunteer network. This is intended to form a building block for an integrated standardised mammal-monitoring system that embraces the full range of important species, and will help assess long-term trends. Certain species, such as the fox, have been targeted for monitoring, but all other mammals signs encountered should be recorded. As yet no population comparisons have been undertaken of the species being monitored. The pilot scheme concludes in November 2003.

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