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25 Nov 2002 : Column 45W—continued

British Cattle Movement Service

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the accuracy of the British Cattle Movement Service database. [80453]

Margaret Beckett: The accuracy of the Cattle Tracing Scheme database, which is kept by the British Cattle Movement Service, depends on the accuracy of the data supplied to it by cattle keepers. Currently, around one in five birth registrations and more than one in five movement notifications have some sort of error or anomaly within them.

Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many representations have been received regarding the loss of cattle passport tear-off slips by the Cattle Movement Service; and if she will make a statement. [80884]

Alun Michael: Some 22,000 representations have been made to the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS) since May this year about notifications which were alleged to have been sent to the BCMS but have not been received there and entered on the cattle tracing system (CTS) database.

In addition the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has received an estimated 45,000 representations (telephone calls, e-mails and letters) about bovine scheme and CTS database issues.

Regulations governing the payment of bovine subsidies require that payments should be withheld and penalties applied where the claimants have not fulfilled their legal obligations to make appropriate notifications to the BCMS.


Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the estimated population was of each species of butterfly in (a) 1991 and (b) 2001. [80873]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 20 November 2002]: Information in the form requested is not currently available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. The United Kingdom Butterfly Monitoring Scheme, administered by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, provides data on changes in the abundance of butterflies at selected sites throughout the United Kingdom. Information on the Butterfly Monitoring Scheme can be found at

Data from the Butterfly Monitoring Scheme formed part of the basis for XThe Millennium Atlas of Butterflies in Britain and Ireland" published in 2001 by the Oxford United Press. Produced by Butterfly Conservation, the national Biological Recording Centre and the Dublin

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Naturalists' Field Club, the Atlas contains detailed accounts of the resident or regularly migrant butterfly species in Britain and Ireland, including information on their distribution and trends. A report XThe State of Britain's Butterflies", which draws out the key results and conclusions from the Millennium Atlas is available on the Butterfly Conservation website

CAP Subsidies

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the average payment per hectare from the Common Agricultural Policy's production subsidies is for (a) organic and (b) non-organic farmers in the UK. [81831]

Mr. Meacher: Organic farmers are eligible for support from the CAP on the same basis as conventional farmers. This means that organic producers in England receive the same rates of payment as conventional producers. Producers converting to organic farming are also eligible for support under the Organic Farming Scheme. The payment rates for England, other rates apply in other parts of the UK, can be found on the Department's website at http://defraweb/farm/schemes/aap—new.htm (arable crops), http://defraweb/farm/schemes/livstck.htm (cattle and sheep), http://defraweb/erdp/schemes/landbased/ofs/ofsindex.htm£aid (organic conversion).

Climate Change Policy

Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how often she has met the head of the agricultural departments of retail banks in the last 12 months; and how often her predecessor met the head of the agricultual departments of the retail banks. [81709]

Margaret Beckett: I met the heads of the agricultural departments of the retail banks in November 2001. I do not have information on when my predecessor met them.

Jane Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what advice she issues to Government Departments to ensure that their purchasing decisions do not contravene the Government's Climate Change Policy. [81775]

Mr. Meacher: Guidance issued to procurement officials on minimising the purchase of substances with a high global warming potential includes:

(i) XTowards More Sustainable Construction: Green Guide for Managers on the Government Estate" (published April 1999). URL:

(ii) The XGreen Guide for Buyers" (revised February 2001) URL:

(iii) XGreen Public Private Partnerships", July 2002. A copy of this publication is on ODPM's web site. URL:

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CO2 Emissions

Linda Perham: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she is taking to reduce CO2 emissions; and what targets she has set in this regard. [80533]

Mr. Meacher: The Government has set itself a domestic goal to reduce the UK's carbon dioxide emissions by 20 per cent. below 1990 levels by 2010. This is in addition to the UK's target under the Kyoto Protocol to reduce emissions of a basket of six greenhouse gases to 12.5 per cent. below 1990 levels by 2008 to 2012.

In November 2000, the Government published the UK climate change programme, which sets out a range of integrated policies and measures to reduce emissions in six broad sectors: the energy supply industry; business; transport; the residential sector, agriculture, forestry and land use; and, the public sector. Key policies in the programme include: the target under the Renewables Obligation that 10 per cent. of licensed electricity supplies will be generated from renewable sources by 2010; climate change levy and climate change agreements; the worlds first economy-wide emissions trading scheme; the voluntary agreements between the European Commission and the European, Japanese and Korean car manufacturers to reduce average carbon dioxide emissions from new cars, supported by changes to vehicle excise duty and company car taxation; and the Energy Efficiency Commitment on energy suppliers to encourage consumers to take up energy saving opportunities.

We estimate that the quantified policies in the programme could help reduce the UK's carbon dioxide emissions by 19 per cent. below 1990 levels by 2010. Carbon savings, which have not been quantified, from additional policies could help us achieve our domestic goal.


Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what steps her Department plans to take to encourage and enable local authorities to (a) promote composting and (b) provide low cost compost bins; [80513]

Mr. Meacher: The Government has set local authorities a target to recycle or compost at least 25 per cent. of household waste by 2005. This national target has been underpinned by local authority specific statutory performance standards. These standards set levels of recycling and composting that all waste authorities must achieve by 2003–04 and 2005–06. £140 million was provided by the Government under its Waste Minimisation and Recycling Fund to help local authorities achieve these targets. The Strategy Unit Report on Sustainable Waste Management, due to be published shortly, will also be considering recycling and composting targets and the help required to meet them.

The Department commissioned a risk assessment that looked at the animal and public health risks posed by the composting/biogas treatment of catering waste and

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spreading it on land. This work concluded that, provided satisfactory controls are in place, composting/biogas treatment can be done safely.

We are therefore developing processes that will allow catering waste to be composted safely, based on the results of the risk assessment (without the risk assessment, we would be obliged to follow the EU standard, which would be more restrictive). The aim is to get a draft SI out for public consultation by end November, and to amend the legislation early in the new year. The overall objective is to develop a set of rules that will allow composting of catering waste to take place economically while fully protecting animal and public health.

Crop Spraying

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to introduce new requirements for the training of people employed to spray crops. [80449]

Margaret Beckett: I have no plans at present to introduce any new requirements. However, my officials are working closely with the National Proficiency Test Council to improve operator training and certification. This is an activity contributing to the industry-led voluntary initiative aimed at reducing the environmental impacts of pesticides.

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