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3 Dec 2002 : Column 654Wcontinued
Mr. Gwyn Prosser To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how many live sheep were exported from Dover to continental Europe on (a) 13 November and (b) 14 November; when and where health certification was carried out in respect of the sheep; how many of the sheep were rejected as unfit for the intended journey (i) during inspection for health certification purposes and (ii) at Dover docks; to where those sheep were taken; and what the address was of the final destination given on the route plan for each of the consignments. 
(3) how many live sheep were exported from Dover to continental Europe on 19 November; when and where health certification was carried out in respect of the sheep; how many of the sheep were rejected as unfit for the intended journey (a) during inspection for health certification purposes and (b) at Dover docks, and to where those sheep were taken; and what the address was of the final destination given on the route plan for each of the consignments. 
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|November 2002||Total animals||Where consignments were certified||Animals rejected at certification||Animals rejected at Dover docks||Destination|
|13||2,809||England, Scotland and Wales||37||0||France|
|14||2,330||Wales||33||0||France and Germany|
|16||3,265||England and Wales||60||0||France|
|19||2,889||England, Scotland and Wales||10||0||France|
The sheep for the consignments listed were certified within 48 hours prior to export. These consignments went to approved slaughterhouses apart from the sailings on 13 November and 19 November which were fattening animals transported to holdings. The animals which were rejected at certification remained in Great Britain.
Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions she has had with the Scottish Executive regarding the operational effectiveness of the 20 day rule. 
Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many representations she has received on the effects of the 20 day standstill rule in relation to the movement of animals; and if she will make a statement. 
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will set out the process which will apply in respect of the public consultation exercise on modification. 
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Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many food samples tested for pesticide, veterinary and other residues in each of the last 10 years were assessed to contain (a) residue above the maximum residue level for the (i) UK and (ii) EU, (b) a residue not approved for use on UK crops and (c) a residue in organic samples. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 2 December 2002]: The results of analysis for pesticide residues are presented in Table 1. All the samples were assessed for Maximum Residue Level 1 (MRL) exceedances (where MRLs had been set) and UK non-approved uses for the UK samples only. Organic samples are not specifically targeted in the surveys. They are tested as part of the monitoring programme as they are available for consumers to buy. Table 1 therefore includes the number of samples tested for pesticide residues which were found to contain MRL exceedances (which may be either UK, EU or Codex Alimentarius Commission MRLs). It also includes the number of non-approved uses found in UK produce only, and the number of organic samples that were found to contain residues.
The detailed results of the Pesticide Residues Committee's (PRC's) monitoring (and its predecessor the Working Party on Pesticide Residues (WPPR) (including the commodities tested) have been published and can be viewed on the relevant websites:
www.pesticides.gov.uk/committees/WPPR/wppr.htm (WPPR results)
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|Number of samples tested||3,177||3,371||3,742||3,230||3,449||2,648||2,187||2,374||2,304||4,003|
|Number of samples containing MRL exceedances||28 (0.88%)||46 (1.36%)||23 (0.61%)||32 (0.99%)||27 (0.78%)||15 (0.57%)||29 (1.33%)||38 (1.60%)||25 (1.09%)||29 (0.72%)|
|Number of UK samples containing non-approved pesticides||(4)||(4)||(4)||(4)||(4)||(4)||12||5||8||9|
|Number of organic samples containing residues||(4)||(4)||(4)||(4)||(4)||(4)||(4)||(4)||(4)||7|
(3) The PRC plan to test 4,000 samples during 2002, however, the full results are not available
(4) Data are not available
The results of analysis for veterinary medicine residues are presented in Table 2. The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) of DEFRA runs two surveillance schemes that look for residues of authorised veterinary medicines and banned substances in UK produced and imported foods. Samples of organic produce are included in the surveillance, but the results have not been kept separately. The Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) for residues of veterinary medicines are set on an EU-wide basis. Substances not authorised for use will not have an MRL. For such compounds and also for approved substances without an MRL for a particular tissue, an 'Action Level' is applied; this is normally that any confirmed residue is reported.
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in the VMD's annual report and accounts up to 1994, in a dedicated VMD report on surveillance for veterinary residues between 1995 and 2000, and in the veterinary residues committee's annual report on surveillance for veterinary residues in 2001. Copies of the annual reports are available in the House Library or the VMD's website www.vmd.gov.uk.
A variety of factors which influence the pattern of resultssuch as compounds sought or analytical capabilityhave changed in both programmes over time. Data for different years may, therefore, not be directly comparable. The detailed published reports for the programmes covering these years should be consulted for further information.
The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has responsibility for pesticide residues and veterinary medicines residues. Other food residues are a matter for the Food Standards Agency.
|Total samples (1000s)||48||49||47||50||42||44||40||41||39||40|
(5) This includes where MRLs were exceeded or a residue of an authorised substance has been found where no MRL was set (in this case an 'Action Level' is appliedthis is normally that any confirmed residue is reported as an exceedance).
(6) Non-authorised substances may not have an MRL. Some of the reported cases will be of hormones, where the action level may be exceeded by the natural fluctuations of the hormone within the animal.
(7) Certain substances, such as PCBs, pesticides, dyes and heavy metals are included in the VMD surveillance programmes, as they are a requirement under Council Directive 96/23EC.
The definition of MRLs for pesticide residues and veterinary residues is not the same; they have different meanings.
For pesticide residues, MRLs are maximum residue levels. These are intended primarily as a check that pesticides are being used correctly and to assist international trade in treated produce. Maximum residue levels for pesticide residues are not safety limits, and exposure to pesticide residues in excess of a maximum residue level does not necessarily imply a risk to health.
For veterinary residues, MRLs are maximum residue limits. For veterinary medicines, they are statutory limitsif any tissue from an animal presented for slaughter is found to contain a residue above the maximum residue limit, an offence may have been committed. In Europe, the Committee for Veterinary Medicinal Products (CVMP), part of the European Medicines Evaluation Agency, sets MRLs. Because of the way veterinary MRLs are set, exposure to a residue over the MRL is in itself not necessarily a cause for concern. The VMD take toxicological advice from the Food Standards Agency where residues over the relevant MRL or actions levels are detected.
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