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25 Feb 2003 : Column 449W—continued

Equine Cruelty

Diana Organ: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what information she collates on the imposition of penalties for equine cruelty on a regional basis; and what plans she has to take further measures on equine cruelty. [98037]

Mr. Morley: There are no procedures in place for regularly collating information relating to the imposition of penalties for equine cruelty offences on a regional basis. Annual statistics relate to England and Wales as a whole.

We are undertaking a review of animal welfare law with a view to modernising and consolidating it into an Animal Welfare Bill. The review includes looking at ways to improve the welfare of captive and domestic animals, including equine species, and to reduce acts of cruelty.

Diana Organ: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will bring forward proposals for an automatic lifetime ban on keeping horses following a conviction for cruelty. [98048]

Mr. Morley: The Protection of Animals Act 1911 (as amended) provides that the court may disqualify a person convicted from having custody of any animal for such a period, as it thinks fit. There is no upper limit on the period of disqualification which a court may impose.

I am undertaking a review of all existing animal welfare legislation—including the 1911 Act—with a view to the introduction of a Bill that will consolidate and modernise these laws in a single Act. This review includes the penalties available to the courts. No decisions have been taken concerning the contents of the Bill which will be issued in draft for public consultation before it is considered by Parliament.

Fishermen

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to her answer of 6 February, Official Report, column 377W, on fishermen, what proportion of the aid that will be available for measures to support (a) the training of fishermen and (b) the diversification of their activities outside marine fisheries must contribute to a reduction of the fishing effort developed by the beneficiaries if they continue fishing on a part-time basis. [98597]

Mr. Morley: Grant is available for the training of fishermen in safety measures, under the fisheries structural fund. Payments are not conditional on reducing fishing effort. Assistance available from regional sources for supporting the diversification of fishermen's activities outside marine fisheries is administered independently of the obligations under the common fisheries policy for the limitation of fishing effort.

Flooding

Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what EU funding is available for flood defences outside structural fund areas. [98291]

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Mr. Morley: No significant financial assistance is made available by the European Union to assist member states in the provision of flood and coastal defences.

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement about how she will deal with future flood alerts. [98065]

Mr. Morley: With Defra funding, the Environment Agency has developed a clear national strategy for developing its flood warning capabilities over the next 10 years in order to deliver the highest practicable quality of flood warning service across England and Wales. It is anticipated that in order to achieve defined performance targets for an effective flood warning service to increase both its coverage and the effective action taken by recipients of these warnings that investment will be focussed on the following specific but inter-linked areas of work:


Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the powers of flood defence committees. [98290]

Mr. Morley: Flood defence committees, whether regional or local, are executive committees of the Agency.

Section 106 of the Water Resources Act 1991 requires the Environment Agency to "arrange for all its functions relating to flood defence under the following provisions of this Act and the Land Drainage Act 1991 to be carried out by Regional Flood Defence Committees". The exceptions are issuing of levies, making drainage charges or borrowing money.

Regional flood defence committees are permitted to arrange for their functions to be carried out:

(a) by a sub-committee, or an under sub-committee of the committee or an officer of theAgency; or

(b) by any other regional or, as the case may be, local flood defence committee.

Statutory local flood defence committees have been established in the Environment Agency's Southern, Wessex and Anglian regions and in Wales.

Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what financial assistance is being given to the Environment Agency to help with flood prevention and relief in the Government's spending assessment for 2003. [98309]

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Mr. Morley: The Environment Agency's flood defence function is funded mainly (a) from local authority levies which in turn are supported by funding from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, and (b) from Defra grant for capital projects for new and improved defences, related studies and flood warning. Additionally, Defra makes contributions to support the cost of agency national initiatives such as for the National Flood and Coastal Defence Database and on Catchment Flood Management Plans. Defra provision for 2003–04 is:

£ million
Capital projects64
National initiatives 5

Game Licences

Mr. Robathan: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many game licences were issued for the 2002–03 season; how much it cost to administer the game licence regime in 2002–03; and what revenue was received. [98551]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 24 February 2003]: The information requested in relation to game licensing during the year 2002–03 will not be available until later this year.

Genetically Modified Soya

Mr. Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much (a) processed food and (b) soya milk, containing genetically modified soya grown in the USA, was consumed in the UK in the last year for which figures are available; and if she will make a statement. [98359]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 24 February 2003]: Official figures on the levels of (a) processed food and (b) soya milk, containing genetically modified soya, grown in the USA and consumed in the UK are not available.

The following table shows UK imports of (i) unprocessed foods, (ii) lightly processed foods (goods that retain their raw recognisable form, such as meat, cheese and butter, powdered milk, flour, sugar etc.) and (iii) highly processed foods (goods such as confectionery, canned meats, jams, alcoholic drinks, ice cream etc.) from the USA in 2001.

Degree of processingTonnes
Unprocessed702,978
Lightly processed404,537
Highly processed1,246,311

Crown Copyright

Source:

HM Customs and Excise

Data prepared by Statistics (Commodities & Food) Accounts and Trade, ESD, DEFRA


Grants (Farmers and Landowners)

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list for the latest year that figures are available, how many

25 Feb 2003 : Column 452W

grants for farmers and landowners have been given, broken down by (a) greater than £1 million, (b) £800,000-£999,999, (c) £500,000-£799,999, (d) £300,000-£499,999, (e) £200,000-£299,000, (f) £100,000-£199,999, (g) £50,000-£99,999, (h) £25,000-£49,999, (i) £12,500-£24,999, (j) £5,000-£12,499, (k) £2,500-£4,999 and (l) less than £2,500. [98608]

Alun Michael: The table breaks down the CAP payments made by the RPA in the EAGGF financial year from 16 October 2001 to 15 October 2002.

Separate lines are shown for the IACS and non-IACS payments. In the latter category the beneficiaries are largely traders rather than farmers and the coverage is wider than England alone.

It is not possible to show the number of farmers and landowners who received amounts falling within the bands stipulated in the question without disproportionate cost.

Trader schemesIACS schemesTotal EAGGFNationally/EU partially funded schemes
(a) Greater than £1,000,00029332179
(b) £800,000-£999,9992032354
(c) £500,000-£799,99966874173
(d) £300,000-£499,99910738145359
(e) £200,000-£299,999115109224561
(f) £100,000-£199,9992328951,1272,123
(g) £50,000-£99,9993713,2023,5734,769
(h) £25,000-£49,9995636,8857,4489,392
(i) £12,500-£24,99970410,75511,45915,167
(j) £5,000-£12,4991,45624,03825,49431,048
(k) £2,500-£4,9991,57231,83933,41136,390
(l) Less than £2,50083,757489,420573,177590,135


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