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18 Mar 2003 : Column 635Wcontinued
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the Animal By-Products Regulation with regard to the burial of (a) domestic animals in pet cemeteries and (b) livestock in domestic locations. 
Mr. Morley: In view of the current outbreak of Avian Influenza in the Netherlands, Defra is advising producers to take all reasonable precautions to prevent their flocks coming into contact with wild birds. The producers most at risk are those close to where wild birds congregate, such as surface water.
ensuring that the number of staff with access to the birds is kept to a minimum and not allowing non-essential visitors in or near poultry houses;
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Mr. Morley: During 2002, the Department commissioned a scoping study to consider the use of alternative technologies, including biofuels, in helping to tackle fuel poverty. The findings of that report, and the possibility of establishing pilot trials, are currently being considered by my Department and the Department of Trade and Industry.
Mr. Morley: A liaison group to be convened under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to consider inter alia non-timber forest products, including bushmeat, has yet to meet. Therefore, no analysis of this work has been made.
Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to apply the principles of producer responsibility to those who manufacture and retail chewing gum; what contribution the manufacturers of chewing gum provide to the cost of cleaning up pavements and public places of discarded chewing gum; and what plans she has to apply the pollutor pays principle to the manufacturers of chewing gum. 
Alun Michael: We encourage manufacturers and retailers to participate in a voluntary scheme to use the international Tidyman logo on products. The environmental charity, Environmental Campaigns (ENCAMS), which undertakes work on behalf of the Government, owns a logo which includes the Tidyman logo and draws up voluntary agreements with willing participants.
I am not aware of any gum manufacturers providing funding for the cost of cleaning gum from pavements but Defra officials have had meetings with the industry and I recently had a constructive meeting with Wrigley's, which is Britain's largest producer of chewing gum, to discuss these issues.
Defra's consultation document Living PlacesPowers, Rights, Responsibilities, includes an option to include discarded chewing gum as litter to which existing litter duties and powers apply. This option would impact on anyone irresponsibly discarding chewing gum as they would then be committing a litter offence.
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Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with the manufacturers of chewing gum regarding the public nuisance of their discarded product. 
Alun Michael: Officials at Defra have been involved in discussions with gum manufacturers since last summer with a view to finding an acceptable solution to the problems surrounding chewing gum litter. Recently, I met Wrigley's, as the largest UK producer of chewing gum, to discuss this issue.
Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research her Department has commissioned to develop techniques for removing chewing gum from footpaths, pavements and other public places; and what steps her Department has taken to encourage effective methods of removing discarded chewing gum from footpaths, pavements and other public places. 
Alun Michael: The environmental charity Environmental Campaigns (ENCAMS), which is grant funded by Defra, has produced advice and guidance on prevention and cleansing for local authorities under the banner "Become an Authority on Gum"
Defra's consultation document Living PlacesPowers, Rights, Responsibilities, included several options relating to chewing gum. We are currently evaluating responses to that consultation exercise, which closed on 14 February, and will then consider how to take matters forward.
Alun Michael: Defra has not had specific discussions with the Local Government Association concerning the cleaning up of chewing gum. The environmental charity, Environmental Campaigns (ENCAMS), which is grant funded by Defra, has been working with gum manufacturers and local authorities over many years to develop best practice on prevention through education and cleansing affected areas. Our consultation document 'Living Places' refers to the problem of dealing with chewing gum and we are currently considering the responses from a variety of sources including local government.
Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate she has made of the cost of cleaning chewing gum from pavements and other public areas in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) chickens and (b) eggs were imported from (i) Holland, (ii) Germany and (iii) Italy in the last year for which figures are available. 
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(1) Estimates based on the value and volume of trade and the average weight per dozen eggs.
Mr. Morley: There are no centrally held records of dogs held under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 in the UK. However, the Metropolitan police, who hold the largest number of dogs under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 (as amended) currently hold 19.
Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the total cost has been to public funds of dogs detained under the provisions of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 in 2003. 
Mr. Morley: There are no centralised records of figures or costs of dogs held, by all police forces, under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 (as amended). However, the Metropolitan police who hold the largest number of dogs under the 1991 Act, have informed us that the total cost within the Metropolitan police area of dogs currently held in 2003 under the 1991 Act is £63,937.
Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many dolphin bodies have been washed up on UK beaches (a) since the beginning of January and (b) in the last five years. 
Mr. Morley: Since the beginning of January to 12 March 2003, 168 dolphins (out of a total of 265 cetaceans) have been reported as having stranded in the UK. In the last five years, the numbers of reported stranded dolphins are as follows:
|Dolphins||Total number of cetaceans|
It should be noted that these figures include stranded, dead cetaceans, live strandings, carcases seen floating at sea, reported cetacean bycatch and cases of unconfirmed or suspected cetacean bycatch. The data was obtained under the Defra-funded Cetacean and Turtle Strandings Scheme, carried out by the Natural History Museum in partnership with the Institute of Zoology and Scottish Agricultural College.
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