|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
8 Dec 2003 : Column 231Wcontinued
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what advice she gives to potato growers in respect of (a) liability and (b) compensation for (i) substandard and (ii) diseased seed potato stock. 
Mr. Bradshaw: This information is as follows:
8 Dec 2003 : Column 232W
(a) Seed potato growers entering crops for classification under the Seed Potato Classification Scheme are advised that it is a condition of the acceptance of applications by Defra and the National Assembly for Wales that no liability shall attach to either Department or any of their officers in connection with any inspection carried out, or in respect of certificates and reports which are based on the examination of crops and tubers, or in any other way in connection with the operation of the arrangements for certification and classification. The Seed Potato Classification Scheme facilitates the classification of crops in order to meet the requirements of the Seed Potatoes Regulations 1991 (as amended).
Defra regularly produces publicity material to assist seed potato growers in the identification of pests and diseases. This information is sent to growers and is also available on the Defra web-site.
(b) The Government pay no compensation for sub-standard or diseased seed potato stock.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress her Department has made in containing the recent outbreak of ring rot. 
Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she is taking to stop the disease of potato ring rot from spreading in Wales. 
Mr. Bradshaw: As soon as the disease was detected on a routine sample of seed potatoes from the farm in mid Wales, a statutory notice was served under the Plant Health Order 1993 to prevent movement. Three deliveries which had already been made from the farm to customers in England were traced and placed under notice.
All 22 stocks of seed potatoes on the farm have now been tested. Although infection has been found on some samples of one other variety, DNA testing suggests that this is likely to be due to an admixture with the original infected variety at harvest. The other 20 stocks have been found free from the disease. However, none of the seed potatoes from the outbreak farm can be planted.
Five farms in England grew crops this year with a varietal link to the infected stocks. As a precautionary measure these stocks were placed under notice and sampled. No ring rot was found in tests on these samples and the stocks are being released.
There is no reason to believe that infection was present on the affected farm before this year, but as a precautionary measure last year's deliveries of seed are being traced, so crops grown from them can be sampled and tested.
A new publicity leaflet on ring rot has been prepared and will be sent to all potato growers shortly.
Mr. Blizzard: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on her Department's policy on sea angling. 
8 Dec 2003 : Column 233W
Mr. Bradshaw: The Government recognise sea anglers as parties with an interest in fish stocks, and consult angling interests on a wide range of fisheries management issues to ensure that their views are taken into account. Sea angling is a selective, environmentally friendly and low impact fishing activity. We fully recognise the important contribution that recreational angling and associated activity can make to the coastal economy. To help to quantify this contribution, a Defra-funded study into the commercial value of angling to local economies in England and Wales is currently underway.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she will introduce a shellfish licensing scheme. 
Mr. Bradshaw: A restrictive licensing scheme for shellfish (crabs and lobsters) will take effect from 1 January 2004 for vessels over 10 m and from 1 April 2004 for vessels under 10 m. Shellfish entitlements are being granted to existing fishing vessels which, with their current licences, have taken more than 200 kg of lobsters or 750 kg of crabs in any 12 month period between 1 January 1998 and 31 December 2002. The scheme will apply to vessels under 8 m which will account for more than 40 per cent. of the vessels qualifying under the scheme. Anyone wishing to take up shellfishing will need to acquire an appropriate fishing vessel licence carrying a shellfish entitlement from an existing vessel. Licensed fishing vessels without a shellfish entitlement will be permitted to land up to five lobsters and 25 crabs per day.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations she has made to the Icelandic Government following the demarche in response to Iceland's plan to continue scientific whaling in 2004; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: On 10 October the Icelandic Government responded to the UK-led demarche of 10 September. On 20 November the UK Ambassador to Iceland delivered a Note Verbale to the Icelandic Government regarding points raised in that response, and in particular their decision to undertake lethal scientific research. The Note Verbale restated the UK Government's opposition to the research, which it considers unjustified and unnecessary, and again called upon the Government of Iceland not to carry out any further lethal research on whale species.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations she has made to the Japanese Government since 7 November on its plans to kill Antarctic minke whales. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The Japanese programme of so-called 'scientific' whaling is an ongoing one. The UK Government, in common with those of a majority of IWC members, has regularly criticised the programme as being of little scientific value and urged Japan to end its scientific whaling activities.
8 Dec 2003 : Column 234W
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research she has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated designed to ensure a successful review of the Southern Ocean Sanctuary in 2004, in relation to the whaling in the area by Japan. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The UK Government have not specifically commissioned research on the Southern Ocean Sanctuary, but we do receive information from scientists and from the British Antarctic Survey. The UK chaired the Working Group on Reviewing Sanctuaries and Sanctuary Proposals at this year's International Whaling Commission meeting in Berlin. This Working Group evaluated criteria for the Sanctuaries and Sanctuary Proposals. The UK also has delegates on the Steering Group, which is responsible for designing the evaluation process for the Sanctuaries and Sanctuary Proposals. Hence, we have had considerable input into choosing experts and the terms of reference for the review.
15. Mrs. Betty Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many anti-social behaviour orders have been served in North Wales in the last 12 months. 
Ms Blears: Anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs) were introduced in England and Wales from 1 April 1999.
The number of notifications received by the Home Office of anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs) issued in England and Wales, at all courts, from 1 April 1999 up to 30 June 2003 (latest available) is 1,337. Anti-social behaviour orders issued in North Wales from 1 July 2002 up to 30 June 2003 is 10.
18. Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans he has to widen access to compensation for victims of crime. 
Fiona Mactaggart: Following an internal review of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme we are proposing to publish shortly a consultation paper inviting views on proposals for amending the Scheme, and for encouraging the wider and more effective use of compensation orders made by the criminal courts in victims' favour. We will consider how best to proceed in the light of the responses to that public consultation exercise.
19. Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many children of asylum seekers he estimates will be taken into local authority care each year following the Government's recent announcement. 
Beverley Hughes: It is not the Government's intention that any children will be taken into care as a result of this proposal.
8 Dec 2003 : Column 235W
20. John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what research he has commissioned to assess the impact of drug treatment in prisons on public expenditure. 
Caroline Flint: The comprehensive range of drug interventions offered in prisondesigned to address the diverse needs of low, moderate and severe drug-misusersis based primarily on findings from wider, community-based drug research.
Research on prison-based drug treatment published earlier this year has shown that graduates of programmes are significantly less likely to be re-convicted after release; further in-depth researchincluding cost-effectivenessis planned.
We know from extensive research carried out in the community that there can be significant savings in public expenditure from treating drug-misusers.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|