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Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many abandoned vehicles were collected in Huntingdon in 200203; what the average length of time was from notification to collection; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: One thousand one hundred and sixty, abandoned vehicles were removed and destroyed in Huntingdon in 200102, the most recent year for which data are available from the Municipal Waste Management Survey. Information on the length of time from notification to a local authority of an abandoned vehicle to its collection is not collected as part of the survey.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many abandoned vehicles were collected in Chorley in each of the last three years; and what the average length of time was from notification to collection. 
Mr. Morley: The information requested for Chorley borough council is given in the table.
|Financial year||Number of Abandoned Vehicles Removed and Destroyed|
200102 is the most recent year for which data are available from the Municipal Waste Management Survey. Information on the length of time from notification to a local authority of an abandoned vehicle to its collection is not collected as part of the survey.
Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with Able UK on how it proposes to dispose of the polychlorinated biphenyls in the US ghost ships. 
Mr. Morley: None. Regulation of this matter is for the Environment Agency. Environmental legislation requires that all wastes arising from the vessels would need to be treated or disposed of at facilities duly authorised to accept and deal with them. This includes disposal of wastes containing non-liquid polychlorinated biphenyls, which is confined to electrical insulation, gaskets, seals and similar uses on the ships.
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Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations she has received about the European Union's changes to the status of animal medicines to veterinary prescription only pharmaceuticals. 
Mr. Bradshaw: We have received letters opposing the European Commission's proposal to require all veterinary medicines for food producing animals to be prescription only. This proposal does not apply to medicines for companion animals.
During the review of the EU medicines legislation officials from the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) have had regular discussions with interested parties on all aspects of the proposed changes to the veterinary medicines legislation. Particular account has been taken of the distribution of medicines for food producing animals. The Government's aim in the negotiations was to enable a flexible approach to such distribution that takes advantage of existing national practices so long as consumer protection and animal welfare can be demonstrably assured. This has been achieved.
Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the effect of the cost of veterinary prescription only pharmaceuticals on (a) farmers' incomes and (b) farm animal health. 
Mr. Bradshaw: I have made no assessment of the effect of the cost of prescription only medicines on farmers incomes or farm animal health as the use of medicines relates directly to the husbandry methods and disease pattern on an individual farm. However, the Government have accepted Competition Commission recommendations in their Report on the supply within the United Kingdom of prescription only veterinary medicines that are designed to lead, over time, to an overall reduction in the cost of all veterinary medicines.
Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the United Kingdom Government will implement EU changes to the status of animal medicines to veterinary prescription only pharmaceuticals; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The European Parliament adopted a compromise text of amendments under Review 2001 in the second reading stage on 17 December 2003. This is expected to be considered for adoption by the Council of Ministers as soon as the translated texts are available. Once this has been achieved, we will be starting a full review of the UK legislation taking into account the changes to EU legislation, the recommendations of the Competition Commission Report on the supply within the United Kingdom of prescription only veterinary medicines and those of the Independent Review of Dispensing (Marsh Report). This will involve discussion with interested parties and will lead to formal proposals being circulated for consultation in early 2005.
We will implement the EU changes to the status of veterinary medicines for food producing animals. We will discuss proposals to amend national legislation to
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introduce POM A, B and C categories as recommended in the Marsh Report. POM C comprise the current Pharmaceuticals and Merchants List products and these would continue to be distributed under the control of Specially Qualified Persons working for registered agricultural merchants.
Mr. David Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the implications of the public consultation held in 2002 on the Animal Welfare Bill on progress of the Bill. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The public consultation on an Animal Welfare Bill ended in April 2002 and attracted some 2,500 replies. The comments received in response to the consultation, together with the subsequent discussions we held with over 100 organisations representing a wide spectrum of views on animal welfare, have contributed greatly to the drafting of the Animal Welfare Bill. A further round of public consultation on a possible draft Bill is anticipated in spring 2004.
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether there is scope within the new Animal Welfare Bill to cull out contiguous pockets of m.bovis infection in species other than badgers. 
Mr. Bradshaw: No. The proposed Animal Welfare Bill will relate only to the welfare of captive and domestic animals. Wild animals in the wild are therefore outside the scope of the Bill.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when the guidance will be issued to licensed premises for the recovery of CFC gases from disused refrigeration equipment. 
Mr. Morley: The Environment Agency (EA) and Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) published guidance in April 2002. A review of this guidance has taken place in conjunction with SEPA and the Environment and Heritage Service (EHS). This revised guidance was sent out for external consultation with Fridge Destruction Industry.
Due to the recent amendment to the ODS Regulations, which now require member states to report on the amount of controlled substances recovered, recycled or destroyed every year, the Environment Agency is now reviewing the guidance, any additional changes will require further public consultation.
Following this consultation the guidance will be issued.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether since the amendment made to EU Regulation 2037/2000 of 7 November 2003, the Government have collated the
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figure for the tonnage of CFCs recovered from the de-manufacture of refrigeration equipment; and what figure was given to the EU Commission by the deadline of 31 December 2003. 
Mr. Morley: Since the technical amendment was not published until 22 October 2003, and did not come into force until November the obligation on reporting only applies to the months of November and December. We are currently collecting this information.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the average recovery level achieved by licensed UK plants in respect of CFC from refrigeration equipment was in the last year for which figures are available. 
Mr. Morley: From the figures available for the fridge destruction plants, the average recovery rate of CFC from the R11 Blowing Agent in England and Wales in 2003 was 186.13 g per unit.
Judy Mallaber: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) pursuant to the statement of the Under-Secretary of State for Health, of 10 December 2003, Official Report, column 1172, whether the Cabinet Committee on meat crime will consider issues of co-ordination between government departments and agencies arising from (a) the meat fraud conspiracy case at Denby Poultry and (b) previous meat fraud cases; 
Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 12 January 2004]: Although there is no committee looking specifically at "meat crime", there is a Cabinet Committee on Illegal Imports:
The Ministerial Committee on Illegal Imports (MISC 23), has the following Terms of Reference:
"To co-ordinate policy on imports of animals, plants, fish and their products".
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