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27 Jan 2004 : Column 255W—continued

Organic Farms

Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many organic farms there were in England and Wales (a) in 2000 and (b) on the latest date for which figures are available. [150055]

Mr. Bradshaw: The figures are as follows:

August 2000(6)March 2003(7)
England1,9252,622
Wales401618

(6) Source: Defra internal record

(7) Source: Defra statistical notice—Stats Org UK1—issued on 28 July 2003


Permitted Killing Methods

Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the permitted methods are for killing (a) moles and (b) rabbits in their runs and burrows. [150574]

Mr. Bradshaw: The information requested is as follows.

(a) Moles

The permitted methods typically used to kill moles in their runs are:




Certain other methods are permitted (for example shooting and live capture traps), but these are not widely used in the UK. Further details and advice on the range of available options for managing mole problems are given in the Defra leaflet WM03 "Moles" which is available online at: www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-countryside/vertebrates/leaflets.htm.

Guidance on how to apply for permission to use strychnine hydrochloride for mole control is available online at: www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-countryside/vertebrates/mole.htm.

(b) Rabbits

The permitted methods typically used for killing rabbits in their burrows are:


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Further details and advice on the range of available options for managing rabbit problems are given in the following Defra leaflets WM01, WM16 and WM17 and in Forestry Commission leaflet FCPN002, which are available online at: www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-countryside/vertebrates/leaflets.htm.

A full list of approved traps and the relevant conditions of use can be found online at: www.defra. gov.uk/wildlife-countryside/vertebrates/approved-traps. htm

Pesticides

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what support the Department provides to the Voluntary Initiative on Pesticides website. [151008]

Alun Michael: Defra provides no support for the website of the Voluntary Initiative on Pesticides.

Mr. Gummer: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions (a) she and (b) her officials have had with the Treasury regarding a tax on pesticides. [150031]

Alun Michael: Providing that it is fully implemented, the industry-led voluntary initiative on pesticides should successfully deliver the reduction in adverse environmental impact of pesticide use to which the Government are committed However, Defra and Treasury officials are continuing to consider options for a tax or other economic instrument should the voluntary initiative fail to deliver agreed objectives within a reasonable timescale. Defra and Treasury Ministers have had no recent discussions on a possible pesticides tax.

Pig Welfare (Poland)

Mr. Gummer: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what evaluation she has made of the pig welfare regulations in force in Poland; how they will change on accession to the EU; and in what respects they (a) differ now and (b) will differ upon accession from those in force in the UK. [150030]

Mr. Bradshaw: We have made no evaluation of the existing pig welfare rules in Poland. Poland is committed to implementing the EU pig welfare rules in full, by 1 May 2004, into its national legislation. The European Commission is responsible for monitoring how each accession state is progressing in preparing to implement Community law (the 'acquis').

After 1 May 2004, the Commission will continue to monitor Poland's application of the animal welfare acquis, in the same way as it does in existing member states, in order to ensure uniform application of EU legislation.

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Poultry

Dr. Starkey: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what information her Department collates on the (a) quantity and (b) type of (i) therapeutic and (ii) non-therapeutic drugs given to chickens in the UK in the last year. [150218]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD), an executive agency of Defra, collates and publishes data on an annual basis on the UK sales of veterinary antimicrobials. These data are supplied by industry on a voluntary basis.

In November 2003 the VMD published figures for sales of antimicrobial products used as veterinary medicines, for the year 2002. These indicate that there was a slight decrease in sales of therapeutic antimicrobials indicated for use only in poultry (from 20 tonnes of active ingredient in 2001 to 13 tonnes in 2002). In addition a proportion of the 313 tonnes of active ingredient sold in products authorised for use in more than one species may also have been used in poultry, although it is not possible at this time to quantify this proportion. The figures also show that 250 tonnes of active ingredient of coccidiostats and 27 tonnes of growth promoters were sold. Although these figures have not been broken down by species, the majority of these sales were products authorised only for use in poultry. Full details are available on the VMD's website (www.vmd.gov.uk).

Defra does not collect on a regular basis data on use of other veterinary medicinal products in poultry.

Prosecutions

Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many prosecutions her Department has initiated in the last 12 months; how many of them resulted in (a) a conviction and (b) an acquittal; and how many were dismissed by the Court on the grounds of an incompetent prosecution. [148920]

Alun Michael: The Department has commenced 159 prosecutions in the last 12 months:





US Farm Bill

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with her counterparts in the United States since the breakdown of the World Trade Organisation ministerial conference in Cancun about the likely impact of the United States' Farm Bill on the (a) economies of and (b) living standards in, developing countries. [149119]

Mr. Bradshaw: There is on-going contact between UK and US officials about all aspects of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Round, including on the US Farm Bill. During these discussions we have made clear

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our opinion that the Bill runs counter to our shared goal, as laid down at Doha, of reducing trade-distorting subsidies in the WTO. While it is difficult to make an accurate economic assessment of the impact that the US Farm Bill might have on the economies and living standards of developing countries, World Bank studies estimate that the comprehensive reform of all aspects of agricultural policies in developed countries could raise the incomes of developing countries by up to $100 billion.

HOME DEPARTMENT

Action on Elder Abuse

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will contribute funding to the telephone helpline run by Action on Elder Abuse. [145628]

Dr. Ladyman: I have been asked to reply.

The abuse of vulnerable adults is of great concern to the Government. Since the launch of Action on Elder Abuse in 1993, the Department of Health has used grants to fund both the core functions of the organisation and a variety of specific projects including the telephone helpline. Action on Elder Abuse received just under £160,000 over the three years from 1997–98 to 1999–2000 to help establish and successfully operate the national helpline.

Bids for section 64 funding are currently being considered and will be announced on the normal way.

Advertising Expenditure

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the total expenditure on information campaigns and advertising was for his Department for each year since 2001–02. [145696]

Fiona Mactaggart: The total amount spent on public information campaigns by the Home Office was:

£ million
2001–0225.1
2002–0318.3

This amount includes the cost of Home Office publications and literature, campaign research, creative development and production, as well as the amount spent on advertising media.

The proportion of these totals spent on advertising media was:

£ million
2001–0214.4
2002–039.9

During 2002–03 our campaigns included the award winning police recruitment campaign an essential part in the successful recruitment of record numbers of police

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officers. Other campaigns contributed to a reduction in vehicle crime, the national firearms amnesty and advising parents and children on safe use of the internet.

In 2001–02 our campaigns again focused on police recruitment, vehicle crime and child protection on the internet. We also ran campaigns to support a reduction in drug misuse, and the introduction of postal voting.

Total expenditure for 2003–04 has yet to be finalised.


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