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23 Feb 2004 : Column 140Wcontinued
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the conclusions of the recent report by the Hazardous Waste Forum in respect of her Department's hazardous waste management strategy. 
Actions are and have been taken with respect to these recommendations. In particular the Government will shortly be announcing the outcome of the consultation on the implementation of the EU Council Decision on Waste Acceptance Criteria under the Landfill Directive. In addition, a treatment and capacity task force has been set up under the chairmanship of the waste industry to get better information on industry plans for
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treatment and disposal facilities. The consideration and development of further policy instruments is likely to form part of the Forum's work for this year.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment her Department has made of the possible impact of implementing EU Directives relating to hazardous waste on the number of available dumping sites after July. 
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations she has received on the impact on hill farmers on the implementation by English Nature of EU directives setting environmental standards in (a) North Yorkshire, (b) Cumbria and (c) other parts of England. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The Department receives a number of representations from farmers on a range of issues but I am not aware of any specifically concerning the impact on hill farmers of the implementation of EU directives by English Nature.
Mr. Olner: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment has been made regarding the fulfilment of conditions for the proposed sales of elephant ivory stockpiles under the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species from Botswana, Namibia and South Africa in (a) importing countries and (b) exporting countries. 
Mr. Morley: It was an essential part of the decision at the last Conference of Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) that a number of strict conditions should be fulfilled before any of the proposed sales of ivory stockpiles went ahead. These included the provision of baseline data on elephant populations and poaching levels under the MIKE process (Monitoring of Illegal Killing of Elephants) and confirmation by the CITES Secretariat that the potential importing countries could effectively regulate their domestic ivory markets. These issues will be discussed at the CITES Standing Committee meeting in Geneva next month. It is therefore too soon to make a definitive assessment but the UK Government remains clear that these sales must not proceed if these conditions have not been fulfilled.
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ivory; what discussions she has had with Ministers from other countries about the trade in elephant ivory; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: I have discussed the ivory trade with Ministers from other countries on a number of occasions, most recently during my visit to Kenya in October 2003. Officials have also discussed this issue several times in the EC CITES Committee (the Committee on Trade in Wild Fauna and Flora), most recently on 29 January 2004. The UK Government are strongly opposed to the illegal and unsustainable trade in elephant ivory.
Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the results from the Elephant Trade Information System; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: The last comprehensive report on the Elephant Trade Information System (ETIS) was presented by TRAFFIC at the 12th Conference of the Parties to CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) in November 2002. This concluded that the illegal trade in ivory is directly correlated to the presence of large-scale, unregulated ivory markets, predominantly found in West and Central Africa, China and Thailand. The report attributed the upward trend in seized ivory since 1998 to the increased demand for ivory consequent upon increased economic prosperity within China.
The UK shares TRAFFIC's concerns about the need to regulate domestic ivory markets around the world. Within the UK and the EU as a whole, trade in ivory is strictly regulated through a licensing system. Permits for the sale of ivory are not issued unless it can be shown that the ivory was legally acquired before the current world-wide ban on commercial trade in ivory came into force in 1990.
Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate has been made of the amount of illegal ivory sold in the United Kingdom through the antiques trade in each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: We have made no such estimates. If we were given evidence that illegal ivory was being sold through the antiques trade we would ask the appropriate enforcement authorities to investigate any allegations that are brought to our attention.
All imports, re-exports and sales of antique ivory are controlled under the appropriate EC regulations, and permits and certificates are not issued unless we are satisfied as to their origin. In addition, my Department, HM Customs and Excise and the police, along with non-governmental organisations such as LAPADA (the Association of Art and Antique Dealers), work together to increase public awareness of the wildlife trade controls.
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John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with other members of the European Union regarding the ivory trade in advance of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species in March. 
Mr. Morley: This issue has been discussed on several occasions in the EC CITES Committee (the Committee on Trade in Wild Fauna and Flora), most recently on 29 January 2004. The UK Government is strongly opposed to the illegal and unsustainable trade in elephant ivory and this is reflected in the European Union stance on this issue. EU Member States will insist at the CITES Standing Committee in Geneva in March 2004, that all the very strict conditions governing the one-off sale of ivory by Botswana, Namibia and South Africa are met in full before any trade is allowed to go ahead.
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she will take at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species to prevent an expansion in the ivory trade; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: We do not yet know what proposals on elephant ivory, if any, will be made at the Conference of Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in Bangkok in October. However, we are concerned that the market for ivory may be poorly regulated in a number of countries around the world, thereby allowing the illegal trade to continue. We will, therefore, work with our partners within the EU and other CITES Parties to ensure that there is no relaxation of the current ban on commercial trade in ivory, unless it can be shown that very strict measures are in place to ensure that such trade would not be detrimental to the conservation of this species in the wild.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to her answer of 29 January 2004, Official Report, column 496W, on ivory, what assessment she has made of the reasons for the increase in ivory imports in 2003. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 6 February 2004]: Defra has not made a formal assessment. It is clear, however, that very little ivory has been imported to the UK in recent years. There was an increase in 2003, but as far as we can establish, this was largely as a result of shipments from other EU member states which are allowed to move freely within the Community.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many Article 10 certificates her Department (a) granted and (b) refused for (i) ivory and (ii) items containing ivory in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 12 February 2004]: Our records do not distinguish between sales of items of elephant ivory or items containing ivory, although both are included in the figures in the table. The number of certificates issued or refused were as follows:
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|Asian (Elephas maximus)||African (Loxodonta africana)|
|Total certificates issued||8||81|
|Quantity of items sold||24||157|
|Total certificates issued||6||76|
|Quantity of items sold||6||1,172|
|Total certificates issued||0||19|
|Quantity of items sold||0||78|
|Total certificates issued||0||63|
|Quantity of items sold||0||443|
|Total certificates issued||2||32|
|Quantity of items sold||2||33|
|Total certificates issued||13||44|
|Quantity of items sold||13||50|
|Total certificates issued||0||38|
|Quantity of items sold||0||45|
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