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Foot and Mouth

Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs who in her Department has seen the video of Burnside Farm, taken by trading standards officials on 24 February 2001; and if she will make a statement. [196530]

Mr. Bradshaw: It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) whether (a) Ministers and (b) officials in the (i) Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and (ii) her Department had been informed of the existence of the (A) James Dring Report, (B) Northumberland Trading Standards video and report, (C) scientific test samples sent to Pirbright and (D) results of those test samples, all in respect of the Burnside Farm, Heddon-on-the-Wall, foot and mouth disease outbreak in 2001, (1) prior to and (2) during the period of the Dr. Iain Anderson FMD Inquiry in 2001–02; [196678]

(2) whether the (a) James Dring report, (b) Northumberland Trading Standards video and report, (c) scientific test samples sent to Pirbright and (d) results of those test samples, in respect of the Burnside Farm, Heddon-on-the-Wall, foot and mouth disease outbreak in 2001, were (i) supplied to the Chairman of the Lessons to be Learned Inquiry in 2001 and (ii) the subject of minuted informal meetings in (A) the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and (B) her Department in (1) 2001 and (2) 2002; [196679]

(3) what assessment was made of the suitability of the (a) James Dring report, (b) Northumberland Trading Standards video and report, (c) scientific test samples sent to Pirbright and (d) results of those test samples, in respect of the Burnside Farm, Heddon-on-the-Wall, foot and mouth disease outbreak in 2001, to be forwarded to Dr. Iain Anderson for his inquiry in 2001–02. [196680]

Mr. Bradshaw: It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.
 
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Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when her Department first received (a) a video and (b) other documentary evidence from Northumberland Trading Standards Department in respect of the 2001 foot and mouth disease outbreak at Heddon-on-the-Wall. [196682]

Mr. Bradshaw: It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before prorogation.

Mrs. Browning: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what reason the Northumberland Trading Standards video of Burnside Farm at the time of the 2001 foot and mouth disease outbreak was not submitted to the Anderson Inquiry. [197501]

Mr. Bradshaw: It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) whether samples were taken from feed destined for consumption by pigs at Burnside Farm, Heddon on the Wall in 2001 and subjected to a compositional analysis; [198822]

(2) whether samples or parts of samples taken from feed destined for consumption by pigs at Burnside Farm, Heddon on the Wall in 2001 have been retained; [198823]

(3) whether samples were taken from feed destined for consumption by pigs at Burnside Farm, Heddon on the Wall in 2001 and tested for the presence of (a) animal proteins that had not been modified by heat and (b) sheep proteins. [198825]

Mr. Bradshaw: It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether there was an internal inquiry conducted by her Department and its predecessor into the conduct of Senior Veterinary Officer, Mr. Jim Dring, with regard to inspections at Burnside Farm, Heddon on the Wall, prior to the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in 2001; and if she will make a statement. [198824]

Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 16 November 2004]: It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on which farms which were registered swill feeders animals succumbed to the 2001 epidemic of foot and mouth disease. [198826]

Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 16 November 2004]: It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Freedom of Information

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the likely costs to her Department in the
 
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first quarter of 2005 of compliance with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000; and if she will make a statement. [199085]

Alun Michael: Defra has not made an assessment of the likely cost of complying with the Freedom of Information Act during the first quarter of 2005 because it is not possible at this stage to predict with any assurance the volume of requests that the Department is likely to receive. The Department has been working actively to ensure that our staff are aware of the Act's requirements and have the support they need to deal efficiently with any requests they receive.

Government Buildings (Disabled Access)

Tom Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether all Government buildings in her Department within the Greater London area are fully accessible to disabled people; and if she will make a statement. [199316]

Alun Michael: I am assured that all Defra buildings within the Greater London area offer reasonable access facilities to disabled employees and visiting members of the public.

Greenhouse Gases

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the effects on levels of (a) carbon dioxide and (b) other greenhouse gases achieved through use of an organic system of agriculture and of a biogas plant to recycle animal manures. [198746]

Mr. Morley: A 2003 Defra-funded study OF0405, entitled "An assessment of the environmental impacts of organic farming", reviewed the impacts of organic farming on levels of carbon dioxide (in terms of both carbon dioxide emissions and carbon sequestration), and the other greenhouse gases nitrous oxide, methane and (the indirect greenhouse gas) ammonia. The review report can be found at http://www.defra.gov.uk/science/project data/DocumentLibrary/OF0405/OF 0405 909 TRP.doc

The EC MIDAIR project focuses on mitigation options for organic and conventional dairy production at a system and region specific level. Details of a Defra-funded study (CC0250) forming part of the project can be found at http://www2.defra.gov.uk/research/proiect data/More.asp?l=CC0255&M=KWS&V= cc0255&SCOPE=0

Proceedings of the International Conference "Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Agriculture—Mitigation Options and Strategies", held in February 2004 in Germany, is part of the MIDAIR project and contains reports of numerous, relevant assessments.

Defra has funded two recent projects to assess the effects of anaerobic digestion (biogas plant) on carbon dioxide (via the use of methane generated in the plant as a replacement for non-renewable fossil fuel) and on other greenhouse gases (primarily via the capture and combustion to carbon dioxide of methane which might otherwise be released to the atmosphere—methane having a global warming potential many times that of carbon dioxide). Details of these studies can be found at
 
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http://www2.defra.gov.uk/research/project data/projects. asp?M=KWS&V=cc0222&SCOPE=0 and at http://www2.defra.gov.uk/research/project data/projects.asp? M=KWS&V=c c0240&SCOPE=0

Anaerobic treatment options for animal manures (including biogas plants) and their effects on levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases were recently reviewed by C.H.Burton and C.Turner (2003) in "Manure Management" second Edition, Chapter 7, pp 273–320, ISBN: 09531282 6 1, Silsoe Research Institute, as part of the EU Accompanying Measure project, MATRESA.


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