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Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the impact of the illegal taking of saker falcons from the wild for falconry purposes on this species' wild population across Eastern Europe and Central Asia. 
Mr. Morley: At the 19th meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Animals Committee in August 2003, the Committee decided to include the saker falcon in the review of significant trade in specimens of Appendix II species. Appendix II species are recognised as vulnerable species that may become endangered unless trade in them is strictly regulated.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measures her Department is taking to raise awareness among falconers of the impact which illegal trade can have on wild populations of saker falcons. 
Mr. Morley: Officials from the Department have regular contact with falconers in the UK and have also attended falconry events overseas. These forums are an ideal opportunity to disseminate the latest information on all birds of prey and falconry, including the effect on the numbers of wild populations of falcons because of their illegal taking and trade. Additionally, there are regular bulletins issued by the Department which are sent to falconers, which contain advice on changes in the conservation status, and levels of protection and control, which may be afforded to a specific species.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measures her Department is taking (a) to raise awareness and (b) to improve the training of the UK police in dealing with the illegal trade in saker falcons. 
Mr. Morley: Defra contributes to Police Wildlife Crime Officer's training principally through the Partnership for Action against wildlife Crime. Such training includes advice and information about the legislation governing all wildlife species of conservation concern, as well as about offences against those controls, the powers available to the police to investigate them and the penalties which the courts may impose
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measures her Department is taking to raise awareness among (a) transport companies and (b) HM Customs and Excise of the problems of illegal trade in saker falcons. 
Mr. Morley: Officials from the Department have advised transport associations and individual transport companies of the necessity to comply with the requirements of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). This advice emphasises the importance to transporters of obtaining the correct CITES documentation in order to move such species across international borders, and the ramifications to their customers of the failure to meet those requirements.
As the first point of contact on entry into the UK, HM Customs and Excise officials are also aware of CITES and the requirement that the appropriate import documents to be presented. This applies to the saker falcon and all other CITES listed species.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will introduce mandatory registration schemes for people wishing to keep saker falcons in captivity. 
Mr. Bradshaw: A full public consultation is about to commence on changes to the species currently included on Schedule 4 to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. If, as a result of the review, the saker falcon is included in the Schedule, any person keeping one in captivity will be committing an offence if they fail to register it.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the predicted future annual number of days when there is snowfall is for (a) London, (b) Edinburgh, (c) Bristol and (d) Inverness in (i) 2010, (ii) 2020, (iii) 2030 and (iv) 2050. 
In April 2002, the Department published new climate change scenarios for the UK. These scenarios include information on total winter snowfall amounts, but not number of snowfall days. Snowfall totals decline substantially over the whole UK and in all scenarios, with the largest percentage reductions around the coast and in the English lowlands.
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While there are no robust estimates at the scale of individual cities, the scenarios indicate that in the London, Edinburgh, Bristol and Inverness areas snowfall could be reduced by up to 55, 50, 57 and 59 per cent. respectively, by the 2050s (compared to the 19611990 average baseline), depending on the degree of future climate change.
For the particular years in question a general scaling back of the UK-wide data gives the following estimates of the reduction in snowfall over these periods, depending on whether there is a low or high degree of climate change:
These figures represent general trends, not predictions of the amount of snowfall in specific years, which will be greatly influenced by natural year-to-year variability, particularly in the first few decades of the century.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will estimate what volume and proportion of food from (a) supermarkets, (b) households, (c) restaurants and other eating establishments and (d) other sources became waste products in the last period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Morley: The data is not available in the form requested. The Environment Agency's National Waste Production Survey (NWPS) of 20,000 businesses, conducted in 1998/99, produced the following estimates.
|Sector||Quantity of waste in tonnes||As percentage of food waste produced by theCommercial and Industrial sectors||As percentage of total waste produced by the C and Il sectors|
|Hotels and Restaurants||10,000||0.38||0.01|
|Food, Drinks and Tobacco||1,939,000||74.89||2.24|
However these figures only relate to that fraction of the waste that is definitely food. A considerable amount of food waste was also contained within the general and biodegradable category. The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) estimate that the amount of food waste produced by the hotel and restaurant sector, for example, could be as high as three million tonnes per year.
Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to decontaminate those of his Department's files which have become contaminated by asbestos; and what he estimates the cost of such decontamination to be. 
Mr. Caplin: A project board has been set up to consider the options open to the Ministry of Defence that would enable files, previously stored in an asbestos contaminated environment, to be safely handled. The board is chaired by the MOD's departmental records officer and includes representatives from several Ministry of Defence branches together with a representative from the National Archives. A number of options are under consideration, with plans at an advanced stage for a short pilot project, to commence early in 2005. At the conclusion of this work possible solutions, together with projected costs, will be evaluated. It is not possible reliably to estimate the cost in advance of the pilot project.
Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when his Department discovered that certain of its files had become contaminated by asbestos; and what action was taken in response to enable those files to be used. 
A decision was immediately made to safeguard the information contained in the records stored there and during the period June to December 2003 the files were progressively listed and packed to ensure that they could be safely handled. At the same time it was possible to implement the decontamination of the affected area of the building.
Options open to the MOD to enable files to be safely handled so that access to the information in them can be restored were under consideration from the beginning. In August 2004, the departmental records officer decided that their development should be overseen by a formal project board.
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Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what effect asbestos contamination of his Department's files will have on access to those files under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. 
Mr. Caplin: The information contained in the files previously stored in an asbestos contaminated basement has been safeguarded. A project board has been set up to formalise the consideration of the options open to the Ministry of Defence whereby this information may be made accessible for both departmental use, to enable the Ministry of Defence to respond to requests under the Freedom of Information Act and to allow the normal transfer of records to the National Archives.
However, in view of the nature of the hazard posed to those who are likely to come into contact with the files, there must be a strict health and safety regime in place. In the circumstances, requests for information from files affected will be temporarily deferred until a fully operational facility is in place for their safe handling.
Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many of those files contaminated with asbestos he estimates to be accessible to the public under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. 
Mr. Caplin: The Freedom of Information Act requires a case-by-case assessment in the circumstances of the time as to whether information which is the subject of a request may be withheld under any of the exemptions in the Act. It is therefore not possible to make an overall estimate.
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