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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the equipment leasing arrangements entered into by her Department in each of the last two years; and what the cost is to public funds in each case. 
Alun Michael: From information held centrally, the cost to public funds of equipment leasing arrangements entered into by the core Department in each of the last two years is £1,257,143 for financial year 200203 and £512,293 for financial year 200304. The leasing arrangements covered photocopiers, postal franking machines and other miscellaneous office equipment.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of the total EU fishing catch was taken in waters within the (a) UK 12 mile limit and (b) UK 200 mile or median line limit in the last year for which figures are available, broken down by species. 
Information on the catches by vessels of other member states is only available in terms of totals for the sea areas involved, and this does not include any breakdown of catches in terms of those caught within the UK 12-mile limit or within the UK
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200 mile or median line limit. As such, the information requested is not available, and could be made available only through requesting such information from the individual member states concerned.
Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many gyms are available to staff in the Department; and what the cost of providing them was in the last year for which figures are available. 
Alun Michael: The Department has five gymnasiums on its estate. These make an important contribution to the health and well-being of Defra staff but it is difficult to reflect this in terms of monetary value. The cost of these for the year 200304 is £82,500 for rent and rates although some are located in basement areas with limited alternative uses. There would also be an unquantifiable cost for utilities. The gymnasiums are run by the members who pay from their own resources for equipment, training and any other operational charges.
Alun Michael: The following is a list of the most recent figures that English Passport Issuing Organisations (PIOs) have submitted to Defra. Fifty-three out of fifty-eight (53/58) have submitted such information. No figures have been received from five organisations, Appaloosa Horse Club, British Bravian Warmblood Association, British Morgan Horse Society, British Warmblood Association and Friesan Horse Society GB.
|Names of passport issuing organisations||Passports issued|
|American Miniature Horse Club||5|
|American Saddlebred Association GB||183|
|Anglo European Studbook||11,175|
|American Quarter Horse AssociationUK||937|
|Arab Horse Society||15,659|
|British Appaloosa Society||1,020|
|British Association Purebred Spanish Horse Ltd.||400|
|British Connemara Pony Society||2,031|
|British Driving Society||15,603|
|British Falabella Studbook||9|
|British Hanoverian Horse Society||600|
|British Harness Racing Club||521|
|British Horse Society||20,900|
|British Miniature Horse Society||1470|
|British Palomino Society||467|
|British Percheron Horse Society||775|
|British Show Jumping Association (BSJA)||2,944|
|British Skewbald and Piebald Association||694|
|British Spotted Pony Society||710|
|Caspian Breed Society UK||152|
|Caspian Horse Society||165|
|Cleveland Bay Horse Society||2,000|
|Dales Pony Society||1,328|
|Dartmoor Pony Society||4,674|
|Donkey Breed Society||4,900|
|Exmoor Pony Society||1,418|
|Gypsy Cob Society||159|
|Hackney Horse Society||718|
|Horse Passport Agency||52,008|
|Horse Passports Ltd.||1,331|
|Hurlingham Polo Association||4,440|
|Icelandic Horse Society||434|
|Irish Draught Horse Society GB||14,000|
|Lipizzaner Society of GB||171|
|Lustiano Breed Society GB||185|
|Miniature Mediterranean Donkey Association||218|
|National Pony Society||8,830|
|New Forest Pony Breeding and Cattle Society||9,962|
|Pet ID UK||35,316|
|Pleasure Horse Society||12,500|
|Shire Horse Society||3,487|
|Sport Horse Breeding of GB||17,546|
|Sports Pony Studbook Society||292|
|Spotted Horse and Pony Society||1,582|
|Spotted Pony Breed Society GB||497|
|Suffolk Horse Society||181|
|Trakehner Breeders Fraternity||876|
|United Saddlebred AssociationUK||134|
Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many people are employed by the National Forest Company; what its running cost was in the last year for which figures are available; and if she will make a statement on its future. 
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the latest research on pesticide run-off into water supplies; and what her Department's advice on sheep dipping is. 
Earlier research indicated that surface runoff from crop protection pesticides applied in the field to adjacent surface water was low compared to the amount that reached surface waters from field drains or applications of herbicides to man made surfaces. Therefore recent research has concentrated on pesticide movement from the field to surface waters via field
20 Dec 2004 : Column 1349W
drainage systems. This research has shown that recommendations on the timing of applications were critical for minimising water concentrations.
Defra has now commissioned a project looking into the scientific basis for mitigation differentiated by soil type to reduce pesticide transport to surface waters in drain flow. The results of this work are expected towards the end of 2007. The Department has also recently completed research that developed a model to estimate pesticide concentrations that arise from run-off from hard man made surfaces to surface water.
The Environment Agency is also funding development of a Decision Support tool which will enable us to determine the environmental impact of different land use combinations. Within this tool will be a module that considers pesticide impacts. This tool will be available within 12 years.
Since 1 April 1995 the sale and supply of OP based sheep dips has been restricted to only those people holding a Certificate of Competence. The Certificate of Competence scheme is run by the National Proficiency Tests Councils (NPTC) and covers all aspects of the use of sheep dips and of dip disposal.
In 1998 an advisory booklet (AS29) entitled "Sheep Dipping" was produced jointly by HSE; SEPA; VMD and the Environment Agency. The booklet provides detailed guidance on sheep dipping including the correct disposal of sheep dip. This booklet was sent to all sheep farmers in 1994 and again in 1998 and is available free of charge from the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) and online: www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/as29.htm.
Mr. Andrew Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether departmental special advisers have written to external (a) bodies and (b) individuals in their official capacity since May 1997. 
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