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Bovine TB

Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will review her Department's policy on the issue of licences to farmers and other landowners for the destruction of badgers associated with outbreaks of bovine tuberculosis. [214120]

Mr. Bradshaw: There are currently no plans to review the existing policy for issuing licences for culling badgers in order to prevent the spread of TB.

However, we are prepared to consider a badger culling policy if evidence from the Randomised Badger Culling Trial, or from other research, suggests that it would be successful in reducing bovine TB in cattle, and that a cost-effective and acceptable policy could be developed and implemented.

We are aware of the recently published results of badger culling research carried out in Ireland and have sought the advice of independent scientists on the relevance of the findings to the disease situation in Great Britain.

Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what reasons her Department no longer publishes data on bovine tuberculosis infection rates in badgers. [214135]

Mr. Bradshaw: Data on bovine tuberculosis infection rates in badgers culled in the Randomised Badger Culling Trial (RBCT) are being assessed by the Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB (ISG) and will be published at the end of the Trial. This decision follows advice from the RBCT independent statistical auditor who supported the ISG policy of withholding such data from immediate publication as it could compromise the future statistical integrity of the RBCT. The ISG is currently analysing data on the prevalence and pathology of TB in badgers collected as part of the RBCT and the RTA survey and will present these analyses in the peer-reviewed press when complete.

Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research her Department has conducted on public perception of the costs of the bovine tuberculosis control programme. [214136]

Mr. Bradshaw: We sought views on cost sharing for the future as part of last year's consultation 'Preparing for a new GB Strategy on bovine TB'. In addition Defra has funded a survey, carried out by the University of Reading, into the monetary value society places on changes in the size of the badger population.
 
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The views submitted in response to the consultation exercise have been taken into account in developing the new bovine TB strategy. We aim to publish the new strategic framework very shortly.

Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what account she takes of public perception of badgers in determining her policy on badger culling for the purpose of controlling bovine tuberculosis; and what measures she plans to inform the public of the (a) economic effects, (b) potential public health risks of bovine tuberculosis infection in badgers and (c) welfare implications for badgers. [214139]

Mr. Bradshaw: Defra strives to ensure that its policies are based on the best available scientific evidence, and that they are cost-effective and sustainable. Any future decision on badger culling will need to take account of the way the general public perceives badgers and the acceptability of culling them to control TB in cattle. Views on wildlife management, including badger culling, were sought as part of Defra's consultation on a new long-term bovine tuberculosis (TB) strategy for Great Britain, during 2004. In addition Defra has funded a survey, carried out by the University of Reading, into the monetary value society places on changes in the size of the badger population. This will be available on the Defra website in due course.

Defra aims to publish the new bovine TB Strategy framework shortly. This will set out a clear framework for decision making on bovine TB for the future, including decisions on matters such as badger culling. Disseminating information to the public will form part of the TB Strategy Implementation/Communications Plan.

Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether it is her policy to support (a) a significant reduction in numbers of red deer in the Dulverton area and (b) the targeted culling of sick deer to reduce the spread of M. bovis infection. [214132]

Mr. Bradshaw: Following wide consultation the Government recently produced an action plan for achieving the sustainable management of wild deer in England. Under this plan the management of local deer remains the responsibility of local deer managers, provided they meet the requirements of the Deer Act 1991 and the relevant welfare legislation.

Through the Deer Initiative, Defra is funding a deer liaison officer to work with landowners on deer management issues in the South-West and to assist with disease surveillance in deer, including bovine tuberculosis (TB).

Defra is currently considering the research required to increase our understanding of the role of deer in relation to bovine TB infection in cattle.

Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the implications of pockets of M. bovis infection in deer for the health of (a) cattle and (b) other wildlife in the area. [214133]


 
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Mr. Bradshaw: We are aware that TB is present in wild deer in parts of Exmoor. This was a factor, together with the disease history of cattle herds and other wildlife, in the decision to test cattle herds for TB over most of Exmoor on an annual basis.

BSE

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress her Department has made in identifying a BSE test capable of supporting British beef producers who plan to export to (a) Europe and (b) third countries. [218475]

Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 25 February 2005]: There are currently 11 tests for BSE approved by the EU. These tests are applied post-mortem to a brainstem sample.

Carbon Trust

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) if she will publish on its website the annual accounts of the Carbon Trust since its inception, including (a) incoming revenue from all sources and (b) expenditure on specific programmes; [217214]

(2) what the expenditure of the Carbon Trust on external consultants was in the last year for which figures are available; [217217]

(3) what assessment has been made of the impact of the Carbon Trust in terms of annual carbon savings. [217218]

Margaret Beckett: The Carbon Trust is an independent company grant funded by Government. The trust publishes annual accounts on its website www.thecarbontrust.co.uk. As a private company expenditure on contracts held with external consultants is a matter for the Carbon Trust Board.

The Carbon Trust's assessment of the impact of its programmes, including annual carbon savings, is published in its annual report, available on its website. All current climate change policies are being evaluated under the Climate Change Programme Review.

Climate Change

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimates the Government has made of the change in global temperatures between 2004 and (a) 2014, (b) 2024 and (c) 2054. [216363]

Mr. Morley: Hadley Centre research for the Defra funded UK Climate Prediction Programme forecasts an increase in global temperature of between 0.17–0.53oC in the coming decade. The most recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Third Assessment Report, stated that temperatures are predicted to increase by 0.4–1.1oC compared with 1990 levels by 2025, and 0.8–2.6oC compared with 1990 levels by 2050. Global temperatures have increased by just over 0.2oC since 1990.
 
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Computers (Recycling/Disposal)

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what strategies her Department has put in place to aid the reuse and recycling of old computers. [216352]

Mr. Morley: Defra has been closely involved in developing implementation proposals for the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive, which requires producers of electrical equipment, including computers, to reuse or treat and recycle their products to target levels.

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate she has made of how many computers were disposed of in landfill in each of the last five years. [216353]

Mr. Morley: No estimate has been made of the numbers of computers disposed of in landfill in each of the last five years. However, industry figures suggest that 1,022,000 computers, 960,000 monitors and 627,000 laptops were disposed of by householders in 2003.


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