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Mr. Ingram: There is no single formal document that constitutes the Department's short-term plan. The output of the short-term planning round is a set of detailed planning assumptions and financial data which forms part of internal advice to senior management and Ministers on the overall affordability of the defence programme. It is not in a readily publishable form.
A summary of the outcome of the planning process is, however, set out in the Government's expenditure plans for the Ministry of Defence. A table of the Department's plans produced since 199798 is provided as follows.
|199798 to 19992000||3602|
|19992000 to 200102||4208|
|200001 to 200102||4608|
|200102 to 200304||5109|
|200203 to 200304||5412|
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what guidance she has issued to officials on carrying out risk assessments before applying the Animal By-Products Regulation (EC) No 1774/2002 to Intermediary Plants. 
Mr. Bradshaw: There is extensive guidance available to State Veterinary Service (SVS) officials on the inspection and approval of Intermediate Plants. This guidance was produced in consultation with experienced Veterinary Officers from the SVS. In addition, officials have access to the same guidance we have produced for Intermediate Plant operators, and guidance on the loading and unloading of animal by-products. However, while there is a need to assess any risks to public or animal health, the main purpose of the inspections is to ensure that the Intermediate Plant complies with the requirements of the Animal By-Products Regulation. The instructions to vets therefore focus the legal requirements in order to ensure that the regulation is applied consistently across the country.
Mr. Bradshaw: The Department undertook a publicity campaign about the potential threat from Avian Influenza to the poultry industry in October 2003 explaining the possible threat and highlighting the clinical signs that owners should look out for. This advice is on the Defra website together with advice on biosecurity and human health and safety issues.
Dr. Vis: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on her Department's response to the Farm Animal Welfare Council report, with particular reference to the report's recommendations on Schechita. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The Government issued their final response to the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) report on the Welfare of Farmed Animals at Slaughter or Killing on the 8 March 2005. In the response, the Government accepts 53 of the 94 recommendations made by FAWC, partially accepts 25, and rejects 16: the recommendations accepted by Government will lead to significant improvements in animal welfare.
The Government did not accept FAWC's recommendation that slaughter without prior stunning should be banned, as we respect the rights of communities in Britain to slaughter animals in accordance with the requirements of their religion.
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Dr. Vis: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with Schechita UK following publication of her Department's response to recommendations by the Farm Animal Welfare Council. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The Government published their final response to the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) report on the Welfare of Farmed Animals at Slaughter or Killing on the 8 March 2005. Defra has not had any discussions with Shechita UK following publication.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on how many premises during the 2001 foot and mouth outbreak culling took place of (a) cattle, (b) sheep, (c) pigs and (d) other animals under the (i) infected premises, (ii) dangerous contact, (iii) slaughter on suspicion and (iv) contiguous cull schemes then operating, broken down by (A) county and (B) region; how many samples were taken; and how many positive tests were found at each premises. 
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many instances of (a) inaccurate valuations, (b) deliberate spreading of infection and (c) claims for work not undertaken in all completed prosecutions instituted against individuals and companies for fraudulent claims arising from the 2001 foot and mouth epidemic. 
It is not clear what is meant by 'inaccurate valuations'. We did carry out a full reconciliation of all compensation payments following the outbreak. Any amendments or recalculations were done and additional payments made or overpayments recovered as appropriate. We do not have a record of each claim that was affected in this way.
The value of an animal is a subjective decision made by professionally qualified valuers, who have sight of the animal and a full knowledge of the herd/flock history as well as experience of the livestock industry. Once the valuation is agreed by the valuer, the farmer and the supervising Ministry official we are legally obliged to pay the agreed amount. There have been observations made that our control over the valuation process was poor and that this contributed to higher than necessary compensation payments. We have accepted this and improved our approach to valuations for a future outbreak.
No formal assessment of whether farmers or anyone else deliberately sought to introduce foot and mouth disease (FMD) in order to claim compensation took place. There were many media reports at the time of allegations that such mischief was taking place. Three
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files where allegations were investigated in 2001 have been traced and the allegation and outcomes are summarised as follows:
File Aon investigation this allegation of deliberate infection amounted solely to repetition by an unidentified man to a part-time journalist and recorded by the part-time journalist on tape of rumours that were then prevalent about deliberate infection. The unidentified man said
turned out to be a prank from the caller. This was admitted by the prankster when he was traced by an Investigation Officer. The prankster also admitted he had dialled the wrong number and the prank was intended for a friend rather than the recipient of the call.
File CFarmer A's cattle were slaughtered as they had been in contact with FMD. He was compensated. He bought some more cattle from Farmer B but left them on Farmer B's land for the time being. Farmer A's replacement cattle and Farmer B's own cattle contracted FMD. Both were compensated. The matter was investigated as it seemed very suspicious. There was no evidence of any deliberate misconduct but poor bio-security by Farmer A, who visited the cattle on three occasions, was identified as a possible cause of the transmission of FMD.
Three members of staff were prosecuted and pleaded guilty to making false subsistence claims and were ordered to complete Community punishment orders and to pay compensation to Defra totalling £5,883. All three were dismissed.
Three farmers were prosecuted for making false compensation claims; one farmer pleaded guilty to falsely stating the cost of feed and was fined £3,500, two other farmers were acquittedit was alleged that both had falsely overclaimed for equipment destroyed or premises damaged during the FMD outbreak.
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