Mrs. Dean: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has for the post-mortem testing of badgers killed in road accidents in Staffordshire; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will (a) instruct the State Veterinary Service to carry out post-mortem tests on badgers killed on roads in Staffordshire and (b) ensure that the service is adequately funded to carry out such tests. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Post-mortem testing of badgers killed in road accidents is carried out under the Road Traffic Accident (RTA) survey. This was established on the advice of the Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB (ISO) and is conducted in seven English counties (Cornwall, Devon, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Shropshire and Dorset). The objective is to determine whether the RTA can provide an accurate indication of the prevalence of Mycobacterium bovis in badgers by comparing it with the data from the randomised badger culling trial.
We are awaiting the results of the validation of the survey in the badger culling trial areas before taking any decisions about extending the survey area further. There are also logistical and budgetary problems in extending the RTA survey.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much compensation has been paid to farmers in (a) Wales and (b) England for cattle slaughtered under TB control policies in each year since 2001. 
|(a) Wales actual expenditure||(b) England actual expenditure|
Mr. David Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what guidance she plans to make available to proprietors of livery stables to assist them in complying with the provisions of the Waste Management Licensing (England and Wales) (Amendment and Related Provisions) Regulations 2005. 
Changes to the composting exemption from waste management licensing made in the 2005 regulations do not apply to the storage of manure. They apply to composting, that is, the active mixing of manure with other biodegradable waste to make compost.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what changes she plans to make to the (a) role and (b) jurisdictions of Sea Fisheries Committees, with particular reference to the proposed Marine Bill. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The Government have undertaken an extensive engagement process with stakeholders on recommendations on inshore fisheries management made by both the Strategy Unit report on the UK fishing industry (Net benefits") and the Bradley review of fisheries and environmental management. The English Inshore Fisheries Working Group which met as part of that process reached agreement on an updated set of responsibilities and powers which would be needed to operate a modern, efficient system of inshore management and have submitted their report on this to me. Views in the working group were divided on the best structure to deliver inshore fisheries management.
The response of the four UK Fisheries Departments to the Net Benefits" response will be published shortly, but we are currently further evaluating the options for the future structure of inshore fisheries management in England. Whatever the outcome of that consideration, there will be a need for legislation, at the minimum to update the current legislative framework for Sea Fisheries Committees. The proposed Marine Bill is likely to be the vehicle for introducing such changes.
Mr. Bradshaw: The Government have made a commitment to publish the draft Marine Bill in the first Session of this Parliament. We have yet to fix a specific date, but it is likely to be published during the later stages of the Session.
|Government office region||Regional total|
Linda Gilroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many people were in receipt of the social tariff for water meter charges in each of the last three years. 
Mr. Morley: The following table sets out the numbers of customers in receipt of the social tariff, otherwise known as the Vulnerable Groups Tariff, over the last three years for which figures are available, as collected by Ofwat.
Mr. Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with (a) the Government of Norway and (b) other Governments on the practice of whaling; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The UK Government regularly make their opposition to whaling known to the Government of Norway. Officials will be raising the recent announcement of an increase in Norwegian whaling when they visit the country in the near future.
Together with colleagues from the French and German embassies, HM ambassador in Reykjavik issued a statement on 24 May repeating our strong opposition to their continuing 'scientific whaling' programme.
7 Jun 2005 : Column 446W
I made our objections very clear with regard to Norwegian whaling and the Japanese and Icelandic 'scientific whaling', together with the extreme cruelty involved, following the BBC news feature on 9 May on Norwegian whaling.
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