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Climate Change (Insect Population)

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will estimate the insect population in England; and what the predicted numbers are in the event of a (i) one per cent., (ii) two per cent. and (iii) three per cent. increase in current average temperatures due to climate change. [4447]

Mr. Morley: I am not aware of an estimate of the insect population in England.

Scenarios of climate change published by the UK Climate Impacts Programme indicate that in future, the UK is likely to experience warmer, wetter winters, and hotter, probably drier, summers, with extreme high temperatures and rainfall events likely to occur more often. A collaborative research project led by English Nature (Modelling Natural Resource Responses to Climate Change"—Monarch) used these climate change scenarios to investigate impacts on the UK's flora and fauna.

While there is no assessment of total numbers, the project notes that as the climate warms, those insect species suited to warmer conditions will spread north. Those species suited to cooler conditions may become extinct in Britain. It is unlikely that insects will become more abundant overall under possible climate change scenarios. Some species may increase in number, while others will decline, according to their temperature and humidity preferences and changes in their habitats.
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Non-climate factors (such as changes in land-use, and in the populations of insect predators) will also have a significant influence on insect populations in future.

Animal Diseases

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will set up a national surveillance agency to give early warning of suspected animal diseases and to monitor the spread of those diseases using satellite intelligence. [5042]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Government recognise the importance of disease surveillance to allow early identification of new and emerging diseases. To this effect a strategy for enhancing veterinary surveillance in the UK was launched by the Department in October 2003 and is being implemented in partnership with a wide range of interested parties.

Surveillance work is currently carried out on a national basis by two Defra agencies, the Veterinary Laboratories Agency and the State Veterinary Service, with additional surveillance widely commissioned elsewhere according to need. The Department also collects and monitors worldwide information on animal disease. Disease surveillance reports are published at regular intervals in the Veterinary Record . Given this existing activity, it is not planned to set up a further agency.

The Government are funding the development of a unique surveillance information management system, RADAR (rapid analysis and detection of animal-related risks). RADAR incorporates the use of geographical information systems which are capable of analysing data captured by a variety of sources, including satellites. Comprehensive information about surveillance activities and RADAR is available at http://defraweb/animalh/diseases/vetsurveillance/index.htm.

Nuclear Waste

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the sites where nuclear waste is kept. [4880]

Mr. Morley: The following is a list of sites that currently store varying quantities of radioactive waste:

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Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the Government's plan for the long-term storage of nuclear waste. [4881]

Mr. Morley: The UK Government and devolved administrations set up the independent Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM) in 2003, under the Managing Radioactive Waste Safely" programme. Its task is to provide a recommendation on the option, or combination of options, for the long-term management of the UK's higher level radioactive waste.

CoRWM launched the second phase of its Public and Stakeholder Engagement consultation programme in April 2005. The committee have evaluated 15 options and is now consulting on its proposal to carry out further assessments on a shortlist of four:

CoRWM will finalise its shortlist of options for assessment, in light of its consultations, by July 2005. It is due to provide its recommendations to Ministers, for their consideration, in July 2006.

Patio Heaters

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will estimate the (a) carbon dioxide and (b) greenhouse gas emissions created by outdoor patio heaters in (i) the most recent year for which information is available and (ii) each of the next five years. [4450]

Mr. Morley: Only very limited information is currently available about the number of outdoor patio heaters in use in the UK.

Using this information the Government's Market Transformation Programme (MTP) has made a preliminary estimate of the number of these appliances in use in the UK—estimating that there are 630,000 in use in the domestic sector and between 26,000 and 105,000 in the hospitality sector (pubs, restaurants and hotels).
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Making reasonable assumptions about fuel, power rating, and level of usage, MTP estimates annual energy consumption to be approximately 670 GWh in the domestic sector and between 280 and 1100 GWh in the hospitality sector. The corresponding annual carbon dioxide emissions are 140,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide in the domestic sector and between 60,000 and 240,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide in the in the hospitality sector.

No information is available about projected carbon dioxide emission from outdoor patio heaters over the next five years.

No information on other greenhouse gas emissions from outdoor patio heaters is available.


Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many primates have been imported for the purpose of (a) laboratory experimentation and (b) sale as pets in each of the last five years. [5227]

Jim Knight: Under the provisions of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), the international movement of certain species (including all primates) is regulated by the issue of export and or import permits. The permits specify the purpose for which the animals are being moved.

The number of primates for which import permits were issued for biomedical research or scientific purposes are detailed in the following table.

No permits were issued to import primates for sale as pets.

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make it her policy to ban the (a) importation and (b) sale of primates for commercial purposes. [5229]

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Jim Knight: It is our view that primates are not suitable for the general pet trade and imports are therefore already limited to zoos, scientific institutions, or specialised private keepers. Commercial trade in the more endangered primate species is also prohibited.

Earlier this month I announced the Government's intention to go out to public consultation regarding the use of powers under Article 8.2 of Council Regulation 338/97 by the end of July. This is essentially a conservation measure but we shall certainly consider whether it would be appropriate to use these powers to restrict the keeping of primates as pets.

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