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Mr. Bradshaw: The scope of the prohibition on pet markets and similar events in public places under the Pet Animals Act 1951 (as amended 1983) is in need of clarification. The Animal Welfare Bill will provide an opportunity to supply this clarification. We are currently in contact with parties with an interest in the sale of animals at pet markets. Once we have had an opportunity to consider the responses to this first consultation, it is our intention to prepare proposals which will be subject to a wider public consultation, before any legislation is introduced.
It is for local authorities to enforce the Pet Animals Act 1951, including the licensing of pet markets. Data on enforcement action taken under this Act are not collated by my Department.
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Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment she has made of the (a) targets and (b) funding mechanism for the maintenance and enhancement of rights of way networks in rural areas. 
Jim Knight: The Government set a target in their Rural White Paper, published in 2000, of a 10 per cent. improvement in defining, maintaining and publicising the rights of way network by 2005. The Countryside Agency is currently carrying out research to evaluate whether this target has been met. Local highway authorities receive their rights of way funding through the unhypothecated Environment Protection and Cultural Services block in the Revenue Support Grant. The method of funding was agreed with the Local Government Association and all four leaders of the political groups on the Association.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what budget has been allocated to the proposed Rural Housing Commission; and if she will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: Work to set up an Affordable Rural Affordable Housing Commission is under way and I hope to be able to make an announcement shortly. That work will include the Commission's terms of reference. The budget will be found from within existing departmental resources.
Mr. Bradshaw: Forecasts of high air pollution are issued when Defra estimates that concentrations of specific air pollutants are likely to exceed guideline values. The table shows the number of forecasts of high air pollution in London published by Defra from 1992 (the first year that forecasts were available) to the present time.
Defra warns of high air pollution through the Air Quality Information Archive at www.airquality.co.uk, Teletext, page 169 and the freephone service 0800 556677. On occasions when a notable air pollution episode is forecast, such as the first photochemical smog in any year, Defra may supplement these forecasts with a news release.
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|Number of forecasts of high air pollution|
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress the Government have made in meeting the targets of the Warm Homes and Energy Conservation Act 2000. 
A detailed update on progress against the targets outlined in the UK Fuel Poverty Strategy will be available in the third annual Fuel Poverty Strategy Progress Report, expected to be published later this month.
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Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many cases of work-related stress have been reported in her Department in each of the last three years; how much compensation was paid to employees in each year; how many work days were lost due to work-related stress in each year; at what cost; what procedures have been put in place to reduce work-related stress; at what cost; and if she will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: DEFRA's current sickness absence system does not differentiate between stress and work-related stress. So the number of reported cases of work-related stress and work days lost as a result cannot be calculated.
The Department has set a target to reduce the number of working days lost from work-related injury and ill-health by 30 per cent. by 2010. This mirrors the revitalising health and safety strategy target.
DEFRA was established in June 2001. Since then the management board has established a sub-committee on stress which recommended a number of actions. The Department has a stress policy and stress strategy and was one of the first organisations to pilot the Health and Safety Executive's Management Standards for Stress. The Department has several initiatives to help address stress such as assistance to aid managers when undertaking stress risk assessments. It regularly runs stress workshops and roadshows aimed at raising awareness in staff and managers.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions have taken place with the US administration concerning the use of RAF Menwith Hill in connection with the American Missile Defence System. 
Mr. Ingram: There has been no request from the United States to use facilities at RAF Menwith Hill for missile defence purposes. The position remains as set out in my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State's response of 26 April 2004, Official Report, column 727W, to the hon. Member.
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