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19 Jul 2005 : Column 1521W—continued

Farm Animal Welfare Council

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the implications of farm assurance schemes for animal welfare, with particular reference to the recent report of the Farm Animal Welfare Council. [12458]

Mr. Bradshaw: Assurance schemes can make a positive contribution to the welfare of farmed animals. The Government welcome the report of the Farm Animal Welfare Council on this subject, published on 30 June 2005. We are currently considering the report and will respond in due course.

Farm Subsidies

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate she has made of the total amounts that will be paid in each of the next three years in export subsidies for UK agricultural products. [11306]

Jim Knight: Commission estimates of the total amounts that will be paid in export subsidies are only available on an EU-wide basis, up to 2006, as follows:
€ million

EU export refunds
20043,327
20053,773
20063,436




Source:
EU Commission Provisional Draft Budget (PDB) 2006




The UK accounted for approximately 10 per cent. of export refunds in 2004.

Farm Waste

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measures are in place to ensure that the disposal of farm waste takes place as close to the farm of origin as possible; and if she will make a statement. [13178]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Agricultural Waste Stakeholders' Forum, together with the Environment Agency, is producing a National Recycling Directory. This is a web-based system and its key aim is to help farmers locate recovery and disposal outlets for their waste. The Directory will be available to every farmer who has access to the web and will assist in ensuring that the recovery or disposal of agricultural waste takes place as close as possible to the farm of origin. Farmers who do not have web access will be able to contact the
 
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Environment Agency's National Customer Contact Centre who will carry out a search on their behalf. The Environment Agency plans to launch the Directory to farmers and growers in the autumn 2005.

Farming

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State forEnvironment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of farm acreage in (a) England and (b) Northamptonshire is accurately digitally mapped for the entry level Stewardship scheme. [12106]

Jim Knight [holding answer 14 July 2005]: It is a requirement of the entry level scheme (ELS) that land must be digitally mapped on the Rural Land Register (RLR). To date 72.5 per cent. of farm hectarage has been digitally mapped in England and 97 per cent. in Northamptonshire.

The Rural Development Service (RDS) has access to all digitally mapped land for ELS. Work is still ongoing within the RLR to process outstanding new land registrations and amendments to existing mapped land arising from the introduction of the single payment scheme and additional land being entered into ELS. Common land is not included in these figures.

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of the information requested in parts A to C of the Rural Payment Agency's customer registration form (CReg 01) is replicated on the single farm payment scheme's application form (SP5). [12145]

Jim Knight [holding answer 14 July 2005]: The proportion of information on the Rural Payments Agency's (RPA) Customer Register form (CReg 01) Parts A to C replicated on the single payment scheme form (SP5) is limited to the name and contact details of the applicant. In the majority of cases such details are pre-populated on the SP5 from the information held on RPA's customer register. Of the 41 questions listed at parts A to C of the CReg 01, only three (7 per cent.) are included on the SP5.

Gardens (Biodiversity)

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research her Department has commissioned to evaluate the contribution of suburban and urban back garden land to biodiversity; and what its main finding and recommendations were. [13530]

Jim Knight: The Department is jointly funding a research project by the University of Sheffield. The project (BUGS 2") is looking at the environmental and biodiversity value of domestic gardens in urban areas.

The research builds on the work done in the previous BUGS project (funded by the Natural Research Environment Council) which examined the biodiversity value of gardens within a single city (Sheffield). The latest project, which is being carried out over three years (2004–07), widens the scope of this work to four cities: Leicester, Oxford, Cardiff and Belfast. The results, therefore, are not yet available. Further information about the project can be found at www.sheffield.ac.uk/uni/projects/bugs/.
 
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Hydro Electricity

Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether water mills converted to micro-generation of electricity are required to pay the Environment Agency for water abstraction. [12765]

Mr. Morley: The Environment Agency has a scheme of charges for abstractions, which is approved by Ministers. Charges are levied for licensed abstractions of water for most purposes, including for power generation. But where the installed generation capacity is less than 5 MW then no charges are payable.

Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what account is taken of the contribution to achieving renewable energy targets in setting water abstraction licensing costs for micro-generating water mills. [12766]

Mr. Morley: The Environment Agency has a scheme of charges for abstractions, which is approved by Ministers. Charges are levied for licensed abstractions of water for most purposes, including for power generation. But where the installed generation capacity is less than 5 MW then no charges are payable.

Where charges are payable, they are calculated as a function of several factors: the volume of water licensed; the Environment Agency region in which the abstraction takes place; the source of the water; the season(s) in which water abstracted; and the purpose of abstraction, via a factor reflecting the net loss of water from the source.

Labelling

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will introduce a Produced in the UK logo scheme; and if she will make a statement. [13189]

Jim Knight: The Government have no plans to introduced a Produced in UK" logo scheme. However, there is nothing to stop retailers and others in the food chain from indicating the UK as the country of origin where it is appropriate to do so. Guidance on country of origin labelling has been issued by the Food Standards Agency.

Licences

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which licences (a) her Department and (b) agencies of her Department issue; what the fee is for each; how much was collected in fees for each in the last year for which figures are available; what the issuing agency is for each; and on what date she approved the fees for each. [11773]

Jim Knight: A list of the licences issued by or on behalf of Defra when this topic was last reviewed (July 2004) will be made available in the Library of the House. There are nearly 200 licenses shown and there will almost certainly have been a few changes since. The table shows the issuing authority, where this was not core Defra.

Further information to update the table could be provided only at a disproportionate cost.
 
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Milk (Primary Schools)

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the promotion of liquid milk in primary schools over the next 12 months using EU grants. [11648]

Jim Knight: The European Commission has provided £50,000 with match funding from the trade organisation Dairy UK and the Milk Development Council, a Defra-sponsored NDPB, for action to encourage primary school children to drink more milk. The money will pay for a range of promotional activities in England and Wales in 2005–06, including during School Milk Week in October.

Primary school children already have access to milk subsidised by the EU and an additional national top-up which, in England, amounts to an annual maximum of £1.5 million. We welcome further work by the industry to help inculcate a milk-drinking habit at an early age.


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