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Internal Market Services Directive

Mr. Davidson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the impact on environmental regulation of the EU Directive on services in the internal market. [9333]

Mr. Morley: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him on 21 July 2005 by my hon. friend the Minister for Trade (Ian Pearson).


Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many tonnes of former foodstuffs she estimates were sent to landfill in each year since 2000. [14228]

Mr. Bradshaw: The requested data are not available in the form requested. The 1998–99 Environment Agency's National Waste Production Survey (NWPS) of 20,000 businesses in England and Wales, estimated it that 2.59 million tonnes of food waste were produced of which 25 per cent. was sent to landfill.

However these figures only relate to that fraction of the waste that is definitely food. A considerable amount of food waste is also likely to be contained within the general and biodegradable category which amounted to around 12.8 million tonnes, of which a third went to landfill. The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) estimate that the amount of food waste produced by the hotel and restaurant sector alone, for example, could be as high as 3 million tonnes per year.

In 2003–04 households in England produced 25.4 million tonnes of waste, it is estimated that some 9 per cent. or around 2.4 million tonnes of this is compostable kitchen waste, including food waste. About 72 per cent. of household waste goes to landfill.

Results from the Environment Agency 2002–03 waste survey are expected to be published in August.

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) whether the Government are on course to meet the landfill diversion targets required under the Landfill Directive; [14992]
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(2) what plans the Government have to measure progress towards their landfill diversion targets under the Landfill Directive. [14993]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Government do not currently hold information on whether the UK is on course to meet the Landfill Directive targets the first of which is in 2009–10. The Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme has been designed to ensure as far as possible that England does not breach any of its targets and the Environment Agency as monitoring authority will determine whether English authorities are landfilling waste in accordance with the allowances available.

The Office for Government Commerce is currently undertaking an information gathering project on municipal waste services as part of the Kelly Market Programme. This is being conducted in partnership with the Local Government Association and other local government stakeholders to assess the current and future diversion capacity in England. The information from this project will be reported later in 2005 and will give a clear indication about how the Landfill Directive targets are going to be met. The intention is to review this project annually, to allow the Government to closely monitor and evaluate progress towards the targets.

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment the Government have made of the capital investment that will be required if the UK is to meet its obligations under the (a) Landfill Directive and (b) other EU waste directives. [14994]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Department has published Regulatory Impact Assessments (RIAs) with the three rounds of consultation papers on the implementation of the Landfill Directive. This process has also been applied to other EU waste directives.

Copies of RIAs relating to the following waste directives are available in the House Library:

The RIA provides a framework for analysis of the likely impacts of a policy change and the range of options for implementing it. Among other things, the RIAs estimate the costs and benefits of implementing the various waste directives.

Livestock Feed

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she is taking to ensure that contaminated food is not fed to cattle. [15076]

Mr. Bradshaw: I am answering on the basis that the question is being asked in the context of BSE and the livestock feed provided to cattle.

The steps being taken are two-fold. Firstly, there are measures applied to ensure that all potentially BSE-infective material, including the carcasses of suspect
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animals, is effectively separated and disposed of, and is not therefore available for any use. But more directly, there are comprehensive and stringent feed controls which regulate the use of all animal protein products in the diets of all farmed animals, not just cattle. The controls now apply equally across the EU, banning animal proteins, with a few exceptions, from farmed animal feed.

The State Veterinary Service in Great Britain carries out a comprehensive programme of monitoring to ensure compliance with the feed ban. Calculated against Great Britain's level of compound feed production, the yearly level of monitoring recommended in EU legislation is to undertake a minimum of 940 inspections and to take 1,882 feed samples. The State Veterinary Service carried out 2,295 inspections and took 17,239 samples under the National Feed Audit during 2004—i.e. nearly 2.5 times more than the recommended minimum number of inspections, and over nine times more than the recommended minimum number of samples. Monitoring over the years has always indicated a high level of compliance with the feed ban, and this is reflected in the continuing reduction of the incidence of BSE in cattle.

The Department also keeps the efficacy of the feed ban under continuous review. An independent review by Professor William Hill FRS, of the University of Edinburgh, was requested by Defra and published on 7 July 2005. The review examined the possible reasons for the cases of BSE occurring since the reinforced feed ban in 1996, together with the control measures being applied by the Government. The review's conclusions re-confirmed the elimination of feed-borne sources to be the key to the eradication of BSE, and recommended that risk-based controls and monitoring should be maintained on animals and feed.

Professor Hill's review is available on Defra's internet site on the BSE home-page under Latest developments" at:

Ministerial Meeting

Mr. Streeter: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress has been made since the meeting of 15 June between the Minister in her Department responsible for water and WaterVoice the South West; and if she will make a statement. [14568]

Mr. Morley: The meeting with WaterVoice South West dealt with a number of concerns and issues and there were two specific follow up actions. First, we agreed that the affordability pilot study in the South West should be subject to peer review to help ensure its conclusions are robust and intellectually rigorous. Since the meeting, WaterVoice and other organisations have been working with DEFRA to finalise the specification for the work. Second, I invited WaterVoice's views on DEFRA's review of tariff structures and I am pleased that they were able to participate in the first meeting and are now helping shape the scope and programme of work.
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Newcastle Disease

Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she is taking to ensure that imports of live (a) poultry and (b) game from elsewhere in the EU are not contaminated with Newcastle Disease; and if she will suspend all such imports until full biosecurity measures are in place. [14032]

Mr. Bradshaw: Trade in game birds and poultry between EU member states is controlled by European Community legislation aimed to prevent the movement of diseased birds across the Community.

It is the responsibility of the authorities in each member state to ensure that the requirements of community law are met. However the risk of disease can never be reduced to zero; therefore Community law also sets control measures to be taken when disease is identified.

We maintain close contact with those member states where Newcastle disease is present and with the Commission who are satisfied that the measures we, and others, are taking are reasonable and proportionate.

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