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Norman Baker: To ask the Prime Minister what mechanisms were in place to ensure Lord Birt did not have access to papers on Government policy where there may have been a conflict of interest with his role for McKinsey; and if he will make a statement. 
The Prime Minister: I discussed human rights, including Tibet, with Premier Wen Jiabao during my visit to China in September 2005. During the visit a list of individual prisoners of particular concern was handed over. This included the Tibetan prisoner Ngawang Phuljung.
My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and the Chinese Foreign Minister, Li Zhaoxing, also spoke about Tibet-related issues at their meeting in New York on 19 September. The Government monitor developments in Tibet closely and regularly raises Tibet-related issues with the Chinese Government, including during our biannual UK/China human rights dialogue.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what regulations apply to the minimum time which must elapse between a calf being born and being removed from its mother. 
The separation of a calf from its mother at a young age is a well-recognised industry practice. Legally there is no minimum time that a calf must spend with its mother. However, in the Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) Regulations 2000 provides that every calf shall receive bovine colostrum as soon as possible after it is born and in any case within the first six hours of life". Defra's Code of Recommendations for the Welfare of Cattle advises that calves should be left with their dam for at least 12 and preferably 24 hours after birth. It also recommends that a calf should continue to receive colostrum from its mother for the first three days of its life.
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Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) wild animals and (b) products made from animals, illegally traded on the internet she estimates have been imported into the UK in each year since 2000; and if she will make a statement. 
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what action the Government are taking (a) domestically and (b) internationally to prevent the illegal trade in (i) wild animals and (ii) products made from animals on the internet through the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species; and if she will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: The National Wildlife Crime Intelligence Unit based at the National Criminal Intelligence Service have been working with internet service providers in the UK, advising them on the controls affecting the trade in wildlife items, and these providers have responded positively. Ebay, in particular, have recently revised the information given to sellers about the controls relating to the trade in endangered species.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the draft Animal Welfare Bill will include provisions to prohibit the sale of (a) wild animals and (b) products made fromanimals on the internet; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The United Kingdom is a Party to theConvention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which is implemented within the EU by the EU Wildlife Trade Regulation (Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97).
Under this regulation all commercial trade in wild animal species listed as endangered is already prohibited, while trade in the other less species is strictly regulated to ensure that it will not be detrimental to their wild populations.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions she has had with the Scottish Executive regarding imposition of maximum journey times for the export of live animals. 
[holding answer 13 October 2005]: The Scottish Executive has been fully involved in the negotiation of new EU rules on the protection of animals during transport, which were agreed by EU Ministers in December 2004. And we are continuing to work closely with the Scottish Executive on the best ways of putting the new rules in place.
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Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether she plans to issue a direction that poultry should be kept indoors in order to mitigate the threat of an avian influenza pandemic from migrating birds; and what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of such a course of action. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Requiring birds to be kept indoors is a relatively effective means of reducing the risk of disease being transmitted from wild birds to farmed birds. It is required in all holdings within 3 km of an infected premises during an outbreak of avian influenza.
The risk of highly pathogenic avian influenza being found in the UK as a result of migrating birds is assessed as low. We are working closely with a panel of expert ornithologists and will keep this risk assessment constantly under review as new information becomes available.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to continue Government funding for the Battle Area Community Transport scheme in East Sussex. 
Jim Knight [holding answer 14 October 2005]: This question refers to the funding the Battle Area Community Transport received until this year under theRural Transport Partnership scheme, part of the Countryside Agency's Vital Villages Programme. It has always been the case that this funding was time limited and not to be viewed as mainstream support.
From April 2005 until March 2006, responsibility for the remainder of the Rural Transport Partnership funding for community transport projects in East Sussex has transferred to the South East England Development Agency. The South East England Development Agency is looking at its rural strategic priorities to ensure careful use of funding support available in the future in line with Government priorities. Of course, there is no certainty at this time whether all existing types of projects will still be relevant. It should be noted that the Regional Development Agencies are not the major source of funding for projects such as the Battle Area Community Transport in rural areas, this will continue to be local authorities.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the representations she has received regarding future Government funding for Battle Area Community Transport in East Sussex. 
Diane Stevens, Hon. Secretary of Rother Association of District Councils wrote to my predecessor, Alun Michael, expressing concern about the future funding for the Battle Area Community Transport in East Sussex in light of the closure of the Countryside Agency's Vital Villages programme.
Valerie Wright, Chairman of Rother Association of District Councils, wrote again repeating concern about the future of core funding for the Battle Area Community Transport project. This letter was also copied to you.
A further undated letter from Valerie Wright was received following a letter to the Association from the South East England Development Agency. Mrs. Wright complained that the message that came across from the Agency was that rural inclusion was of low priority.
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