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Angela E. Smith: Schools are required to have a drugs education policy that must outline how the curricular requirement to educate all pupils about the dangers of drugs and alcohol misuse is met. The Department issued updated guidance to all schools in May 2004 to support them in drawing up their policy.
Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people in Northern Ireland have been certified as having died due to (a) alcoholic liver disease, (b) alcoholic cardiomyopathy and (c) mental and behavioural disorders due to alcohol in each of the last five years. 
Angela E. Smith: The table gives the number of deaths where the underlying cause of death was alcoholic liver disease 1 , alcoholic cardiomyopathy 2 or mental and behavioural disorders due to alcohol 3 in the latest year available, 2004.
|Cause of death||Number of deaths (2004)(48)|
|Alcoholic liver disease||126|
|Mental and behavioural disorders due to alcohol||68|
Angela E. Smith: There is no requirement for sports clubs in Northern Ireland to register with Inland Revenue as Community Amateur Sports Clubs to receive sport and recreational relief and therefore this figure is not available.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what additional measures are being taken to prevent the illegal import of (a) exotic and (b) domesticated birds into Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement. 
Angela E. Smith: The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Portal Inspectors already maintain a presence at Northern Ireland ports and airports. Among their responsibilities they conduct various checks on travellers and commercial consignments to prevent illegal importation of animals (including birds) and animal products. There is no distinction made between illegal imports of exotic and domestic birds into Northern Ireland.
All individuals/companies importing legal consignments of animals/birds entering Northern Ireland are required to present their documentation including health certificate (if applicable) to DARD officials for scrutiny. Inspectors have the power to off-load consignments, to detain or seize suspect illegal imports.
If there is an outbreak of disease in an exporting country DARD takes appropriate emergency safeguard action in accordance with Community legislation. This may include a ban on imports of animals and animal products from all, or parts, of that country.
As the threat of avian influenza has increased, Portal inspectors have been more vigilant in respect of imports from countries posing a higher disease risk. They have, in conjunction with HM Revenue and Customs, conducted specific operations against flights from high risk countries in relation to avian influenza and also issued advice leaflets to travellers.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what guidelines he intends to issue to those people who keep poultry, other than farmers, to ensure proper information is available and appropriate action taken with urgency should symptoms of avian influenza appear in their flocks. 
Angela E. Smith:
The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has published general guidance on risks associated with avian influenza (AI) and appropriate biosecurity measures to be followed to protect the health of non-commercial poultry flocks. This is available on the DARD website and is also being made available through sellers of feed and other sources.
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The Department has also written to stakeholder representative bodies and meetings have been held with them to communicate information to a wider cross-section of interested parties, other than farmers.
The Department is implementing recent European Commission decisions regarding AI. One such preventative measure will require poultry keepers to register with the Department. This will enable the Department to communicate directly with a larger number of poultry keepers than are required currently to notify the Department of the poultry they keep.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many registered dealers and importers of birds there are in Northern Ireland; and how many birds each has imported over the past 12 months. 
Angela E. Smith: Any premises where animals, including exotic birds, are kept primarily for the purposes of selling to the public are required to be licensed as pet shops. There are 90 licensed pet shops.
We do not have any record of importations from GB as there is no requirement for these to be specifically licensed. However, there have been two imports of birds from Belgium to a pet shop here which involved 890 birds. There have also been five importations of birds as family pets direct to private premises. Importations direct to a zoo are licensed and 28 birds have been imported from GB to Belfast Zoo over the past 12 months.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what guidelines will be issued to the general public on the disposal of dead birds found in public places in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement. 
Angela E. Smith: On the 19 October 2005 the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development issued a press notice advising the public that they could report any unusual bird deaths, particularly those of wildfowl, to the Department's helpline. Arrangements are in place to receive reports of such incidents over the weekend period.
The Department will assess the significance of the reports being received. Should the Department assess the situation as posing any sort of potential link to avian influenza (AI) it will make arrangements to remove the birds for laboratory analysis.
A question and answer brief regarding the Department's measures directed at surveillance for AI in the Northern Ireland wild bird population is available on the Department's website. This includes general information on sensible precautions to be observed when handling dead birds.
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Information regarding the disposal of dead birds is dependent on the nature of the incident being reported to the Department. In most circumstances the disposal will be no different to the action normally taken by a householder or member of the public.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what checks are in place in Northern Ireland to prevent illegal (a) smuggling and (b) selling of exotic birds; and what punishments are available for those found guilty of carrying out these acts. 
Angela E. Smith: Department of Agriculture and Rural Development portal inspectors maintain a presence at Northern Ireland ports and airports. Checks are undertaken for illegal smuggling of live animals, including exotic birds and animal products, particularly originating from Third Countries. There have been no illegal exotic birds found in 2005.
The illegal import of an exotic bird is an offence under article 16 the Animals and Animal Products (Import and Export) Regulations (NI) 2005. It attracts (a) on summary conviction, a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum level 5 (£5,000) or to imprisonment not exceeding three months or to both; or (b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to both. The offence of selling such a bird would be pursued as the illegal importation of the bird as there is no specific offence of selling an illegally imported bird.
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