|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the (a) value and (b) volume of freight passed through Welsh ports was in each year since 1997; and how many people have been employed (i) in total and (ii) to handle freight at Welsh ports in each year since 1997. 
An infected area extending for at least ten kilometres around the infected premises is declared. Restrictions imposed in this area include a ban on the movement of poultry for at least 30 days except under the authority of a licence issued by a veterinary inspector. In practice the movement ban would not be lifted until we are satisfied that disease is no longer present in the infected area.
We have draft legislation to implement a national or regional movement ban should the veterinary risk indicate that it is necessary. However, we would at an early stage implement a licensing regime under strict biosecurity rules to allow for essential and safe movements within the poultry industry. The length of the movement ban would be dependent on the nature of the risk.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with the National Farmers Union about the possible impact of avian influenza on the farming industry; and if she will make a statement. 
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with the Chinese authorities regarding the animal health implications of recently reported outbreaks of avian influenza in central Hunan, Inner Mongolia and An Hui provinces. 
Mr. Bradshaw: China, as a member of the OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) has a responsibility to report all outbreaks of notifiable diseases to OIE. China has provided the OIE with details of the outbreak in Hunan and An Hui provinces. The OIE publish details of all outbreaks on its website. Officers from the Department monitor the situation and assess the risks of any outbreaks. As imports of birds and their products are already prohibited no further action was necessary in this case.
Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 24 October 2005]: Commission Decision 2005/734/EC (as amended by Decision 2005/745/EC) required member states to prohibit gatherings of birds. These Decisions were made on 19 and 21 October 2005 respectively and required any necessary legislation to be put in place immediately
Domestic legislation implementing the Decisions came into force on 28 October after two meetings with key stakeholders. The Avian Influenza (Preventive Measures) Regulations 2005 (2005 No. 2989) bans bird markets, fairs and other gatherings of birds. We have discussed with stakeholders and published the criteria on which some gatherings may continue under licence and subject to biosecurity controls.
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how many smuggled Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species-listed birds were seized by HM Customs and Excise entering the UK in (a) 2000, (b) 2001, (c) 2002 and (d) 2003; 
(2) how many Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species-listed birds have arrived dead as recorded by HM Customs and Excise (a) in 2000, (b) in 2001, (c) in 2002, (d) in 2003, (e) in 2004 and (f) to date in 2005. 
There is no requirement for Customs to record details of any mortalities in any consignment of birds but the above website also includes such information where it has been recorded by the local officer.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will issue guidance to the public in respect of the appropriate action to be taken when dead birds are found in public areas. 
In the event of an unusual die-off in wild birds (unusually high number of dead wild birds), the DEFRA Helpline (08459 33 55 77) should be contacted giving as much relevant information as possible to help DEFRA to decide if further action is necessary.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will introduce legislation to prevent (a) the production of game birds for sport shooting and (b) the use of battery cages to produce game birds; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: There are no plans at present to introduce such provisions under the Animal Welfare Bill. Instead, this will seek to establish the general principle that people have a responsibility to ensure the welfare of animals they are responsible for. In relation to game birds, we propose to use the powers available under the Bill to reinforce the duty to ensure welfare, by formally regulating their keeping.
We are aware that there are concerns about the use of cages in the rearing of game birds. These concerns will be considered by Defra veterinarians to assist us in identifying problems that exist in this type of rearing system and the extent to which they can be addressed through regulations and a code.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether keepers of free range (a) chickens and (b) pheasants will be required to register under the new national register of poultry businesses; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The requirement is set out in the Avian Influenza (Preventive Measures) Regulations 2005 (2005 No. 2989). All people who keep 50 or more poultry on commercial premises are required to keep written records of certain information. They will be required to notify this information to the Secretary of State by a date to be specified by the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State will then maintain a national poultry register.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|