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Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what account was taken of the free availability of similar information from other sources when deciding to charge a fee for use of the National Equine Database. 
Jim Knight: The National Equine Database is being established jointly between Defra and the horse industry as it will help to meet Government objectives over passports and disease surveillance and the industry's own objectives to improve its prospects by enhancing breeding. Information about pedigree and performance can be commercially valuable and, although Defra will meet its share of future running costs, the industry will need to cover its costs. Our initial research did show that some basic information is available free from other sources, as it will be from NED. A recent study commissioned jointly with the industry indicated that the combination of the quality and accessibility of the information on the database will enable its costs to be recovered from fees.
The over 30 months scheme is expected to continue after the OTM Rule is lifted on 7 November until the beginning of January 2006 at the earliest. It will then be replaced by a voluntary three-year scheme (the
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older cattle disposal scheme) to dispose of cattle born before 1 August 1996 which are permanently excluded from the food chain.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how long she expects the voluntary initiative on pesticide use to stay in place; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: The voluntary initiative on pesticides is due to conclude in March 2006. The position beyond this date will depend on the Government's evaluation of the environmental benefits delivered and on the initiative's proposals for future work. We expect new proposals from the Voluntary Initiative Steering Group on future targets and how the initiative proposes to meet those targets by the end of the year.
Mr. Bradshaw: Only countries specifically approved to export poultry meat to the EU may do so. Those countries must also have EU approved establishments for slaughtering, cutting and storing fresh poultry meat. Currently the only countries with such premises are Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Croatia, Israel, Romania and Thailand.
Some of these approved countries are currently experiencing outbreaks of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). They are China, Thailand, Romania and Croatia. We have banned imports of all live birds and related products (including poultry meat) from those countries. There are no specific bans with respect to HPAI from countries where trade is already prohibited by EU legislation.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to her answer of 14 October 2005, Official Report, column 617W, on radioactivity, whether (a) national Governments and (b) industry regulators appointed by them will make the ultimate decision on whether a meter installed under Article 13 of the Energy End Use and Energy Services Directive should be deemed to be technically feasible and cost effective. 
Article 13(1) of the draft directive would place an obligation on member states, i.e. national Governments, to ensure that, in so far as that is technically possible, financially reasonable and proportionate in relation to potential savings, final customers are provided with competitively priced individual meters that accurately reflect actual energy consumption and that provide information on actual time of use. If this obligation is included in the final text of the directive, the Government's proposals for implementation will be the subject of formal consultation in due course.
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Local authority Best Value Performance Indicators for 200405, which include information on household waste recycling rates will be available on 15 December from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's website at: www.bvpi.gov.uk
Shona McIsaac: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of household waste each council in the Yorkshire and Humber region recycled in the last period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The latest information on household recycling rates (including composting) are from the 200304 DEFRA municipal waste management survey. Full list of household recycling rates for individual local authorities can be found on the DEFRA website:
The Government are presently developing their strategy regarding renewable heat. To inform that process, the Department commissioned with DEFRA a study from Future Energy Systems (FES) to specifically assess the heat sector, the scope it offers for carbon savings and to analyse scope for future Government support. That report is now being considered as part of the work of the climate change programme review. The FES study can be viewed on the DTI website at www.dti.gov.uk 'Heat Study.'
The Government are also be considering the recommendations of the biomass task force in this area, whose report to Government was published on 25 October 2005. The report can be viewed on the DEFRA website at www.Defra.gov.uk 'Biomass Report.'
Mr. Letwin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many renewable obligation certificates went to biomass crop-fuelled generation in each year of the operation of the renewables obligation; and how many of these went to co-fired generation. 
The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) are responsible for the administration of the renewables obligation. Information on renewable obligation certificates (ROCs), issued by generation technology on a monthly basis, is published in Ofgem's annual report on the renewables obligation. While Ofgem's annual report provides a breakdown of ROCs issued for biomass and co-firing generation, it does not distinguish between different fuel sources like crops.
Ofgem's first annual report on the renewables obligation, covering the obligation period from 1 April 2002 to 31 March 2003, was published in February 2004. The second annual report, covering the obligation period from 1 April 2003 to 31 March 2004 was published in February 2005. Copies of the annual reports are available from Ofgem's website (www.ofgem.gov.uk).
Mr. Letwin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment the Government have made of the carbon abatement which may be achieved by using biodegradable municipal waste to generate heat. 
Margaret Beckett: The Department of Trade and Industry recently published a report on renewable heat, which estimated that the net carbon savings from generating heat from the biomass fraction of municipal solid waste would amount to 61kgC/MWh compared to using oil to produce heat and 46 kgC/MWh compared to gas. The report is available at: http://www.dti.gov.uk/renewables/policy_pdfs/heatreportfinal.pdf
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