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Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether Pegasus Birds quarantine centre continues to hold a licence to quarantine birds; and when Pegasus Birds quarantine centre was last inspected. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Commission Decision 2000/666 requires quarantine facilities or centres to be approved by the competent authority of each member state. In England approval is carried out by the State Veterinary Service (SVS).
Bird quarantine premises have annual approval visits by a Government Veterinary Officer. They are also visited at least three times by an approved Official Veterinarian during the quarantine period of each consignment.
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what checks were made on (a) Mr. Howard Savage and (b) Mr. Brett Hammond of Pegasus Birds to assess whether it would be appropriate to grant them a licence to quarantine birds. 
The conditions for approving quarantine premises are laid down in Commission Decision 2000/666/EC. Approvals are based on location of premises, structural requirements, management requirements and welfare
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provisions. Recommendations for approval or non-approval following a veterinary visit can include other known, relevant information.
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the possibility that birds that had come into contact with the bird flu virus may have left Pegasus Birds quarantine centre. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Essex county council is conducting an on-going investigation into the case at the Pegasus Centre. There is no evidence that we are aware of that live birds were removed from the facility during their period of quarantine.
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether Pegasus Birds quarantine facility in South Fambridge meets all requirements of the licence to quarantine birds. 
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many facilities with licences to quarantine birds operate in the UK; and if she will order immediate inspections of them. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Further to the answer given to the hon. Member for Brecon and Radnorshire (Mr. Williams) on 7 November 2005, Official Report, column 6W, current records show that there are 52 bird quarantine facilities and centres in the UK that hold licences.
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps are being taken to prevent (a) deliberate and (b) accidental failures in the implementation of the quarantine rules. 
Mr. Letwin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how controls on live wild bird imports at ports of entry will be increased to prevent the smuggling of such birds once a ban on live wild bird imports is in place. 
We are working closely with the responsible enforcement authorities and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) on the issue of avian influenza. All enforcement authorities are on their guard for signs of illegal trade or movement of birds or poultry products that may be driven underground because of the various bans in place. The UK has asked enforcement authorities in other EU member states to be extra vigilant to protect the EU from further disease.
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HMRC is responsible for action to prevent and detect illegally imported animal products from outside the EU and animals of endangered species covered by CITES (convention on international trade in endangered species). Enforcement control for other imports of animals rests with the SVS agency at the border inspection post and once inland, with the local authority.
Dr. Starkey: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much funding was allocated by her Department to Milton Keynes for (a) capital projects and (b) revenue funding in each of the last five years. 
Jim Knight: Expenditure information is not currently held by the Department on a constituency basis and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Chapter 8 of Public Expenditure Statistical Analysis shows the outturn of public expenditure by region.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps (a) her Department and (b) the EC and other EU member states are taking to monitor the level of cetacean by-catch and standings, with particular reference to that associated with the winter bass fishery. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Council Regulation EC No. 812/2004 of April 2004, laying down measures concerning incidental catches of cetaceans, requires all member states to implement monitoring schemes with effect from 1 January 2005. These schemes are intended to provide representative data on by-catch in specified fisheries, including pelagic trawling in ICES sub area VII where the winter bass fishery takes place. Member states are required to provide an annual report to the Commission on the implementation of the observer schemes, with the first report due by 1 June 2006. We already have observer schemes in place to enable these requirements to be met.
In addition, we have recently published on the Defra website a report of Defra-funded research by the Sea Mammal Research Unit on by-catch observations and mitigation work in the UK bass pair trawl fishery in the 200405 season. A copy of this report will also be placed in the House Library.
I am not in a position to comment on the steps taken by other member states to monitor by-catch and strandings. However, Commissioner Borg has recently written to all member states on the subject of cetacean by-catch, stressing the importance of full compliance with the monitoring and reporting obligations of the Council regulation.
All cetacean species are protected against intentional killing, injury, capture or disturbance under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, and since October 1994 are further protected under the Conservation (Natural Habitats, etc.) Regulations 1994 which implement the EC Directive on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Flora and Fauna (the 'Habitats Directive'92/43/EEC). To help monitor our compliance with the
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legislation we have since 1990, funded a scheme for recording incidents of stranded cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) around the British Isles.
The information collected from this project is compared to identify the number of animals stranded and causes of death. If trends are identified, mitigation measures are taken to help prevent further loss of these species. This project has also help to identify a number of new research areas in connection with cetaceans that needed further investigation.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent research she has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the ability of (i) decapod crustaceans and (ii) cephalopods to experience pain; and if she will make a statement. 
The current scientific evidence on the ability of cephalopods to experience pain is less clear-cut. However, the use of certain animals, including cephalopods, in research, is being carefully considered at EU level.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) if she will list the occasions since 21 March when monitoring of (a) fish stocks and (b) other marine wildlife has been instigated following the loss of a harmful cargo into the sea, giving in each case (i) the nature of the cargo, (ii) the period of monitoring and (iii) the results of that monitoring; 
For English waters the Department assesses whether any environmental impact assessment is required following a pollution incident or loss of a hazardous cargo that may cause pollution, and makes arrangements for its preparation. The devolved Administrations make their own arrangements.
The last such assessment in the UK was requested by the Secretary of State for Wales on 27 March 1996 following the Sea Empress Incident. The Sea Empress Environmental Evaluation Committee published its report in 1998The Environmental Impact of the Sea Empress Oil Spill", the Stationery Office, ISBN 0117021563.
The Department does carry out regular monitoring of fish stocks and marine wildlife throughout our waters, in addition to any special studies required following pollution incidents. A wide variety of monitoring stations are in use to obtain a thorough overview. This may include monitoring stations in parts of UK waters where harmful cargoes are known to have been lost overboard, but they were not placed there specifically
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because of cargo loss. The most recent report of these regular monitoring activities is set out in Charting progress: an integrated assessment of the state of UK seas" was published on 1 March 2005. A copy was placed in the Library of the House, and it can be downloaded from DEFRA's website:
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many incidents in the last year for which figures are available of (a) marine pollution and (b) coastal pollution have resulted in (i) court actions and (ii) fines; and what the (A) nature and (B) level of (i) conviction and (ii) financial penalty was in each case. 
The Department's Sea Fisheries Inspectorate carried out a prosecution on behalf of DEFRA in 2004 following deposits of dredged material into the sea without the required licence under the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985 for the deposit of substances and articles in the sea. One of the joint defendants was fined £40,000 and the other £20,000.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) of the Department for Transport have carried out one prosecution this year following dumping of garbage including sleeping bags, polystyrene and plastic bags into the sea under the Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Pollution by Garbage) Regulations 1998. The defendant was fined £2,000.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency have carried out two prosecutions this year following breaches of the UK maritime pollution legislation. One defendant was fined £20,000 and £11,344 costs and the other defendant was fined £5,000 and £4,379.70 costs.
The MCA sponsor the Advisory Committee for the Protection of the Sea to produce an annual survey of reported discharges attributed to vessels and offshore oil and gas installations. The report for 2004 records 10 successful prosecutions for oil pollution offences. Total fines imposed by the competent authorities which included ports and harbours amounted to £122,200, providing a mean value of £12,200.
The Department of Trade and Industry carried out a prosecution this year following an unpermitted discharge of an offshore chemical under the Offshore Chemicals Regulations 2002. The offshore platform operator was fined £3,000 in a Scottish Court.
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