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5 Dec 2005 : Column 924W—continued

Bovine TB

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many animals have been ordered to be slaughtered to prevent the spread of bovine tuberculosis in each month in 2005. [34186]

Mr. Bradshaw: The number of infected cattle slaughtered in Great Britain for the first nine months of 2005 is given in the following table:
2005

Month(9)Number of cattle slaughtered in GB(10)
January2,669
February3077
March3,396
April2,753
May2,057
June2,415
July1,865
August2,210
September2,106
Total22,548


(9)Provisional data downloaded from the State Veterinary Service Data Warehouse on 24 October 2005. Subject to change as more data becomes available.
(10)Bovine tuberculosis reactors plus direct contacts.



 
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Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many complaints the Department has received about the conduct of its officials with regard to bovine tuberculosis in each month since 2001; and if she will make a statement. [34190]

Mr. Bradshaw: The information is not correlated in the format requested, and can be derived only at disproportionate cost.

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many tests for bovine tuberculosis her Department undertook in each month since 2001. [34193]

Mr. Bradshaw: The number of tests for bovine tuberculosis undertaken since 2001 broken down by month are given in the following five tables.
Table 1

Month (2001)(11)Total herd tests(11)
January4,209
February3,392
March233
April233
May245
June185
July302
August232
September303
October415
November680
December973
Total11,402

Table 2

Month (2002)(11)Total herd tests(12)
January3,072
February4,601
March4,698
April5,745
May3,664
June2,067
July2,681
August1,750
September2,418
October3,521
November5,363
December4,551
Total44,131

Table 3

Month (2003)Total herd tests(12)
January6,093
February5,555
March5,699
April4,515
May3,007
June2,769
July2,553
August1,800
September2,914
October2,872
November3,762
December3,581
Total45,120









 
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Table 4

Month (2004)Total herd tests(11)
January5,232
February5,226
March5,821
April4,218
May3,299
June2,905
July2,196
August2,156
September2,242
October2,961
November5,309
December3,222
Total44,787

Table 5

Month (2005)Total herd tests(11)
January5,336
February5,510
March4,541
April4,175
May3,083
June2,272
July2,026
August2,118
September2,483
Total31,544
2001–05 total176,984


(11)In 2001, the TB testing and control programme was largely suspended due to the foot and mouth disease (FMD) outbreak. When testing resumed in 2002, resources were concentrated on herds with overdue TB tests which would have had a longer period in which to contract the disease. Also the proportion of high risk herds tested immediately after the FMD outbreak was greater than that prior to the outbreak. As a result, data for 2001 and 2002 are not comparable with other years.
(12)Provisional data downloaded from the State Veterinary Service Data Warehouse on 1 December 2005. Subject to change as more data become available.


Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her latest estimate is of the number of animals infected by bovine tuberculosis. [34279]

Mr. Bradshaw: Our latest assessment shows that bovine TB restrictions, applied as result of a TB incident, affected approximately 5.2 per cent. of cattle herds in Great Britain between January and September 2005, compared with approximately 4.7 per cent. for the same period in 2004.

In Great Britain there were 2,721 new TB incidents in the first nine months of 2005—an increase of 222 on 2004. The long-term trend has been an 18 per cent. annual increase in new herd incidents.

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measures she is planning to introduce to prevent the spread of bovine tuberculosis; and if she will make a statement. [34280]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Government expect to make an announcement shortly detailing future plans for dealing with bovine TB.
 
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Carbon Dioxide Emisions

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the impact on carbon dioxide levels of the removal of existing nuclear power stations as each is closed down. [33812]

Malcolm Wicks: I have been asked to reply.

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given to the hon. Member for North Essex on 10 October, Official Report, column 23W and our published projections at http://www.dti.gov.uk/energy/sepn/uep2004.pdf and http://www.dti.gov.uk/energy/sepn/uep_addendum.pdf.

The published projections of nuclear generation reflect company views at the time and do not allow for additional life extension potential. Updated energy projections will be made available in due course.

Cetacean By-catch

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 15 November 2005, Official Report, column 1053W, when the findings of the European Commission Observer Programme are expected to be published; and whether they will be published on a regular basis. [34846]

Mr. Bradshaw: We will be supplying the required information by 1 June 2006. As the Commission want to address the issue as a matter of urgency, I anticipate that a report will be available soon after.

Council Regulation (EC) 812/2004 provides for the Commission to make a report to the Council and the European Parliament after the second and fourth annual reports.

Christmas Card Recycling

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate she has made of the number of (a) Christmas cards and (b) Christmas trees that were recycled in each year since 1990; what support she provides to local authorities with regard to the recycling of Christmas cards; and if she will make a statement. [33663]

Mr. Bradshaw: Christmas card and tree recycling schemes are run by the Woodland Trust and local authorities respectively. As such DEFRA has no record of the amounts collected and recycled. However, in 2005 over 50 million cards were collected through the Woodland Trust scheme.

Support for local authorities who wish to run an awareness campaign at Christmas, including the recycling of Christmas cards, can be provided by WRAP'S 'Recycle Now' programme. The support includes the use of artwork, advertising templates and PR materials.

Civil Nuclear Facilities

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the possible impact of climate change upon civil nuclear facilities in the UK. [33666]


 
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Malcolm Wicks: Safety at nuclear facilities is regulated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NIL). By virtue of the conditions attached to licences granted by the HSE, nuclear site licensees are required to maintain up-to-date safety cases for their sites, which take into account any changes to assumptions made about external hazards, such as the frequency, duration and severity of flooding, extreme temperatures, high winds and other climate change impacts.

As sites move into decommissioning and periods of care and maintenance which may extend over several decades, HSE will expect licensees to continue to consider the possible impacts of climate change and to identify any actions which they might need to take toensure the continued safety of their sites.

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her assessment is of the possible impact of climate change on the nuclear facilities at (a) Chapelcross, (b) Hartlepool, (c) Heysham and (d) Torness. [33667]

Malcolm Wicks: The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NIL) regulates the safety of all nuclear power stations in the UK, including those at Chapelcross, Hartlepool, Heysham and Torness. The NIL requires the operators of these facilities to have an up to date written demonstration of safety, the safety case, for each facility, which takes into consideration external hazards such as climate change impacts. The NIL assesses the adequacy of operators' safety cases against its published Safety Assessment Principles (SAPs), which require that the risks posed to the safety of the nuclear plant by reasonably foreseeable external events, remain demonstrably low.


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