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5 Dec 2005 : Column 931W—continued

Livery Yards

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she will publish the arrangements for licensing of livery yards. [30829]

Mr. Bradshaw: Proposals for the licensing of livery yards were published on 14 October in the Regulatory Impact Assessment along with the Animal Welfare Bill. It is proposed that local authorities would be responsible for issuing licenses, which would be of three
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years duration and would have powers of entry and inspection. A code of practice will provide guidance to the livery yard owner on minimum welfare standards.

No decisions have been made as to the definition of a livery yard. A full consultation will be undertaken when our proposals have been finalised.

Marine Management Organisation

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the (a) remit and (b) responsibilities are of the proposed Marine Management Organisation; and which bodies are presently responsible for discharging each such responsibility. [31878]

Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 28 November 2005]: The establishment of a new public body, currently referred to as the Marine Management Organisation, is one option that is being considered as part of proposals for a Marine Bill.

A Bill may create new marine functions, delivery of some or all of which may best be carried out by a new public body. In such circumstances that new public body may also be well placed to deliver other functions that are presently delivered by, or on behalf of, Government in the marine area.

However, at this stage no decision has yet been made as to the need for such a public body. Correspondingly, no decisions have been made as to what its remit might be, or what responsibilities it might discharge.

The Government have taken a very open approach to its consideration of what a new public body might deliver, engaging stakeholders at the very earliest stage in policy development. This has been achieved through a stakeholder forum (26 September) and a series of bilateral meetings with key stakeholders.

A public consultation exercise in early 2006 will be an opportunity for the Government to offer more information on what role such a new public body might play, and for stakeholders to contribute to the policy development process on this and other elements of the Marine Bill.

National Register of Poultry Businesses

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in what circumstances those who have released (a) poultry and (b) gamebirds into the wild will be required to register on the National Register of Poultry Businesses. [32004]

Mr. Bradshaw: It is a legal requirement for all commercial premises with 50 or more poultry to register. This applies whether the 50 poultry are of a single species or a combination of species, which include pheasants and partridge. For game bird premises, which are included under this requirement, the information supplied should only relate to captive birds and those still under the control of the keeper, and not to birds that may remain on the premises (for example, in a woodland area on the premises) after release. If production is seasonal, as with partridges and pheasants, only the usual number of birds when production/stock is at peak capacity should be recorded.
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Organic Food

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with supermarkets and other retailers regarding sourcing organic food from home suppliers. [32303]

Mr. Bradshaw: I have had discussions with ASDA, Tesco and Morrisons on organic issues, including sourcing organic food from home supplies. My noble Friend, the Minister for Farming and Food (The Lord Bach), who is now the Minister responsible for organic issues in the Department has recently met Sir Ken Morrison. My officials also have regular contact with representatives from supermarkets and retailers.

Pet Travel Scheme

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what controls against rabies form part of the pet travel scheme. [33789]

Mr. Bradshaw: The controls against rabies relating to dogs and cats entering the UK are as follows. They must first be fitted with a microchip, then vaccinated against rabies, but not before they are three months old, and then have a blood test carried out at a laboratory approved by the European Union to ensure the vaccination was satisfactory.

They must be issued with an EU pet passport or third country certificate. They may not enter or return to the UK until six calendar months have passed from the date the blood sample was taken that provided a satisfactory test result. They must enter the UK using an approved transport company on an authorised route which ensures they will have their microchip read and documentation checked before entering the country. In the six months before entering or returning to the UK they must not have travelled to countries other than those listed under EU Regulation 998/2003 on the movement of pet animals.

Ferrets are subject to broadly similar but not identical controls.

Dogs, cats and ferrets which do not comply with these rules can only enter this country if they spend up to six months in UK quarantine.


Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether (a) criminal convictions and (b) a history of breaching quarantine procedures are taken into consideration before a licence to quarantine birds is granted to an individual; and whether a (i) criminal conviction for fraud and (ii) a history of breaching quarantine procedures precludes the attainment of a licence to quarantine birds. [28719]

Mr. Bradshaw: Checks are not carried out on individuals submitting applications for approval of quarantine premises.

The conditions for approving quarantine premises are laid down in Commission Decision 2000/666/EC. In addition to the prescribed standards which the premises themselves must meet, such as location and structure, to obtain approval for the centre or facility, the applicant
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has to demonstrate that the centre or facility meets the management requirements imposed by the Commission Decision, as well as welfare standards. Recommendations for approval or non-approval following a veterinary visit can take into account other known, relevant information.

Approvals are effective for one year and are dependent on all the laid-down conditions being met. Approvals may be withdrawn at any time should the approval requirements of the Commission Decision not be met.

Race Equality Impact Assessments

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many race equality impact assessments her Department completed between (a) April 2004 and March 2005 and (b) April 2005 and November 2005; and how many assessments in each period resulted in a change of policy. [32837]

Jim Knight: From April 2004 to March 2005, Defra completed nine race equality impact assessments (REIAs), eight of which resulted in policy changes.

From April 2005 to November 2005 Defra completed 10 REIAs, two of which resulted in policy changes.

It should be noted that while this was the formal number of REIAs notified to the Home Office, which monitors this area of work across Government, it is not possible to give a precise number. In Defra, multiple assessments have been carried out in a single policy area with the results being published under a single heading. Defra's Diversity Strategy is seeking to embed diversity into the business ensuring that impact assessments are intrinsic to business management, therefore, in some areas the impact assessment process is so embedded that they are not recorded separately. Therefore the numbers provided are lower than actually took place.


Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she plans to update the guidance on the recovery and disposal of controlled substances contained in refrigerators and freezers. [25005]

Mr. Bradshaw: This guidance was produced by the Environment Agency. It plans to review the guidance to coincide with the implementation of the treatment requirements of the waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) directive.

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