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Mr. Roger Williams:
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many bird deaths in quarantine have been investigated by qualified
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veterinary personnel since 2000; and in how many such cases avian influenza was identified as the cause of death. 
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether officials from her Department have made inspections of export facilities in endemic avian influenza H5N1 areas from which live birds are despatched to this country. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) of the European Commission is responsible for inspecting facilities in exporting countries and ensuring they comply with Community legislation for export to the Community. Currently the Community has a ban on live bird imports from countries where High Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) has been found.
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on what basis any single batch of birds may be declared clear of Avian influenza virus H5N; what expert advice she has received on this matter; and what guidance she has promulgated. 
In addition, if birds have died in quarantine they must be sampled or a representative sample of the dead birds has be tested with negative results. The Local Veterinary Inspector must certify that the birds are free from signs of notifiable disease at the end of the quarantine period.
Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 28 November 2005, Official Report, column 6W, on Avian influenza, when she expects the Pollution Prevention and Control Review to be completed; and how she will publicise the location of these landfill sites. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The PPC Review referred to in the answer of 28 November is a review of all PPC authorised commercial landfill sites, to assess their potential suitability for the disposal of carcases in the event that the preferred disposal hierarchy of incineration and rendering capacity is exceeded.
The review will be completed early in the new year. Defra will write to each listed landfill operator, and to each local authority in whose area the landfill is located, informing them of the listing before the list is published. This will enable the risks and mitigation measures to be explained. The list will be available on the Defra website.
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Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will take steps to promote the consumption of poultry this Christmas season accompanied by clear guidance that its consumption does not pose risks in regard to Avian influenza. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Advice on food safety is a matter for the Food Standards Agency. They have already issued clear advice that, on basis of current scientific evidence, Avian flu does not pose a food safety risk for UK consumers. For people, the risk of catching the disease comes from being in close contact with live poultry that have the disease, and not through eating cooked poultry. The Agency will continue to monitor the most up-to-date information and evidence, as it becomes available and will keep an open mind as to any information that may lead to its advice being updated.
Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the recent statement by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation concerning culling wild birds in countries affected by Avian influenza; and if she will make a statement. 
The Wildlife and Countryside Act and Animal Health Act both permit the killing of wild birds for particular purposes, such as preventing the spread of disease. However, there are currently no plans to recommend this as a disease control strategy.
It has increased levels of surveillance of wild birds, encouraged keepers to feed and water birds indoors, issued guidance on biosecurity and keeping birds separate from wild birds, banned the import of captive birds and controlled bird show and fairs.
Mrs. Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps the Government are taking to ensure that quarantine facilities for cases of suspected avian influenza are properly run and maintained; and if she will make a statement. 
Professor Dimmock's review is looking at procedures in general and expected to report later this month. If necessary we will take appropriate action to strengthen our quarantine arrangements.
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Mrs. Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with the (a) Turkish, (b) Romanian, (c) Russian, (d) Ukrainian, (e) Chinese and (f) European Government on avian influenza; and if she will make a statement. 
As presidency, the UK delegation has represented the EU at the international partnership on avian and pandemic influenza on 7 October; and the Geneva partners' meeting on avian and human pandemic influenza on 79 November.
Mrs. Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she is taking to ensure wild birds are prevented from entering poultry houses; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The Government has agreed with stakeholders and issued guidance on biosecurity for bird keepers. That guidance is on the Defra website and has been distributed very widely. It includes encouragement to keepers to minimise contact between poultry and wild birds by feeding and watering their birds indoors and maintaining buildings to ensure wild birds do not roost or nest in them. Further guidance to the industry on how to separate their birds from wild birds will issue shortly.
Mrs. Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what emergency preparation plans the Government has put in place for a mass cull of birds to combat an outbreak of Avian influenza; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: In the event of an outbreak of highly pathogenic Avian influenza Defra would immediately invoke the Exotic Animal Disease Generic Contingency Plan". Disease control would include killing birds on the infected premises and dangerous contacts (premises likely to be contaminated by a direct link with the infected one). Several techniques are currently available for the humane killing of birds on farm, these include lethal injection, neck dislocation, percussion killers, mobile electrocution and exposure to gases.
Mrs. Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment the Government has made of the effects of an outbreak of Avian influenza; and if she will make a statement. 
An Avian influenza outbreak in the UK could have a range of impacts, depending on its precise nature and scale, and bring serious consequences for the UK poultry industry and others. That is why we are doing all we can, such as working with our stakeholders, to manage the risk effectively.
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