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Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether those on fixed term contracts in her Department's Animal Welfare Unit dealing with the current tuberculosis trials have been given notice of redundancy; and what assessment she has made of the implications of this for future badger studies. 
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the access authorities which have taken part in the Access
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Management Grant Scheme; and what total level of funding has been granted to each such authority since the scheme's inception. 
The Access Management Grant Scheme is administered by the Countryside Agency on behalf of DEFRA. The Agency's records show that up to 1 November 2005, 53 access authorities have been granted a total of £3,063,591 in funding under the Access Management Grant Scheme, as follows:
|Bath and North East Somerset||2,475|
|Blackburn with Darwen||9,333|
|Brighton and Hove||19,955|
|East Riding of Yorkshire||42,477|
|Redcar and Cleveland||381|
|South Downs (East Sussex)||110,932|
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much petrol fuel her Department's vehicles have used in each year since 1997; and at what cost in each year. 
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how many UK fishing vessels of 12 metres of more in length, operating in ICES areas VII e, f, g, h and j and using bottom set gillnet or entangling net will be required from 1 January 2006 to use acoustic deterrent devices under Regulation (EC) No 812/2004 (art.2); 
(2) what the total (a) length and (b) effort in kilometres per hours is of bottom set gillnet and entangling net used by UK fishing vessels of 12 metres or more in length operating in ICES areas VII e, f, g, h and j. 
Mr. Bradshaw: There are approximately 20 UK vessels of 12 metres or more in length regularly prosecuting this fishery. Gill nets are used for catching hake all year round and entanglement nets are used for catching monkfish, turbot and rays from March to September; a number of vessels prosecute more than one fishery, including wreck netting.
We estimate that the 12 regular hake netters deploy some 240k of nets; the 14 regular entanglement netters some 11,200k; and, the 6 wreck netters some 24k. This gives a total for the fishery of 11,464k of nets.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether it will be her Department's policy to follow the scientific advice from the International Council for the Exploration of Our Seas at the December Fisheries Council meeting. 
The International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) produces scientific advice annually on the state of stocks in the north Atlantic. Following these assessments by ICES, further advice on the status of stocks covered by the Common Fisheries Policy is received from the Commission's Scientific Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF). The advice from ICES and STECF informs the decisions taken but the Fisheries Council must balance environmental, economic and social considerations in reaching its decisions.
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Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether it is her Department's policy to agree increases in quotas on species with a high cod by-catch on condition that measures to reduce this by-catch are implemented. 
Mr. Bradshaw: At the December 2005 Fisheries Council, the Government gave priority to addressing the small mesh fisheries which take cod as a by-catch. These include the beam trawl sector and the sector which catches nephrops. The measures adopted by the Council include a cut in the number of fishing days for these sectors and incentives for them to adopt more selective gear.
Decisions on total allowable catches and quotas need to take into account the state of the target stocks as well as their by-catches of cod and other species. On this basis, the Council was able to adopt significant increases in nephrops TACS which will be of significant benefit to the UK fishing industry.
Mr. George Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will place in the Library advice received by Ministers regarding the decision in March 2001 to carry out a contiguous cull of farm animals. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The background to and justification for the contiguous cull is set out in Chapter 10 of the Report Foot and Mouth 2001: Lessons to be Learnt Inquiry" published on 22 July 2002. I have placed a further copy in the Library.
Mr. George Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will place in the Library in respect of all court cases where proceedings are complete relating to foot and mouth disease clean-up contractors; what the (a) dates and times of proceedings, (b) verdicts and (c) costs incurred by her Department were; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The registry of each court keeps a publicly accessible register of claims which have been issued out of that court or court office. There is no central register held of all cases held in all courts. The only register of this nature is held for the county courts (which can be found at www.registry-trust.org.uk). Her Majesty's Court Service database contains judgments dating back to 1996 (which can be found at www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk.
If the proceedings are from the civil or criminal divisions of the Court of Appeal, or from the administrative court, both WordWave International's Casetrack website (official shorthand writer to the court), and the BAILII website (British and Irish Legal Information Institute) may provide further information. If the case (or cases) my right hon. Friend is interested in is (are) from the High Court, the Court itself should be
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contacted for a copy(ies) of the judgment(s). House of Lords judgments delivered since 14 November 1996 are available on the House of Lords website at www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk
It is not possible to provide details of the final outcomes of all court cases where legal proceedings are completed relating to foot and mouth disease clean-up contractors because in some cases (sometimes at the instigation of the contractor) both parties have agreed to keep the terms of settlement confidential.
Where it has the evidence to pursue fraud in either a civil or criminal context it will do so. The Department will have finished its review of all contractor accounts by the end of March 2006 but is dependent on judicial time scales and the work of the relevant investigating authorities in concluding all the commercial and valuer disputes. There have been delays in settlement because of the unwillingness of some contractors to engage in dispute resolution procedures and these have in come cases necessitated, and will necessitate, legal proceedings. The Department has spent to date £30.341 million on professional services investigating close to £1.3 billion of expenditure on goods, services and works arising out of the FMD outbreak. Direct savings of £88.237 million have been achieved to date and, currently, five cases are the subject of High Court litigation.
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