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Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the compatibility with the Berne Convention of the practice of licensing individual farmers to cull badgers. 
Mr. Bradshaw: We are currently consulting on both the principle and method of a badger culling policy. Any new culling policy would have to be sustainable and take account of legislation protecting the welfare of badgers. But no decisions have yet been made.
Badgers are listed as a protected species under Appendix III of the Berne Convention, but they are not an endangered species. The Berne Convention allows regulated management of a protected species as long as this is not
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the quarantine system since the testing of the sentinel birds in the quarantine centre in Farmbridge. 
Mr. Bradshaw: We are carefully considering the recommendations of the Independent Review of Avian Quarantine in close consultation with EU partners and stakeholders. We will implement any essential recommendations as quickly as possible, before imports of captive birds resume.
Bonfires on domestic and business premises, including those in rural areas, are already regulated under the statutory nuisance provisions in sections 79 to 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This means that local authorities have a duty to investigate complaints of smoke from premises which are prejudicial to health or a nuisance, and if satisfied that a statutory nuisance exists an abatement notice
16 Jan 2006 : Column 896W
must be served requiring the abatement of the nuisance or the restriction of its occurrence or recurrence. Failure to comply with the terms of an abatement notice will, upon summary conviction, result in a fine of up to £5,000 for domestic premises and £20,000 for business premises. In addition, Section 2 of the Clean Air Act 1993 prohibits emissions of dark smoke from industrial and trade premises, which can include agricultural and horticultural premises.
The Government are taking further steps to regulate bonfires. The proposed Waste Management (England and Wales) Regulations 2006 would stop the unregulated burning of waste from any mine, quarry or agricultural premises.
Sir Paul Beresford: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of Common Agricultural Policy payments were allocated to small farmers in the UK in 200405. 
Jim Knight: Taking the definition of a small farmer to be one who receives less than £10,000 in CAP aid per year, 58 per cent. of claimants in 200405 European agriculture guidance and guarantee fund year (16 October 2004 to 15 October 2005) could be described as small farmers and received 9 per cent. of the total aid paid.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry regarding the proposed closure of the Natural Environment Research Council's Centre for Ecology and Hydrology at Monks Wood; and if she will make a statement. 
Margaret Beckett [holding answer 9 January 2006]: The Department has had no discussions with the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry regarding the closure of the Natural Environment Research Council's Centre for Ecology and Hydrology at Monks Wood. The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology is a wholly-owned Research Centre of the Natural Environment Research Council which provides independent research and training in the environmental sciences. The future shape of the Centre for Ecology has been informed by a strategic review that involved extensive consultation with stakeholders including DEFRA.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the likely impact on environmental research of the proposed closure of the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology at Monks Wood; and if she will make a statement. 
[holding answer 9 January 2006]: The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) iscurrently consulting on a proposed restructuring of the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH). The proposals include the potential closure of the site at Monks Wood. The aim of the restructuring proposal is to ensure the long term sustainability of CEH which will
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ensure continued capacity for environmental research in the UK into the future. NERC has confirmed that the scientific programmes for the restructured CEH will be:
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the operation of sections (a) 3 to 9, (b) 10 to 14 and (c) 28 to 32 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005. 
Make it an offence to leave or cause to leave two or more vehicles on a road within 500 metres of each other where they are exposed for sale. The offence will not be committed if the sale is not for the purpose of a business of selling motor vehicles.
Make it an offence to carry out restricted works on a motor vehicle on a road. The offence is not committed if the works are legitimately needed due to a breakdown or are not for the purposes of a business. However, the business defence does not apply if the works give reasonable cause for annoyance to persons in the vicinity.
Sections 2830 make changes to fixed penalty notices for graffiti and flyposting, by amending section 43 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003. This will allow local authorities to specify the level of penalty themselves within a range that will be set out by the Secretary of State in regulations. If they do not choose to specify their own level, a default amount of £75 will apply. It also widens the range of officers who will be able to issue fixed penalties for graffiti and fly-posting offences by enabling local authorities to authorise officers other than their own employees to issue them, as well as giving the power of issue to parish councils. A new section 43B will also be inserted into the 2003 Act, making it an offence for someone to fail to provide their name and address details when requested to do so by an authorised officer.
These sections will help encourage more effective enforcement by increasing the number of officers with the power to address minor acts of graffiti and fly-posting, and by giving local authorities flexibility in setting the penalties that will apply.
Section 31 of the Act will enable local authorities to require the removal of both graffiti and fly-posting where this is defacing street furniture and other relevant surfaces belonging to statutory undertakers. Currently this power is available for graffiti in 12 pilot authority areas under section 48 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003. The 2005 Act extends these provisions so that 'defacement removal notices' will be available for dealing with fly-posting as well as graffiti, thus allowing more co-ordinated removal from affected surfaces.
Under the Act it is an offence for anyone to sell aerosol paint to anyone under the age of 16. From 1 July 2005, this provision has been supplemented by a requirement under section 32 which places a duty on local trading standards to carry out a review of underage sales once every 12 months and take enforcement action where necessary. Guidance for the operation of section 32 and for test purchasing aerosol paints can be found on the TOGETHER website (http://www.together.gov.uk/article.asp?aid=3435).
|Section||Date to be commenced|
|1||Crime and disorder reduction strategies||To be confirmed|
|2||Gating orders||By spring 2006|
|35||Nuisance parking offences||7 June 2005|
|69||Nuisance Parking Offences: fixed penalty notices||Planned for 6 April 2006|
|1014||Abandoned vehicles||18 October 2005|
|1517||Illegally parked vehicles||18 October 2005|
|18||Offence of dropping litter||7 June 2005|
|19||Litter offence: fixed penalty notice||Planned for 6 April 2006|
|2022||Litter and refuselocal authority notices||Planned for 6 April 2006|
|23||Free distribution of printed matter||Planned for 6 April 2006|
|2426||Litter and refusegeneral||Planned for 6 April 2006|
|27||"Litter"||7 June 2005|
|2831||Graffiti and flyposting||Planned for 6 April 2006|
|32||Sale of aerosol paint to children|||
|33||Unlawful display of advertisements: defences||7 June 2005|
|34||Removal of placards and posters||Planned for 6 April 2006|
|35||Unregistered transport: defence of acting under employer's instructions||7 June 2005|
|36||Registration requirements and conditions||7 June 2005|
|37||Transport of waste: enforcement powers||Planned for spring 2007|
|3839||Failure to produce authority: fixed penalty notices||Planned for 6 April 2006|
|40||Defence of acting under employer's instructions||7 June 2005|
|41||Penalties on conviction||7 June 2005|
|42||Investigation and enforcement costs||18 October 2005|
|43||Clean up costs||18 October 2005|
|44||Forfeiture of vehicles||18 October 2005|
|45||Failure to furnish documentation: fixed penalty notices||Planned for 6 April 2006|
|46||Power to search and seize vehicles||Planned for spring 2007|
|47||Abolition of requirement to contract out waste disposal functions||18 October 2005|
|4850||Local authority waste collection and disposal||Planned for 6 April 2006|
|5152||Appropriate person and use of fixed penalty receipts||Planned for 6 April 2006|
|53||Supplementary enforcement powers||18 October 2005|
|54||Site waste management plans||7 June 2005|
|5558||Dog control orders||Planned for 6 April 2006|
|5962||Fixed penalty notices||Planned for 6 April 2006|
|6365||Supplementary||Planned for 6 April 2006|
|6667||General||Planned for 6 April 2006|
|68||Termination of police responsibility for stray dogs||Date still to be decided|
|6976||Alarm notification areas||Planned for 6 April 2006|
|7779||Powers in relation to alarms||Planned for 6 April 2006|
|8081||Supplementary||Planned for 6 April 2006|
|82, 84, 85||Noise from premises||Planned for 6 April 2006|
|83||Noise offences: use of fixed penalty notices||7 June 2005|
|86||Deferral of duty to serve abatement notice||Planned for 6 April 2006|
|8795||Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment||1 January 2006|
|9698||Miscellaneoususe of fixed penalty receipts||Planned for 6 April 2006|
|99100||Shopping and luggage trolleys||Planned for 6 April 2006|
|101103||Statutory nuisances||Planned for 6 April 2006|
|104||Contaminated land: appeals against remediation notices||Planned for spring 2006|
|105||Offences relating to pollution etc: penalties on conviction||7 June 2005|
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