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Acid rain is a transboundary phenomenon, so the best way to tackle it is through international action. The UK has played a major role in the development of a succession of Protocols under the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe's Convention on Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution to reduce the emissions that lead to acid rain. These emissions are also controlled through the EU National Emission Ceilings Directive.
Much progress has been made over the last few decades in reducing the emissions that lead to acid rain, and progress continues: between 1990 and 2002, emissions of sulphur dioxide decreased by 73 per cent. and emissions of nitrogen oxides by 43 per cent. Emissions of ammonia reduced by 17 per cent.
The Government support an extensive research programme to examine and understand the effects of acid rain on the environment, and there is now evidence of the beginnings of recovery in some of the most acid sensitive sites in the UK. But more remains to be done, and the Government continue to work in both the UNECE and the EU to ensure the next generation of international agreements will deliver further improvements in line with the principles of sustainable development.
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Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many types of agricultural produce have been required to change their name or description as a result of European regulations in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations she has received on the Animal Welfare Bill from local charities, in relation to codes of conduct being implemented through secondary regulation. 
Mr. Bradshaw: We have received a number of representations on the Animal Welfare Bill and its accompanying codes of practice from a range of charities and organisations with an interest in animal welfare.
Jim Knight: Information is not collected in this form and an audit of the departmental estate could be conducted only at disproportionate public cost. The Department is committed to ensuring compliance with fire safety law in premises it occupies. That includes provision of fire detection and warning systems that are appropriate to the circumstances of the case.
Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether she plans to require domestic birds kept in outdoor aviaries to be brought indoors in an outbreak of avian influenza in the United Kingdom. 
Mr. Bradshaw: If a case of H5N1 is found in Great Britain, British bird owners will be required to move their birds indoors as soon as possible while the disease is traced and controlled. In cases where housing is not practicable, keepers will be required to take all reasonable measures to minimise contact with wild birds.
The principal UK mercury reprocessing facility that accepts button cells for treatment is Odin Technology based in Berkshire. Mercury Recycling in Manchester also processes spent button cells. The majority of spent silver oxide batteries are reprocessed by Engelhard Ltd.
Mr. David Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of when the export ban on British beef will be lifted following the cessation of the over-30-month scheme. 
Mr. Bradshaw: We cannot be sure when EU member states and the Commission will agree to lift the export ban. But we are working to achieve this as quickly as possible, and it could be as early as April.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the UK Biodiversity Action Plan; and if she will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: The UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP) was published in 1994 as part of the UK response to the Convention on Biological Diversity signed in Rio in 1992. Under the plan there are costed and targeted national action plans for 436 of our most threatened habitats and species in the UK. These are supported by approximately 150 local biodiversity action plans, often at county level.
By the end of 2002, 26 per cent. of BAP species were either stable or increasing, and the rate of decline had slowed for a further 8 per cent. of species. 26 per cent. of habitats were either stable or increasing and the rate of those in decline had slowed by 31 per cent.
Information for 2005 is currently being collated. This will address not only on how individual species and habitats are faring, but also emerging influences by sector and constraints to delivery. A report will be published in 2006. Notable successes of the UK BAP so far include genuine results for species like the corncrake, bittern, cirl bunting, field cricket, lady's slipper orchid and otters, and for habitats including cereal field margins and native pinewoods.
In addition, the UK Biodiversity Partnership is currently undertaking a review of the targets set for UK priority species and habitats and a review of the UK priority lists themselves. We will publish new priorities,
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targets and plans for meeting our target of halting biodiversity loss by 2010, once these reviews have been completed.
Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent representations she has made to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister concerning planning permission for new chicken farms near (a) residential areas and (b) schools. 
Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of non-binding, as opposed to binding, climate change targets; and what assessment she has made of the impact of the Montreal climate change talks on this. 
Mr. Morley: The agreement at Montreal illustrates the significant impact that the UK's leadership on climate change has on the rest of the world and is a hugely significant step in the global effort to tackle climate change. Despite the deep divisions of recent years, the whole global community including the United States, India and China have agreed to work together through the United Nations process to examine the way forward.
all countries under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (including all Kyoto parties, both Annex I and non-Annex I Parties such as China and India, plus non-parties including the US and Australia) have agreed to begin talks on the longer term future.
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