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Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many farmers are (a) aged under 30 years, (b) hold degree level qualifications, (c) have moved to the UK after being farmers in another European country and (d) have moved to the UK after being farmers in another non-European country. 
1. The EC Farm Structure Survey is held across all member states of the European Union four times each decade, to assess the agricultural situation across the Community and to monitor trends in the structure of holdings.
2. The holder is defined as the (natural or legal) person in whose name the holding is operated. The holder can either own or rent the holding, be a hereditary long-term leaseholder, or a usufructuary or a trustee.
Joan Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether she plans to seek to insert a provision into the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill to increase the fines given for the illegal destruction of habitat; and if she will make a statement. 
However, the Bill does include measures that will help with effective enforcement action. Clause 52, for example, extends the time limits for bringing summary proceedings, including for offences that involve damage to sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs) . This will allow more time to secure sufficient evidence.
In addition, clause 54 introduces a new offence of intentionally or recklessly destroying or damaging the special interest features of a SSSI, or disturbing its fauna. This will not require proof that the offender knew the land involved had SSSI status and will therefore support more effective enforcement against damage to habitats in these sites where proving the state of knowledge of the offender can be difficult to achieve.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether populations of (a) white-clawed crayfish, (b) medicinal leech, (c) pearl mussel, (d) large blue butterfly and (e) noble crayfish in the UK have Favourable Condition Status as defined by the EU Habitats Directive 1992. 
The concept and delivery of favourable conservation status is central to the implementation of the EU habitats directive. A broad definition of the term favourable conservation status is given in the habitats directive, but there remains a lack of clarity in the
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interpretation of this term or the means by which to implement it. The European Commission plans to produce supplementary guidance later this year and the UK is supporting work to draft this guidance.
Member states are required to report on their implementation of the habitats directive every six years. The next report is required in 2007, and this will cover the period from 2000 to 2006. For the first time, this will also include reports on the conservation status of listed habitats and species.
The Noble crayfish Astracus astracus, while listed in Annex V of the habitats directive, is not ordinarily resident in the UK. As it is an introduced species, the UK will not be reporting on the status of this species. Under section 14 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 as amended it is, in fact, an offence to release this species into the wild.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps her Department is taking to minimise the length of time necessary for the identification of species potentially at risk and their addition to the EU Habitats Directive 1992; and if she will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: The procedure for amending the annexes of the habitats directive is set out in Article 19 of the directive. The UK has not considered taking steps to alter the annexes through this procedure.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs under what legislation action can be taken against those responsible for cruel tethering of horses; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The Protection Against Cruel Tethering Act 1988 created a specific offence under the Protection of Animals Act 1911 of causing unnecessary suffering to a horse, ass or mule by the manner or condition of its tethering. The maximum penalty for an offence under the 1911 Act is a fine of £5,000 or six months' imprisonment, or both.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether she has had discussions on the reintroduction of the lynx to the UK; and if she will make a statement. 
I have had no discussions on the reintroduction of the lynx in the UK. The release of animal species into the wild that are no longer native to Great Britain, such as the Eurasian lynx, is controlled by section 14 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
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Section 16 of the Act gives the Secretary of State powers to grant licences for releasing animals. However, these are only issued for soundly reasoned and specific purposes, supported by a detailed scientific risk assessment. Applicants who wish to submit proposals must also comply with international legislation and guidance.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many significant oil spills there were in UK waters in the last seven years; where each took place; and how much oil was estimated to have been discharged in each case. 
Mr. Morley: On behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), the Advisory Committee on the Protection of the Sea (ACOPS) conduct annual surveys of reported discharges attributed to vessels and offshore oil and gas installations operating in the United Kingdom pollution control zone. Annual reports for the years 1999 to 2004 are available on the MCA and ACOPS internet sites as follows. The report for 2005 is not yet available.
Information on oil pollution from other sources from 2002 to 2005 is available from the Environment Agency's incident recording system. 73 category 1 (the most serious) oil pollution incidents were recorded over this period. I am arranging for details to be placed in the Library, where the Environment Agency's pollution incident reports for the years 2000 and before can also be found.
Jim Knight: All DEFRA sites monitor the amount of waste generated. An annual target of at least 1 per cent. reduction in waste generated is incorporated in site-based Environmental Management Systems. Particular attention is given to paper use and paper waste, which forms a significant proportion of departmental waste. A number of strategies are in place to achieve reductions in paper use and waste, including increasing internet-based and electronic publication of documents, and improved printer efficiency.
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