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Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) dairy, (b) arable and (c) mixed farms there were in West Lancashire in (i) 1976, (ii) 1980, (iii) 1990 and (iv) 2000. 
|(a) Dairy||(b) Cereals||General cropping||(c) Mixed|
Mr. Morley: Following the general election in May 2005, the Cabinet Sub-Committee of Green Ministers (ENV(G)) was replaced by the Ministerial Sub-Committee on Sustainable Development in Government (EE(SD)) whose members are departmental Sustainable Development Ministers It is established practice under exemption two of Part II of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information not to disclose information relating to the proceedings of Cabinet Committees.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she plans to have with landowners to persuade them to allow the culling of grey squirrels on their land. 
The decision to control grey squirrel lies with individual landowners and we have no plans to carry out culling of grey squirrel on private land. However, we will be encouraging landowners to cull
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grey squirrels in priority areas where there is a critical threat to woodland and priority species such as the dormouse, red squirrels and woodland birds.
The Red Alert North England Partnership which includes DEFRA and the Forestry Commission have agreement with the owners of the 16 designated red squirrel reserves that grey squirrel will be culled. They are still working with landowners in the buffer zones to ensure grey squirrels are also controlled in these areas. The Forestry Commission's English Woodland Grant scheme will enable incentives to be offered towards the cost of grey squirrel control.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many meetings of the EU (a) Committee for the implementation of the Directive concerning integrated pollution prevention and control, (b) Committee for the adaption to technical progress and application of the Community award scheme for an eco-label and (c) Committee on the monitoring mechanism of emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the Community have taken place during the UK presidency of the EU; who presided over each meeting; which other UK representatives were present; what provision was made for representation of the devolved governments; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: In respect of the implementation of the Directive concerning integrated pollution prevention and control, I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 19 January 2006, Official Report, column 1463W.
The Committee on the monitoring mechanism of emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, met on 20 July and 16 September during the UK Presidency. The Committee was chaired by the European Commission. The UK was represented by a Defra official.
Jim Knight: An article was placed in Defra's Office Notices (29 September 2005 edition), which raised awareness of forthcoming Jewish religious festivals, including Yom Kippur. No specific measures were taken to raise awareness of Hanukkah.
However, Defra's Diversity and Equality unit (DEU) maintains an extensive intranet site, providing help and guidance to all staff, which gives comprehensive information on the world's major religions/faiths, including Judaism. The site also contains an annually updated interfaith calendar, which details the major festivals of all the major religions/faiths throughout the year. Furthermore, the site contains guidance on the regulations implementing the EU Employment Directive 2000, which came into force on 2 December 2003, under which it is unlawful, to discriminate in employment and training on grounds of religion or belief.
In recognition of the diversity of faiths/religions practiced by Defra staff, managers are encouraged, where practical, to allow non-Christian staff to work on privilege days falling on Christian holidays, and take the equivalent time at a later date to allow them to celebrate/observe their own religious festivals. In addition, Defra wherever possible, makes space available for staff who wish to pray.
Mr. Bradshaw: The Department would prefer a trade in meat to the long distance transport of live animals to slaughter, whether in the UK or across borders. We would also like to see a lower limit for maximum journey times.
There is currently no export of calves and we are pleased that the use of veal crates will be banned throughout the EU from 1 January 2007 (though they have already largely been phased out). This will mean that calves in Europe will enjoy the same minimum levels of welfare as UK calves have done since 1990.
All animals should be transported in good conditions. New welfare in transport rules come into force in January 2007 under EC Regulation 1/2005. The UK supported the new regulation as it does much to help improve animal welfare in transport, such as improved enforcement of the rules, and new training and authorisation procedures but we regret that it did not lower the maximum journey times to slaughter.
I do not believe that this is the right time for a review. In 2003, the extensive cost benefit analysis into movement standstills demonstrated the
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significant benefits of standstill regimes in reducing both the size and cost of a disease outbreak. And these conclusions remain valid.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of farms are managed to Soil Association organic standards in (a) England, (b) the Tees Valley and (c) the Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency. 
Jim Knight: Soil Association Certification Ltd are one of the 10 private bodies currently approved by DEFRA for the inspection and certification of organic farmers in the UK in accordance with Council Regulation (EEC) 2092/91.
Of the 192,824 agricultural holdings in England, 2,562 currently hold organic certification and of these 1,613 are certified by the Soil Association. The corresponding figures for the Tees Valley are 842, three and zero and for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland 229, one and zero.
Jim Knight: Soil Association Certification Ltd are one of the ten private bodies currently approved by DEFRA for the inspection and certification of organic farmers in the UK in accordance with Council Regulation (EEC) 2092/91.
In 1997 there were 1,027 1 organic farms in the UK of which 750 2 were certified by the Soil Association. Currently there are 4,016 3 organic farms in the UK, of which 2,237 3 are certified by the Soil Association.
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