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Sir Patrick Cormack: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State will reply to the hon. Member for South Staffordshire's letter of 5 September 2005 on training grants for fisheries officers. 
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to review current arrangements for ensuring that departmental research and findings are totally impartial. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The Department has a varied and wide ranging programme of auditing and peer reviewing the outputs of its research. This relies on using external experts to advise the Department on the robustness and reliability of the research. This programme, on which we receive regular feedback, is continuous and ongoing, examining either individual pieces of research or entire research programmes.
The Department's science quality assurance and peer review processes were reviewed last year by the Department's independent Science Advisory Council. Their report is published on the Department's website.
Mr. Morley: The Government target for CHP is to achieve at least 10 gigawatts of Good Quality CHP capacity by 2010. We are not at present on course to achieve the target. Installed capacity at the end of 2004 was 5.6 gigawatts and figures for 2005 will be contained in the annual Digest of UK Energy Statistics, due to be published in the summer. We are analysing potential new support measures as part of the Climate Change Programme Review process.
Mr. Bradshaw: The current rules on disposal of fallen stock have applied from May 2003 and the National Fallen Stock Scheme started in November 2004. Guidance on these can be found on the Defra website at http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/by-prods/fallen/fallen.htm and the National Fallen Stock Scheme website at http://www.nationalfallenstock.co.uk. The National Fallen Stock Company also communicates regularly with its members.
Mr. David Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the level of additional carbon emissions generated between 1 January 2005 and 1 January 2006 through, and ancillary to, the incineration of fallen stock necessitated as a result of the ban on on-farm burial. 
Mr. Bradshaw: None. The ban on burying on-farm fallen stock was introduced by the EU Animal By-Products Regulation 1774/2002. It is there to protect public and animal health from any potential risks associated with the burial of fallen stock.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the maximum permitted length is of a bottom set gillnet or 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; and what the (a) average and (b) maximum length is of nets being used by these vessels. 
Mr. Bradshaw: There are no restrictions on the maximum length of bottom set gillnets or tangle nets in ICES areas VII e, f, g, h and j. The length of netting used varies greatly but we do not have data on the average or maximum length s used.
Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations she has made to the (a) Government of Ireland and (b) EU Commission regarding the use of Irish salmon drift nets in relation to the Habitats Directive; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 19 January 2006]: The UK Government regularly impresses upon the Irish Government the need to take steps to reduce and eventually eliminate the impact of the Irish salmon drift net fishery on UK salmon stocks and I have raised the issue directly with my Irish counterparts on several occasions. The issue has also been raised regularly at informal meetings between UK and Irish officials and in discussions with the European Commission and with other EU member states in the context of the EU's commitments to the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation (NASCO). The Commission is understood to be considering what proposals it might make to the Fisheries Council on the regulation of salmon fishing in EU waters. To that end it commissioned a report (to which scientists from the UK and Ireland contributed) on the impact of coastal salmon fisheries on the conservation of in-river stocks.
We understand that the European Commission has issued a letter of formal complaint to the Irish Government about the effects of drift netting on the conservation status of salmon. This is the first step towards a possible Action in the European Court of Justice against Ireland in respect of its failure to meet obligations towards salmon under the EC Habitats Directive. Unless and until such time as the Commission formally institutes such action, its case against the Irish Government is not a matter of public record, nor is the UK Government given the opportunity to comment.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions her Department had with the Treasury before the decision not to proceed with Operating and Financial Review; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 31 January 2006]: Discussions were held at various levels, including between the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, before the decision was taken to remove the obligation on businesses to publish operating and financial reviews.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the UK has met the EU directive requirement that all commercial poultry keepers are registered; and what definition of commercial is used for this purpose. 
Mr. Bradshaw: In order to meet the requirements of Directive 2005/94/EC, the Great Britain Poultry Register was launched on 9 December 2005. Commercial premises of 50 birds or more have until 28 February 2006 to register with the Department.
The definitions for poultry and commercial poultry premises are those used in the Avian Influenza (Preventive Measures)(No. 2) Regulations 2005. For the purpose of the Register, poultry" means all birds that are reared or kept in captivity for the production of meat or eggs for consumption, the production of other commercial products, for restocking supplies of game or for the purposes of any breeding programme for the
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production of these categories of birds. Commercial poultry premises" means premises where poultry are kept for commercial purposes and does not include premises where all poultry (and their eggs) are kept by their owners for their own consumption or as pets.
No formal legal definition exists of the term commercial". Ultimately it would be for the courts to define, but in principle, the word should be given its ordinary meaning. Having said that, commercial activities typically involve the exchange of money, goods or services. Using an example from the game world, we think that premises rearing and/or releasing gamebirds are likely to be commercial poultry premises, as activities on these premises would involve some level of commercial transaction. The supply of birds/carcases to third parties for services rendered would count as commercial". It is possible, however, that small private syndicates communally owning, shooting and consuming all their birds would classify as non-commercial premises.
If there is any uncertainty about premises with more than 50 poultry being commercial, we recommend that the premises are registered. Information on the GB Poultry Register can be found at http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/diseases/vetsurveillance/poultry/index. htm.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many poultry farmers there are in the United Kingdom who have (a) over 50 birds and (b) 50 or under birds; and how many have signed up to the National Poultry Register. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Government and various individual poultry organisations hold information separately but currently no central register exists of how many poultry farmers there are in the UK with (a) over 50 or (b) 50 and under birds.
Defra, the Scottish Executive and the Welsh Assembly Government have developed the Great Britain Poultry Register, which opened on 9 December 2005, to gather essential information about the numbers and location of poultry held on commercial premises. The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development for Northern Ireland is also capturing data about poultry premises but on a separate database. We are liaising closely so information can be effectively collated on a UK level.
The total number of poultry premises registered by 18 January on the GB Poultry Register was 3201. Reports containing a breakdown of the numbers in terms of flock size are currently being developed and will be available shortly.
However they can register on a voluntary basis if they wish using the same registration system that is available to poultry keepers with more than 50 birds; either the telephone (to register by freephone using a trained adviser), by post or by e-mail (by downloading a form from the Great Britain Poultry Register web page).
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