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Bovine TB

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what assessment she has made of the likely change in (a) stores, (b) finished cattle and (c) fat cattle going to live auction market following the introduction of the requirement for testing for tuberculosis in cattle; [47839]
 
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(2) what assessment she has made of the likely effect on prices of (a) stores, (b) finished cattle and (c) fat cattle of the introduction of the requirement for testing for tuberculosis in cattle. [47861]

Mr. Bradshaw: Pre-movement testing will be introduced in England on 20 February. It will apply to cattle over 15 months of age moving out of one-two year tested herds, unless the herd or the movement meets any of the exemptions set out in the TB (England) Order 2005 (as amended).

The impact of pre-movement testing on cattle prices and auction markets was considered by the Tuberculosis Pre-Movement Testing Stakeholder Group. It is also addressed in a regulatory impact assessment, available on the Defra website at: www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/tb/premovement/index.htm.

We will keep the policy under review.

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs under what legislation the Department has the authority to block a second bovine tuberculosis test for a calf that tested positive to the initial tuberculin skin test when the owner is willing to pay for the test. [48713]

Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 6 February 2006]: The current skin test for bovine tuberculosis (TB) is an effective test. It is the accepted standard laid down in both national and international legislation for determining the existence of disease in a cattle herd.

The Tuberculosis (England and Wales) Order 1984 requires cattle failing the tuberculin test, and those considered to have been direct contacts exposed to TB, to be compulsorily slaughtered. There is no provision for a second TB test nor is there a mechanism for appeals.

In the case of statutory tuberculin testing of cattle, any request to release tuberculin for a further private test will always be declined by the Department. Approval for private tests is generally granted in the context of a test for purchaser assurance, or as a condition for cattle export in herds not subjected to tuberculosis restrictions.

Canada Geese

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what reasons Canada geese treated for fishing line injuries in sanctuaries are not allowed to be released back into the wild. [48361]

Jim Knight [holding answer 6 February 2006]: As with other non-native species of goose that have become naturalised, the Canada goose can have a localised impact on habitats, This can include the destruction of vegetation, as well as competing with native wildfowl for food and resources, such as nest sites. They can also pose a health risk to other animals and humans, for example through deposited faeces. This is why the Canada goose was added to Schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. It means that Canada geese are subject to the provisions of section 14 of the Act, and it is an offence to release them or allow them to escape into the wild.
 
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We have recently publicly reviewed the provisions of Part I of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 including the possible adoption of a general licence to allow the release of certain non-native species that have been rehabilitated. I am currently working up more detailed proposals on these issues for inclusion in a consultation paper that we hope to issue later this year. The Canada goose is one of the possible species under consideration.

Centre for Ecology and Hydrology

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the research projects being undertaken by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. [48177]

Mr. Morley: The current research projects undertaken by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs are listed as follows:


 
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Climate Change

Mr. Crabb: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with the National Assembly for Wales about extending the Climate Challenge Fund to Wales. [47638]

Mr. Morley: There have been no ministerial discussions about extending the fund to Wales. However, officials from Defra and the National Assembly for Wales have been in discussion about the scope of the initiative since its inception last year. Public communication on climate change is a devolved matter, so the existing resources for the fund are for England only. The fund could only be extended to the devolved Administrations if they were to contribute towards it.

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on what date she expects to publish the outcome of the Climate Change Review. [48524]

Mr. Morley: We expect to publish the review of the UK Climate Change Programme as soon as possible.

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which Departments she has consulted as part of the Climate Change Review process; and if she will make a statement. [48525]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 6 February 2006]: We have been working closely with other Government Departments throughout the Climate Change Programme review. We are aiming to publish the outcomes of this work in the revised UK Climate Change Programme as soon as possible this year.

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether it is her policy to secure a 20 per cent. reduction of UK carbon dioxide emissions by 2010. [48526]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 6 February 2006]: The Government remains fully committed to reducing UK carbon dioxide emissions by 20 per cent. below 1990 levels by 2010.
 
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