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Dr. McCrea: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many (a) pigs, (b) beef cattle, (c) hens, (d) sheep, (e) dairy cattle and (f) calves there were on Northern Ireland farms in March in each of the last four years. 
| Notes: 1. Pigs are defined as breeding and fattening pigs. 2. Beef cattle are defined as cattle over one year old, intended for slaughter. 3. Sheep are defined as breeding and fattening sheep. 4. Dairy cattle are defined as dairy cows and heifers in milk and dairy cows in calf but not in milk. 5. Calves are defined as cattle under one year old.|
Dr. McCrea: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many times the Independent Farm Subsidies Appeal Panel set up by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) has met in the past 12 months; how many decisions have been returned (a) partially and (b) completely in favour of the farmer; how many times the panel's decision has been overturned by DARD; and what the cost of the panel to DARD has been over the last 12 months. 
|(1) Includes 10 occasions where the panel reconvened. Panel to reconvene to complete review of two cases. (2) Includes 16 cases still under policy consideration.|
It should be noted, the Farm Subsidies Appeal Panel do not make decisions. Their remit is to review subsidy-related decisions against the relevant European and UK legislation and to consider whether the Department's decision is consistent with these rules. The panel is asked to reach a conclusion and make a recommendation to the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development. The Department does not reject the recommendations made by the Independent Panel. The final decision as to whether the panel's recommendation is rejected or accepted rests with the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what financial arrangements have been put in place to enable the Northern Ireland Fire Authority to implement outstanding elements of the Fire Rescue Order (2006). 
Paul Goggins: The provisions in the Fire and Rescue Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 will not have any significant bearing on the associated costs of the Fire and Rescue Service. Government already provides resources through the Revenue Support Grant, taking into account a whole range of fire service functions, including responding to road traffic accidents and community safety. Promoting fire safety, for example, is already funded as a key activity of the service and there will be scope for redeployment of resources through a more strategic and risk-based approach.
Any further funding requests from the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, whether arising from the new legislation or otherwise, will be subject to standard businesses case and subsequent scrutiny procedures and, where appropriate, prioritisation of bids against available resources.
Mr. Hanson: The number of households claiming housing benefit (HB) over the last 10 years is not available. The table provides the change in theaverage number of claimants claiming HB in the last10 financial years.
|Average numbers claiming housing benefit||Change +/-|
Dr. Alasdair McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) how much funding was awarded by the Government to lesbian, gay and bisexual organisations in Northern Ireland in 2004-05; and what percentage of funding awarded to all section 75 groups this represented; 
Paul Goggins: £643,413 was awarded to lesbian, gay and bisexual organisations in 2004-05. This is approximately 0.9 per cent. of the amount paid by Government to all organizations in the voluntary and community sector.
Maria Eagle: The following numbers of fines were imposed for the non-return of borrowed stock items (mainly books, but also other items such as DVDs or music) in each Northern Ireland library branch in the financial year 2005-06:
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