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Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much funding was made available in 2005 to the West Midlands division of the Environment Agency for flood defences. 
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make a statement on the operation of section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990; what recent representations he has received about the operation of this (a) section and (b) Act; and what amendments have been made to the Act. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 allows a person with a complaint of statutory nuisance, for example, noise, smell or smoke, to take private action through the magistrates court. If the court agrees that a statutory nuisance exists and/or is likely to recur, it will issue an abatement notice on the person responsible for the nuisance, requiring that the nuisance be ceased or abated within a specified timescale. It may, but does not have to, specify the steps to be taken. Anyone causing a statutory nuisance could also be liable to a fine.
The statutory nuisance provisions of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 have been amended by measures implemented on 6 April 2006 in the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005, which introduce insects, and artificial light, to the list of potential statutory nuisances. The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 also introduces an optional seven-day deferral for serving of an abatement notice for statutory nuisance from noise in order to pursue alternative steps before formal action is taken.
The Government work as a matter of course with stakeholders and, on statutory nuisance from noise in particular, we will be seeking stakeholder views on the Noise Strategy, which will be the subject of full public consultation early in 2007.
A large number of amendments have been made to the 1990 Environmental Protection Act and the cost of collating a list would be disproportionate. As there is no central record of representations received by the Department that would enable officials to identify those about the operation of the whole Act, it would also incur disproportionate cost to do so.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the welfare conditions of (a) factory farmed poultry, (b) egg-laying hens in battery cages and (c) factory farmed fish. 
The State Veterinary Service (SVS) conducts regular programmed inspections of farmed premises to check the welfare of poultry. All complaints and allegations about poor welfare on-farm are investigated. In addition, a range of Government-funded research and advisory programmes are supporting our commitment to high standards of animal welfare.
The Fish Health Inspectorate (FHI) undertakes regular inspections of premises in England and Wales to check on the health and welfare of farmed fish and shellfish. Defra has funded a number of research projects on fish welfare. This includes work to develop a non-invasive procedure that can be used by fish farmers to establish whether the welfare of their fish has been compromised.
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much has been paid in subsidies to farmers in Bassetlaw directly by (a) the Government and (b) the EU or its predecessors in each of the last 30 years. 
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the average time taken to enter fisheries data on to the fisheries database was (a) in the last period for which figures are available and (b) in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The Marine Fisheries Agency has an operational target to enter all information from fish markets, merchants, fishing log books, landing declarations and sales notes on to the fisheries database within five working days of receipt. This target relates to the processing of returns for which no follow-up or investigative action is required to resolve errors or anomalies.
|Period||Percentage of forms entered within five working days|
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make an assessment of the likelihood of a recurrence of foot and mouth disease; which countries have outbreaks; and what procedures are in place to prevent food imports from those countries. 
A very large number of countries experience regular foot and mouth outbreaks. We carry out constant surveillance of the animal health situation around the world, and publish preliminary outbreak assessments, qualitative risk assessments and summary reports on our website:
All animals and animal products from countries outside the European Union are checked when imported to ensure they meet the necessary veterinary import conditions. Since 2003, additional resources have been made available to tackle illegal imports of products of animal origin. This increased enforcement activity has resulted in a three-fold increase in seizures. Enforcement is based on risk, including information provided by Defra on the animal health situation around the world, with assessments on new disease outbreaks.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 23 May 2006 to question 72426, on forest certification schemes, what representations the Prime Minister of Australia made to (a) the Prime Minister and (b) other Government Ministers on the programme for the endorsement of forest certification schemes. 
Barry Gardiner: The Prime Minister of Australia wrote to the Prime Minister expressing concern over the UK Government's assessment of the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes (PEFC) and the impact that could have on the procurement of Australian forest products.
My hon. Friend the Member for Scunthorpe (Mr. Morley), Elliot Morley, then Minister of State for Climate Change and Environment met with Senator the Hon. Eric Abetz, Australian Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation, to discuss this matter.
Senator Abetz and other officials were able to clarify how the PEFC requirements are adopted and applied in Australia. The clarification of Australia's position was valuable in helping to consider the effectiveness of recent changes made by the PEFC scheme to its system requirements.
Mr. Meacher: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the Government will base the co-existence and liability regime governing the growing of GM crops in England on the assumption that the growing of GM crops may become widespread. 
Ian Pearson: We cannot be certain about the extent to which authorised GM crops may be grown in England in the future. However, our assumption is that this would start off at a relatively low level, becoming more widespread over time if there is market acceptance. We will review the coexistence regime introduced for England in the light of developments in the scale of any GM cropping. On-going Defra and EU research will also provide more evidence to help us judge what coexistence measures might be needed if GM crops become widespread.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 23 March 2006 to the hon. Member for Dover (Gwyn Prosser), Official Report, column 485W, on live calves (export), what steps he has taken to assist farmers to rear and market veal calves in the UK. 
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to his written statement of 16 May 2006, Official Report, column 48WS, on the Marine Fisheries Agency performance targets 2006-07, what measures the agency has in place to monitor the quota stocks target; and what the risk weightings referred to are. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The Marine Fisheries Agency, along with other fisheries administrations in the UK, operates systems as required by EU legislation to monitor and control the activity of UK fishing vessels to ensure quotas allocated to the UK are not exceeded. This involves maintaining dedicated systems for the collection and collation of information from vessel logbooks and landing declarations, as well as information from sales notes from registered buyers and sellers of fish. The information from UK systems is collated to produce reports on the level of uptake of quotas that are updated on a daily or weekly basis as appropriate. These reports are used by fisheries administrations, producer organisations and other groups in the UK to manage the individual quota allocations during each year. Monthly reports are provided to the European Commission, with measures also in place to check and validate information received by the Commission from other member states on landings by UK vessels outside the UK. The agency takes management action, as necessary, to control or close activity in particular fisheries to ensure quotas limits are complied with.
The risk weightings relate to enforcement of sea fisheries legislation. The Marine Fisheries Agency aims to deploy 60 per cent. of its inspection and enforcement resources to high risk fisheries, 30 per cent. to medium risk and 10 per cent. to low risk. The specific risk weightings take account of a number of factors, including the nature of the fishery, the area and the type of fishing activity. For instance, we would consider vessels fishing in an area and for a species for which specific recovery measures have been introduced to be classified as high risk. The agency is developing a computer model to assist in analysing a wide range of factors to determine compliance risks in fisheries for the medium to long term so that its resources can be deployed and utilised to best effect.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) under and (b) over 10 metre licences were issued by the Marine Fisheries Agency in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The following table sets out the number of licences issued to fishing vessels administered in England and Wales by (a) vessels of 10 metres and under in length, and (b) vessels of over 10 metres in length.
|(a) 10 metres and under||(b) over 10 metres|
Licences for fishing vessels over 10 metres in length were issued annually. Since 1996 licences for vessels of 10 metres and under in length have been issued biennially. Licences for fishing vessels of 10 metres and under in length will be issued again in June 2006.
Licences for vessels in Scotland and Northern Ireland were issued by the Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development respectively.
Licences for fishing vessels in Scotland and Northern Ireland were issued by the Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development respectively.
Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when (a) Ministers and (b) officials from his Department last met representatives from the Composting Association. 
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on how many occasions (a) civil servants and (b) special advisers in his Department have stayed overnight in (i) five star, (ii) four star and (iii) three star hotels in each of the last three years. 
|April 2003 to March 2004|
|ResCompany||Star||Room nights||Turnover (£)|
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