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Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether his Department will give evidence to the forthcoming Competition Commission inquiry into the impact of supermarkets on market towns and out-of-town superstores in rural areas. 
My noble Friend Lord Rooker, the Minister for Sustainable Farming and Food has since written to the Competition Commission to highlight a number of areas which the Commission may wish to consider as part of its investigation. In doing so, he confirmed that the Department is willing to provide the Commission with any assistance or information it may request. A copy has been placed in the House Library and on Defras website.
Mr. Bradshaw: I understand the facility which was approved for the collection of fallen stock was closed on 26 May when council officers inspected the plant after members of the public raised health concerns over the number of dead carcases on site.
The local authority and state veterinary service is now working with the facility to clear the backlog of carcases with a view to reinstating the approval of the site to begin receiving fallen stock again as soon as possible. In the mean time farmers in the area have been given a choice of alternative collectors and a good fallen stock collection service remains available to them under the National Fallen Stock Scheme.
Mr. Bradshaw: Defra published the independent Review of the Environmental and Health Effects of Waste Management, in 2004, which was peer reviewed by the Royal Society. The review concluded that, based on the evidence from studies so far, the treatment of municipal solid wasteincluding by incinerationhas, at most, a minor impact on human health and the environment. Defra has also recently published a study, Impact of Energy from Waste and Recycling Policy on UK Greenhouse Gas Emissions, in support of a review of the Government's waste strategy. This is available on the Defra website:
9 per cent. of waste is currently incinerated in England, but an increase is likely to be needed to be able to meet landfill directive targets, despite big improvements in waste recycling and minimisation. Recovering energy from waste through incineration produces many fewer
greenhouse gas emissions than landfilling. Deriving energy from biodegradable waste also helps to offset fossil fuel generation.
The Environment Agency ensures that emissions and other outputs from waste management facilities are within the limits set by the EU and the UK Government to minimise any negative impact. Incinerators are also required to conform to tighter emission standards than other types of combustion plants.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of the UK's waste was (a) recycled and (b) sent to landfill in the last period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Bradshaw: In 2002-03, the estimated proportion of controlled waste which was landfilled in the UK was 43 per cent. In the same year, the estimated proportion which was recycled or reused was 42 per cent.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the number of whales killed for scientific research in each year since the international moratorium on commercial whaling was introduced, broken down by species. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Up to 2005 the number of whales taken each year, by species and by country for scientific whaling (since the moratorium was introduced in 1986) are shown in the following table as reported to the International Whaling Commission.
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