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20 Oct 2006 : Column 1507W—continued

Wind Farms

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry which of his Department's (a) Ministers and (b) officials attended the annual conference of the British Wind Energy Association in Glasgow on 10 to 12 October; and if he will place in the Library copies of (i) speeches and (ii) documents presented to the conference by the Department. [93602]

Malcolm Wicks: No Ministers attended this year's BWEA conference.

However, the officials from this Department who attended the conference at various times during the three days were the Head of Energy Development Unit and the Deputy Director Renewables Policy and Development, along with eight staff from the 2010 target team and two staff from the Renewables Obligation team.

DTI officials made two presentations, one on “DTPs approach to aviation issues” and one on “Offshore electricity transmission”. Copies of the slides will be made available in the Library of the House. Other events officials took part in included chairing four of the conference sessions covering aviation, economics and finance and offshore consenting and environmental research and attending workshops and meetings with members of the wind industry.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Animal Welfare

Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how the Government monitor the welfare of animals exported for slaughter abroad. [94269]

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Mr. Bradshaw: The Government are committed to the welfare of all animals during transport. Transporters involved in exports must be authorised and submit route plans before all export journeys. These plans are checked to ensure compliance with journey times before journeys may start.

All animals are inspected by a local veterinary inspector prior to loading at the departure premises to ensure the animals meet health requirements and are fit for the intended journey. The State Veterinary Service also carries out additional random and targeted checks during loading at the departure premises or the port of departure.

New European Union (EU)-wide welfare in transport rules will come into force in January 2007 under Council Regulation No 1/2005. The UK supported the new regulation as it contains much to help improve animal welfare in transport, such as improved enforcement, and new training and authorisation procedures.

Gwyn Prosser: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many consignments of calves were exported from Dover on 11 October 2006; how many calves were included in each consignment; what the final destination of each consignment was; how long elapsed between the arrival of each consignment at Dover docks and the departure of the ship with the calves on board; why the departure of the ship was delayed; what proportion of the calves were still on a milk diet; whether the calves were provided with food and liquid while waiting at Dover docks to be loaded on to the ship; for what reason the calves were not taken to be unloaded and given food, liquid and rest; whether any calf was destroyed at Dover docks; whether the calves were unloaded and given food, liquid and 24 hours' rest after their arrival on the continent; and what arrangements he plans to put in place to prevent further lengthy delays at Dover docks. [94593]

Mr. Bradshaw: On 11 October, there were six vehicles carrying 14 consignments of calves (totalling 1,167 animals). The consignments were destined for Belgium, France and Spain and spent between nine and a half and 15 hours at Dover port.

The ship's departure was delayed for a number of reasons. Its sailing from Dover was originally delayed owing to the late arrival of a vehicle. The vessel then had to leave its berth to accommodate another ferry and, on its return, had to wait for the tide to rise sufficiently for the loading ramp to be used. At Dunkerque, a further delay was caused when the pilot was diverted to other essential duties. On return to Dover, staff from the State Veterinary Service (SVS) re-examined the animals to check their condition before departure. Before this check could be completed, the vessel had to leave berth again to accommodate a ferry before the calves could finally be loaded and the ship could depart.

All the calves were considered to be unweaned. During the morning, SVS staff at Dover considered that they needed to be fed and offered liquid. However, there is no staging point in the south-east and no facility within the port to make up warm milk formula. No single UK staging point could take all the animals so the vehicles were sent to the nearest suitable staging
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point or destination, as appropriate. Four vehicles were served with notices to proceed to a staging point close to the port of arrival and unload the animals for 24 hours' rest, feed and water. Checks are being carried out to confirm if the vehicles went to the staging point as directed. If they did not, it would be an offence.

One calf was humanely destroyed at Dover because it was in a state of collapse.

SVS staff are working with local authority enforcement officers to determine appropriate enforcement action and potential offences committed. We will also be addressing the broader issues of effective communication and contingency planning with those engaged in the live calf export trade.


Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will place in the Library a copy of the presentation given by the Environment Agency to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when he visited the Buncefield site on 18 July 2006. [94778]

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Ian Pearson: I will arrange for copies of the Environment Agency presentation, given to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on her visit to the Buncefield oil storage depot, to be placed in the Library of the House.

Coastal Erosion

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much his Department spent to protect the coastline from erosion in (a) Scarborough and Whitby constituency, (b) East Yorkshire constituency and (c) Beverley and Holderness constituency in each of the last five years. [92928]

Ian Pearson: DEFRA has overall policy responsibility for coastal erosion risk in England and funds coastal local authorities to support their investment in capital improvement works. Additional funding is provided by the Department for Communities and Local Government in the form of revenue support grant, which supports local authority maintenance and running costs to protect against coastal erosion.

Capital funding support provided by DEFRA is as follows:

£ million
Constituency (a) Scarborough and Whitby (b) East Yorkshire (c) Beverley and Holderness
Local authority Scarborough borough council East Riding of Yorkshire East Riding of Yorkshire





















Funding is not recorded on a constituency basis, but projects funded have been attributed to constituencies on the basis of the local authority responsible.

This funding represents a mix of direct grant and Supported Capital Expenditure (Revenue) for projects promoted under the Coast Protection Act 1949. These are projects designed to protect against coastal erosion, but they often have significant benefits in terms of reducing flood risk from the sea as well. Funding for a particular council will often vary considerably from one year to another, depending on the capital improvement projects in progress at any particular stage.

Eight-day Rule

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations he has received on the application of the eight-day rule as regards auction marts; and if he will assess the merits of revising or lifting the eight-day rule. [94458]

Mr. Bradshaw: I presume the hon. Member is referring to the six-day standstill rule for livestock.

I have received no representations on this matter. Livestock moving to auction markets do not trigger a six-day standstill on arrival at a market. But in order to balance the significant disease risk that results from animals from different sources mixing at a market, animals are only permitted to move to a market if the farm from which they originate is not under a standstill (20 days for pigs or six days for other species).

This rule is waived where the market is a dedicated slaughter market. In this case the livestock must go from the market direct to slaughter. The disease risk is accordingly less than if the stock were dispersed to other farms.

The standstill which applies to farm premises is based on a scientific Cost Benefit Analysis of the disease risks associated with various standstill lengths. I do not propose to amend the standstill regime, which represents the best available balance between minimising disease risk and the needs of the farming community to trade livestock.

Energy Performance Certificate

Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the external costs of fuels have been incorporated into the energy performance certificate energy rating price signals. [95005]

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Ian Pearson: The Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) will be used to determine the energy performance indicators to be included in the Energy Performance Certificate. One of those indicators will be the SAP Rating, a fuel cost based indicator of a dwelling's energy efficiency.

The fuel prices used reflect the fuel costs alone. They do not include externalities, such as the costs associated with undertaking safety inspections or servicing heating equipment. These external costs vary considerably across the country and are generally incurred on a voluntary basis by consumers—the exception being landlord safety checks on gas equipment.

Environmental Fines

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the proportionality of the fines levied on those convicted of environmental offences to the offences committed; and if he will make a statement. [94507]

Ian Pearson: DEFRA has been leading an interdepartmental “Review of Enforcement in Environmental Regulation”. This has involved consideration of the proportionality of fines levied on those convicted of environmental offences. The review’s conclusions are available on DEFRA’s website at

Exotic Animals

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) if he will
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bring forward legislation to tackle imbalance between public and private funding in relation to dealing with exotic animal diseases; [94051]

(2) if he will assess the merits of a levy on the exotic animal industry to generate funds to help tackle the threat of exotic animal diseases. [94052]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Government are continuing to work with industry representatives and others on the appropriate balance of costs and responsibilities associated with animal health and welfare. This work includes the need to bring forward legislation which would include, as part of the overall package, arrangements for the future funding of exotic disease outbreaks.

Flood Defences

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much has been spent on flood defences in each of the last 20 years. [93826]

Ian Pearson: The following table shows (a) Environment Agency spending on flood defences (excluding flood warning systems, (b) DEFRA funding to local authorities and internal drainage boards for capital flood risk improvement projects, and (c) local authority own spend and levies to internal drainage boards for flood risk management, some or all of which will have been spent on flood defences.

The latter (c) is largely supported by revenue support grant from the Department for Communities and Local Government. I regret figures prior to 1997-98 either are not available or could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

£ million
(a) Environment Agency spend (b) DEFRA funding for local authority/internal drainage board capital improvement projects (c) Local authority own spend and levies to internal drainage boards Total














































GM Crops

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what threshold has been set for acceptable levels of cross-contamination from genetically modified crops. [94050]

Ian Pearson: Under European Union law, crops or individual product ingredients are exempted from carrying a genetically modified (GM) label if they have an adventitious or technically unavoidable presence of an approved GM organism below 0.9 per cent.

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