Mr. MacDougall: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many people have been prosecuted for cruelty to animals in (a) England and (b) Wales in each of the last 10 years. 
Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 4 December 2006]: The following table shows the number of persons proceeded against at magistrates courts for offences relating to animal cruelty and neglect in England and Wales, 1996 to 2005(1).
(1) These data, provided by, the Office for Criminal Justice Reform, are on the principal offence basis.
1. Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.
2. Staffordshire police force were only able to supply a sample of data for magistrates courts proceedings covering one full week in each quarter for 2000. Estimates based on this sample are included in the figures, as they are considered sufficiently robust at this high level of analysis.
3. Over this period the majority of prosecutions were for cruelty to animals under the Protection of Animals Act 1911.
Mr. Bradshaw: The draft Animal Welfare Delivery Strategy proposes that improving the clarity and consistency of information on welfare provenance provided to consumers could be a positive step. We are seeking views on this and other proposals in the draft strategy as part of the current public consultation. Detailed actions and commitments will be developed and agreed with interested parties as part of an Action Plan, to be published separately.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what factors underlay his Department's decision to recommend a move away from a legislative approach towards an approach based on the delivery of outcomes through other means in the consultation on the Animal Welfare Delivery Strategy. 
Mr. Bradshaw: As the draft Animal Welfare Delivery Strategy recognises, there is a significant body of European and domestic welfare legislation in place, and the available evidence suggests that this has been successful at improving measurable standards of welfare in the UK. However, the evidence also points to areas where welfare problems continue. The draft strategy proposes a new approach to delivery in order to make progress in these areas. It will continue to be the Government's role to enforce appropriate baseline standards of welfare through regulation.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he plans to support the European Commission's proposal to extend the length of time for the ban on the import of captive live birds. 
Mr. Bradshaw: As the Prime Minister wrote in his letter to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds on 5 December, the UK intends to press other member states and the European Commission to extend indefinitely the ban on the commercial import of wild birds, with exceptions for recognised international conservation programmes. This would protect both human and animal health, while benefiting the welfare of wild birds.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what criteria he took into account in setting the minimum cage measurements for the transportation of animals; and whether the measurements comply with International Air Transport Association guidelines. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Minimum space allowances for the transport of farmed livestock, horses and poultry are set for road, sea and air transport in Council Directive 91/628/EEC on the protection of animals during transport. These, along with other requirements of the directive, are implemented in Great Britain by the Welfare of Animals (Transport) Order 1997. The same space allowances are contained in the superseding European Union (EU) Regulation 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport which apply from 5 January 2007. Recommendations from the EU scientific committees (now the Scientific Panel on Animal Health and Welfare) were used as the basis for the space allowances. Detailed space allowances are not prescribed for non-farmed species so only general provisions apply. These require sufficient floor area and height appropriate to the animal size and the intended journey.
Both the directive and the new regulation require that for air transport animals are transported in pens or stalls appropriate for the species and which comply with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Live Animal Regulations (LARs).
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what liaison there was between different divisions in his Department in drawing up the (a) animal health and welfare strategy and (b) first indicators on animal welfare. 
Mr. Bradshaw: I assume that by first indicatorson animal welfare the hon. Member means those proposed in the evidence base that accompanied the publication of the animal health and welfare strategyin 2004.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many local area agreements have been developed which incorporate the protection or enhancement of biodiversity; and if he will make a statement. 
Barry Gardiner: To date, both the first and the second rounds of local area agreements (LAAs)have been signed off. DEFRA's analysis of thesecond round of LAAs has found that 16 out of the66 authorities negotiating in this round incorporated an outcome focussing on the protection and enhancement of biodiversity.
We do not currently have any information on the number of authorities that included biodiversity outcomes in the first round of LAAs. For the current third round, my officials have told me that a number of authorities are currently in the process of developing outcomes focused on the protection and enhancement of biodiversity. We will wait to see how these progress.
Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the effect on biodiversity in the tropics of the use of palm oil in biofuel production. 
Ian Pearson: The Government have not made an assessment of the effect of palm oil production for biofuel on biodiversity, but work has been carried out on the effects of palm oil production on the local environment. One of the Government's key objectives in this sector is to ensure that biofuel production and development is environmentally sustainable. That is why the Government are developing an environmental assurance scheme as an integral part of the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO). This will require all obligated companies to report on the greenhouse gas balance and wider environmental impacts of their biofuels. The reports will include details of the previous use of the land on which the biofuel feedstocks were grown, and the impacts on biodiversity of growing those feedstocks. This will encourage companies to supply biofuels which deliver the maximum greenhouse gas savings with the minimum environmental impact. It will also ensure that we can monitor the impact of both imported and domestically-sourced biofuels.
|Rainfall (mm)||Mean temperature (( 0) C)||Sunshine (hours)|
The following table shows the rainfall in Ely, and mean temperature and hours of sunshine in Denver, for each year from 1986 to 2005. These data are from individual Met Office monitoring stations. Denver is about 21 km from Ely. It is the closest station to Ely for which 20 years of temperature and sunshine data are available.
|Ely, Hervey Close||Denver|
|Rainfall (mm)||Mean temperature (( 0) C)||Sunshine (hours)|
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|