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2 Feb 2007 : Column 610W—continued

Herd owners can utilise their routine tuberculosis surveillance tests paid for by the Government as pre-movement tests if animals are moved within 60 days after that test.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many farmers have refused to co-operate in either pre-movement testing or the regular bovine tuberculosis test. [117987]

Mr. Bradshaw: Bovine TB controls, including TB testing, are statutory under European and domestic legislation. Cattle owners have a legal obligation to present their animals for testing in compliance with these provisions.

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In England, over 85 per cent. of eligible reported cattle movements are currently compliant with pre-movement testing rules.

As at the end of November 2006, which is the most up to date figure available, 3,091 herds were overdue a bovine tuberculosis test, and had been placed under restriction. A small proportion of these would be cases where a farmer was refusing to allow a test to be carried out.


Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the cost of BSE to the economy was in each year since the disease was identified. [118313]

Mr. Bradshaw: A full response to the hon. Member’s question could by provided only at disproportionate cost due to the large number of complex factors involved.

However, an economic impact survey is available in the report of the inquiry into the emergence and identification of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD). This covers the period from when the disease was first discovered up to 20 March 1996. Copies are available in the Libraries of the House.

Dog Breeders

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his definition is of a professional dog breeder in relation to EC Council Regulations 1/2005. [117579]

Mr. Bradshaw: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 17 January 2007, Official Report, column 1126-27W.

Energy Crops

Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much of the wood fuel intake for the (a) Middlesbrough and (b) Lockerbie biomass energy plants is sourced from (i) existing woodlands and (ii) dedicated sources of energy crops; and what forecast he has made of trends in such sourcing over the next 10 years. [117698]

Ian Pearson: Both the Teesside and Lockerbie biomass energy plants are still under construction. Both are in receipt of grant funding from the Big Lottery under the Bioenergy Capital Grants Scheme. The grants do not require that a specific amount of feedstock should be sourced from existing woodland, but there is a requirement that the fuel supply includes a minimum proportion of energy crops.

In his statement on 12 December 2006, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State (David Miliband) confirmed the Government’s intention to continue to support energy crop planting under the next Rural Development Programme for England (2007-13). This is also the case for Scotland.

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Forestry Commission England intend to publish a woodfuel strategy which will address the issue of increasing woodfuel available from existing woodlands. In Scotland the Scottish Executive is about to publish its biomass action plan and this will lay out its proposals for developing the bioenergy sector in Scotland. Long-term availability of biomass will also be considered in the UK biomass strategy which the Government intend to publish before May 2007.

Officials from Defra and the Forestry Commission hold regular discussions with those involved with feedstock procurement for these projects.

EU Waste Incineration Directive

Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions were held by (a) officials from his Department and its predecessors and (b) Environment Agency officials with (i) EU Commission officials and (ii) outside bodies in connection with the adoption of the EU Waste Incineration Directive prior to the adoption of the directive on 4 December 2000. [118398]

Mr. Bradshaw: Since the European Commission’s initial soundings on its first working paper in February 1994, officials from the former Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR) consulted fully, and at all stages, officials from the former Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, other interested Government departments and agencies on the negotiation of the Waste Incineration Directive (WID).

The Environment Agency was established by the 1995 Environment Act and became fully operational on 1 April 1996.

The implementation of the WID was discussed by officials at an EU level and copies of the proposed Directive and cost-benefit analyses commissioned by the DETR were distributed for comment to a range of other bodies, including trade representative organisations and associations. Trade representative organisations were also invited to meetings with DETR officials in April 1994, September 1997 and October 1998 to discuss the proposed directive.

GM Crops

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from which countries which grow genetically-manufactured crops the UK imports food. [117990]

Ian Pearson: The main genetically modified (GM) crop producing countries are the USA, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, India, China, Paraguay and South Africa. The UK imports food from all of these countries.

Greenhouse Gases

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of the UK’s output of greenhouse gases is accounted for by farm animals. [110495]

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Ian Pearson: Total direct greenhouse gas emissions arising from the UK livestock sector (sheep, pigs, bovines and poultry) were 4.5 per cent. of the UK total emissions or 8.07 million tonnes of carbon equivalent (MtCe) in 2005. This was made up of: 5.03 MtCe of methane (of which 86 per cent. was from enteric fermentation in the animals digestive systems and about 14 per cent. from manure management); 0.96 MtCe of nitrous oxide emission from manure management; and 2.08 MtCe of nitrous oxide emissions from grazing and crop production for livestock feed.

Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control

John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress has been made on the Government’s review of the cost of Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Inspection; if he will waive Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control charges until the Government have completed its review; and if he will make a statement. [117582]

Mr. Bradshaw: My noble friend the Lord Rooker recently met representatives of the intensive livestock rearing industry to discuss permit charges and, in particular, how annual charges might be reduced through streamlined approaches to inspection. The Environment Agency (EA) and the National Farmers’ Union are currently considering options including what greater use might be made of assurance scheme visits.

The Pollution Prevention and Control (England and Wales) Regulations 2000 require permit applications to be accompanied by the prescribed fee. The EA must seek to recover its full costs in accordance with HM Treasury guidance. The EA will review the costs when the majority of the applications has been assessed and the full extent of the work is known.


Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to consider the introduction of organic selenium into the diet of cows to reduce the impact of mastitis. [117988]

Mr. Bradshaw: It is known that areas of the United Kingdom have mineral deficient soil and that deficiencies of selenium occur in farmed animals. Mineral supplements for cattle can therefore be desirable to help alleviate this where it occurs.

We remain open minded about the possibility of a nutritional link between selenium deficiency and mastitis. The use of selenium supplements in any particular herd should be based on veterinary advice or expert advice from a nutritionist, as selenium can be toxic in excess and has a narrow safety margin. Organic standards allow the inclusion of trace element salts into the diet and in some cases allow trace element treatments within an animal health plan.

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Mr. Leech: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what assessment his Department has made of the potential role of reusable nappies in limiting the amount of household waste which is sent to landfill; [112565]

(2) what steps his Department is taking to promote the use of reusable nappies; [112566]

(3) what recent discussions his Department has had with (a) the Waste and Resources Action Programme and (b) other organisations on promoting the use of real nappies. [112588]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Defra-funded Waste and Resources Action Programme’s (WRAP) Real Nappy Campaign was established to promote the use of reusable nappies. The three year campaign has succeeded in diverting approximately 23,000 tonnes of biodegradable nappy waste from landfill in England.

Reusable nappies may reduce demands on landfill but they still impact on the environment in other ways, such as the water and energy used in washing and drying them. In May 2005, the Environment Agency (EA) published a report entitled “A Life Cycle Assessment of disposable and reusable nappies in the UK”. The report concluded that there was no significant difference between any of the environmental impacts of the disposable, home use reusable and commercial laundry systems that were assessed. None of the systems studied were more or less environmentally preferable.

The EA has commissioned a modest amount of further work to test the validity of some of the assumptions on which these conclusions were based.

WRAP intends to hand over the work on real nappies to other interested parties during the course of this financial year.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his assessment is of the success of Waste Resources Action Plan’s Real Nappy Campaign; how much funding was received by the Real Nappy Campaign in each year since 2003; and how much funding will be made available in the financial year 2007-08. [117590]

Mr. Bradshaw: The target of the Waste and Resources Action Programme’s (WRAP) Real Nappy Programme, set out in their Business Plan 2003-06, was to divert a total of 35,000 tonnes of disposable nappy waste from landfill.

WRAP’s Achievements Report, published on 4 October 2006, states that the programme diverted approximately 23,000 tonnes of biodegradable nappy waste from landfill in England.

The Real Nappy Programme budget for the April 2003 to March 2006 period was £2.3 million, with some funding continuing in 2006-07 to allow WRAP to meet existing commitments. No further funding is planned over 2007-08.

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Public Bodies: Animal Welfare

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which of his Department’s advisory non-departmental public bodies are directly or indirectly connected with animal health and welfare; whether an animal welfare specialist is represented on each; and if he will make a statement. [117674]

Mr. Bradshaw: The information requested is set out in the following table.

Non-departmental public body Animal welfare specialist?

Farm Animal Welfare Council


Animal Health and Welfare Strategy England Implementation Group (EIG)


Independent Scientific Group on TB in Cattle

No animal welfare specialist but members have related experience in differing fields including wildlife diseases/badger ecology

Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee (SEAC)

No animal welfare specialist but deputy chair is a practicing vet

Veterinary Products Committee

No animal welfare specialist but members are experienced in various fields including veterinary surgeons and toxicologists

Veterinary Residues Committee

The Committee’s terms of reference do not cover animal welfare


Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he expects the rapid analysis and detection of animal-related risks (RADAR) to be complete; and how RADAR relates to the veterinary surveillance system. [117989]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Rapid Analysis and Detection of Animal-related Risks (RADAR) system allows for key surveillance information about animal diseases and conditions to be collected in a structured and consistent manner. It is the technical agent for assisting in delivering the UK Veterinary Surveillance Strategy.

RADAR also contains current, accurate information about the number and location of animals. This allows for a better understanding of animal disease in the UK and the risks posed by them, helping to control animal related disease.

RADAR is being developed and released in phases between now and 2013. The first release happened in March 2005 and made information available on the Great Britain cattle population and cases of salmonella. Information on the Great Britain poultry population has been added subsequently.

RADAR is now operational and further enhancements are being developed. The next update will enable information on sheep, pig, deer and goat movements to be incorporated into the system.

Surveillance reports have already been produced using RADAR and a number of these are available on the Defra website.

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Mr. Leech: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which recycling plants abroad have been visited by his officials in the last 18 months; and at what cost to his Department. [112567]

Mr. Bradshaw: Defra assisted the British embassy in Berne in coordinating a delegation for an outward three-day visit to Switzerland, under the UK Trade and Investment Programme, for 10 key English local authorities. The visit, which was attended by two Defra officials, incorporated a range of formal presentations and meetings with Swiss politicians and waste industry representatives as well as site visits to two recycling plants.

The aim of the visit was to learn about Swiss best practice in waste prevention, collection and recycling processing, in addition to bringing together key authorities to assist in their own waste infrastructure development.

Delegates included local authority officers and councillors from Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Greater London, Hertfordshire, Tyneside, Northamptonshire and Suffolk. The total cost to the Department for officials was, £1245.

Officials have also visited a recycling plant at a Danish deposit/return system. However, this was part of a wider ministerial visit to learn about waste management in Denmark generally, rather than an official trip.

Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what action he is taking with retail operators to encourage the recycling of plastic carrier bags; [117693]

(2) what steps his Department is taking to encourage greater use of biodegradable and recyclable materials in the use of carrier bags for supermarkets. [117694]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Environment Agency is currently carrying out a study considering the environmental impacts of a range of carrier bags, including disposable plastic carrier bags and biodegradable alternatives. The study will look at their entire life-cycle (from raw material extraction through to product manufacture, use and final disposal) and is due to report by the end of March this year. The evidence so far suggests there would be no benefit in reducing the number of plastic bags in use if this encourages the use of alternative packaging or materials which are even more environmentally damaging.

The National Non-Food Crops Centre has also started work on life cycle analysis comparison of plastic, oxodegradable and biodegradable bags. Again, this will be available by March 2007. They have established a thematic working group on biopolymers which aims to promote and facilitate the expansion of this sector. Biopolymers are derived from renewable sources and can be used in a range of products, including bags, which helps to develop a sustainable supply chain.

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