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Mr. Letwin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he expects the regulations to give effect in UK law to the EU Sludge (Use in Agriculture) Regulations to be enacted by the end of April. 
Ian Pearson: The Sludge (Use in Agriculture) Regulations came into force in 1989. We have consulted on proposed revisions and are currently considering views from stakeholders before deciding on how best to proceed. The European Commission is also considering plans to issue proposals to revise the Sewage Sludge Directive which could impact on any future regulatory needs.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many outstanding single farm payments were due to farmers in (a) England, (b) the North West and (c) Chorley constituency in each month since January 2005. 
Barry Gardiner: From the end of March 2006 onwards the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) published regular updates of the number of customers and the amounts of subsidy that had been paid under the 2005 single payments scheme. The information in the following table is taken from these updates. The total number of applications was about 120,000 but the number of eligible claims varies as claims are checked so it is not possible to give a definitive number for outstanding claims.
|Payments under the single payments scheme 2005 (England) by the Rural Payments Agency|
|As at 2006:||Number of customers paid in full or part||Amount paid (£ million)|
On 6 December, the RPA estimated that 99.22 per cent. of customers had been paid in full or part. 911 claimants were awaiting full payments. A further 2,184 claimants were waiting for a top up of a previous partial payment.
At the end of January 2007, the RPA estimated that there were 194 single payment scheme claimants that had not received any payment. Seventy of these cases were pending the resolution of issues such as probate. The remainder were potentially eligible to be paid and were being processed.
Detailed analysis of the payments made under the 2005 single payment scheme is not yet available. Once the remaining 2005 scheme payments have been completed, a decision will be taken on the level of detail that will be published.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many representations he has received from individuals in Chorley constituency on incorrect farm payments in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Jamie Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the risk of (a) poultry imports, (b) egg imports and (c) other relevant imports in spreading the H5N1 virus; and if he will make a statement. 
Qualitative risk assessments (QRAs) are produced regularly by the International Animal Health Division (IAHD) on the risks associated with the importation of poultry, hatching eggs, poultry products and shell egg including other possible pathways since the outbreak of H5N1 in Asia in 2004. In addition, the risks associated with wild birds have also been addressed. The latest QRA was an update of The HPAI H5N1 situation in Europe and potential risk factors for the introduction of the virus to the United Kingdom.
Test results have revealed that the strain of the virus found in the turkeys in Suffolk is a 99.96 per cent. match to the strain found in Hungary. In addition, information from the laboratories has revealed that the transmission of the virus is most likely to be poultry to poultry. This makes transmission direct from Hungary more likely, rather than from wild birds.
We are continuing to investigate all pathways for transmission including the movement of poultry, poultry products and vehicles between Suffolk and Hungary. However, it should be recognised that we may never be able to establish exactly how the virus arrived in Suffolk and infected the turkeys.
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of food served in buildings occupied by his Department was of British origin in (a) 2005 and (b) 2006. 
Colin Challen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what method of calculation his Department uses to relate its 60 per cent. cut in UK carbon emissions target by 2050 to its aim to contain a temperature rise to two degrees Celsius. 
Ian Pearson [holding answer 8 February 2007]: There is no simple relationship between the EUs long-term stabilisation goal and the pathways required to get there. The EU has noted that to avoid temperatures rising higher than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, global greenhouse gas emissions need to fall by between 15 and 50 per cent. with reductions in developed countries of between 60 and 80 per cent. The UKs target of a 60 per cent. reduction in carbon dioxide emissions is consistent with this approach. However, we recognise that we will need to keep this goal under review in the light of emerging scientific evidence and other developments.
Barry Gardiner: Issues affecting the dairy industry are discussed regularly by Ministers and officials. Some of these meetings are specifically about dairy issues, for example the Dairy Supply Chain Forum, which last met on 6 February.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State recently attended a meeting of the board of Dairy UK, and my noble Friend the Lord Rooker recently met representatives from First Milk. Dairy issues are also raised during more general meetings, for example with farming representatives or retailers.
Barry Gardiner: Most of the challenges facing the dairy industry are for the industry itself to address. There are positive signs that some of these challenges are being addressed through increased efficiency, increased innovation, the introduction of new branded products and structural changes.
DEFRA will continue to facilitate the Dairy Supply Chain Forum, which provides a framework for constructive debate, gives leadership to the sector and helps improve the evidence base. Through the Dairy Supply Chain Forum, DEFRA will work in partnership with the industry to reduce the environmental impact of dairy production and consumption. A Dairy Supply Chain Forum taskforce will also be set up to consider further reform of the Common Agricultural Policy.
Barry Gardiner: Food from Britain is the market development consultancy for British food and drink, funded by the Government and industry. It does a considerable amount of work to maximise exports of food and drink produced or processed in the UK, including dairy products. There are also opportunities for individual companies to explore.
Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 8 January 2007, Official Report, column 271W, on departmental property, if his Department will discuss with Guildford borough council placing tree protection orders on the trees on the Guildford site where the trees border Merrow Downs, nearby homes and the allotments. 
Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 8 January 2007, Official Report, column 271W, on departmental property, what (a) environmental and (b) biodiversity considerations are taken into account when his Department disposes of surplus land and buildings. 
A range of site-specific issues are addressed including environmental and bio-diversity matters and are considered in discussion with the local planning department at Guildford borough council, in accordance with local, regional, national and European policies.
Barry Gardiner: The Davidson Review reported on the implementation of EU legislation in the UK in November 2006. It concluded, following a public call for evidence, that over-implementation (including gold-plating) of EU legislation may not be as widespread as is sometimes claimed. The review did investigate three DEFRA areaswaste, fisheries legislation and the herd register for bovine animalswhere concerns had been raised of potential over-implementation. The review made specific simplification recommendations for DEFRA in these areas which are being delivered through our simplification plan.
The review also made best practice recommendations for the implementation of European legislation which the Government have accepted in full. Some reflected DEFRAs focus on risk-based policy making; its use of programme and project management in negotiating and implementing EU legislation; and its engagement in European legal networks such as the network of environmental lawyersNEELset up by DEFRA during the UK Presidency.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department (a) has taken and (b) plans to take to ensure that it and related bodies are in compliance with the gender equality duty in the Equality Act 2006 by the April 2007 deadline. 
Barry Gardiner: The Department has developed a joint equality scheme to address the requirements of equalities legislation. This scheme currently addresses the requirements of both disability and race legislation. The Department is currently working on incorporating the new gender equality duties into its joint equality scheme for publication by 30 April 2007.
The scheme covers core-DEFRA and those of its Executive Agencies who have elected to be included. Other Executive Agencies and non departmental public bodies (NDPBs) subject to the duty to produce an equality scheme are developing their own independent Schemes. NDPBs are set up by statute and are independent of the Department. Although DEFRA provides guidance and advice on equality legislation it does not hold direct responsibility for them in meeting the requirements of the forthcoming duty.
In addressing the forthcoming gender equality duties, DEFRA will continue to place a requirement upon all its business areas to carry out equality impact assessments on its policies, processes and services. Where gender impacts are identified through the initial screening process, a full assessment will then be undertaken.
DEFRA already has established policies to address unlawful discrimination, bullying and harassment within the Department together with an equal opportunities policy that covers actions to promote equality between men and women.
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