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7 Mar 2007 : Column 1988W—continued

We expect to spend £67 million this year through our bilateral programme. We are increasing our support because the DRC has 60 million people, almost all of whom are poor. In addition, progress in this vast country is essential for stability and poverty reduction in the whole of central Africa. Following successful elections, there is a real opportunity to sustain peace in DRC, although the new Government face enormous challenges. Our priority is to help them face these challenges and bring real improvements to the lives of poor people in DRC.

Departments: Energy

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what strategy he has put in place for (a) the use of renewable energy and (b) meeting energy targets in his Department’s buildings; and if he will make a statement. [125403]

Mr. Thomas: As from December 2006, 100 per cent. of electricity used in DFID’s UK buildings is supplied from renewable sources.

We have recently worked with the Carbon Trust to carry out independent energy audits of our buildings, which have concluded that they are “inherently energy efficient”. However, in order to reduce our energy consumption we are currently reviewing options such as the installation of solar thermal panels, wind turbines and combined heat and power units, in order to meet our commitment to the long-term targets for energy efficiency and carbon emissions, as set out in the revised sustainable operations targets for the Government Estate announced in June 2006.

Developing Countries: Diseases

Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what funding and resources have been allocated to tackle Yaws disease in developing countries. [125227]

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Mr. Thomas: The Global Yaws Control programme was launched by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 1948, in collaboration with United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). DFID's unearmarked core contributions of £12.5 million to the WHO and £19 million to UNICEF for the financial year of 2005-06, support the organisation's efforts to tackle Yaws disease.

DFID has not provided any specific funding or resources to tackle Yaws disease but is increasingly funding the broader health sector plans of developing countries through poverty reduction budget support and sector- wide programming. Such sector programmes will build capacity in health services to diagnose and treat all major causes of illness.

Currently DFID funds two programmes on neglected diseases-The Global Alliance to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GAELF) who will receive £2.5 million through to 2010 and The African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control (APOC) commonly known as river blindness, which has received £7.6 million to date.

DFID also supports research and development of drugs for neglected diseases through its £6.5 million support to Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDI) and £4.5 million to the Tropical Disease Research (TDR) special programme in the WHO for research into neglected tropical diseases.

Namibia: Overseas Aid

Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what technical assistance and training has been provided to Namibia as part of the country's land reform proposals. [125293]

Hilary Benn: In 2004-05, DFID provided £98,000 to support the permanent technical team (PTT) which was set up in 2003 by the Government of Namibia, reporting to the Cabinet Committee, to produce the National Land Reform Action Plan (NLRAP), which it did in mid-2004.

DFID funding was used to support three areas of the PTT's work:

The EC has also allocated €34 million for Rural Development, including Land Reform, in Namibia under the 9th European Development Fund (EDF9) which covers the period 2003-07. The UK share of this is 12.7 per cent.

Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assistance is given by his Department to support education programmes in Namibia; and whether any of those programmes are delivered in English. [125291]

Hilary Benn: DFID no longer has a bilateral programme in Namibia and so is not bilaterally supporting education programmes there. We are, however, doing so through the European Commission
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(EC) which has allocated €21 million during the period 2003-07 to support education through the ‘Namibia Education Sector Programme’ under the 9th European Development Fund (EDF9). €18 million of this is provided directly to the Government of Namibia as earmarked budget support. The remaining €3 million are allocated to building capacity and providing of technical assistance in the education sector. The UK share of EDF9 is 12.7 per cent.

As the EC’s ‘Namibia Education Sector programme’ provides direct funding to the education budget in Namibia, it is the Government of Namibia's education policies that determine the language of instruction in schools. This recommends the use of mother tongues as the medium of instruction from grades 1 to 3, with grade 4 as a transitional grade. English is used as the medium of instruction from grades 5 to 12.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Avian Influenza

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department is taking to help other countries to control avian influenza. [125238]

Mr. Bradshaw: As an international and EU reference laboratory for avian influenza, the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA) has responsibility for verifying other countries’ test results. The VLA takes a leading role in developing and defining standards and keeps abreast of the latest information. It has frequent discussions with its counterparts overseas and, as a result, is internationally recognised as a centre of excellence in veterinary research.

Since the H5N1 strain of the virus emerged in South East Asia four years ago, I have had discussions on a regular basis with ministerial counterparts in the EU. Ministers and officials have been actively involved in discussions and the provision of assistance, at an international level, on avian influenza. Examples of this include:

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Derek Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans there are to re-introduce the culling of badgers. [125535]

Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 6 March 2007]: The Government will only consider introducing a policy which would allow the culling of badgers to control and reduce bovine TB, if the available evidence suggests that it would be successful in the long term, and that a cost-effective, practical, sustainable and humane policy could be developed and implemented.

Over the last year, DEFRA has been discussing, with interested parties, the questions around how the TB reservoir in badgers could be addressed. My ministerial colleagues and I have been considering the scientific and organisational questions around badger culling. We will need to reach conclusions on these issues before a decision can be made.

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department is taking in response to the recent change in incidence of TB among the badger population. [124906]

Mr. Bradshaw: I am not aware of a recent upsurge in tuberculosis (TB) cases among the badger population. However, bovine TB is the most serious animal disease in this country at the moment and the main reservoir for the disease in wildlife is in badgers.

We continue to make progress with our research on vaccine development. We have started testing candidate vaccines in naturally infected cattle and badgers, as well as work on developing novel vaccine delivery systems, and we have committed to future funding of approximately £5.5 million per annum for this.

Nothing has been ruled in or out on the question of badger culling. We need to examine scientific and organisational questions about how the reservoir of the disease in the badger population can be addressed in a way which contains the disease rather than spreading it.

We also need to see cattle controls, including the recent extension of pre-movement testing to younger animals, as sensible precautions in and of themselves. Cattle controls have an important role to play in tackling this disease regardless of any decision on badger control.

Bernard Matthews

Derek Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the answer of 28 February 2007, Official Report, columns 1320-1W on Bernard Matthews, if he will bring forward amendments to the Animal Health Act 1981 to provide that the food producer is ultimately liable for the costs of any slaughter in the national interest. [125843]

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Mr. Bradshaw: The arrangements for animal health and welfare are currently under review.

The Government launched a consultation on ‘Responsibility and cost sharing for animal health and welfare: principles’ on 11 December 2006, seeking the views of the livestock industry, including businesses upstream and downstream, and consumer organisations.

A UK Responsibility and Cost Sharing Consultative Forum, made up of high-level UK industry representatives, was established in December 2006 to develop structures and mechanisms through which responsibilities and costs could be shared on animal health and welfare. In addition, DEFRA is working with other interested parties and consumers.

The intention is to introduce a Bill to allow the Government to extend coherent cost sharing principles across all animal health and welfare policies. This will provide the responsibility sharing needed to establish a new relationship with the livestock industry and to provide charging powers, such as individual charging or by establishing a levy mechanism for a group of individuals or an entire sector.

Dog Control Orders

Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he plans to take to ensure that local authorities introducing dog control orders adhere to his Department’s published guidelines of ‘proportionate and reasonable’ response to the need for controls. [125504]

Mr. Bradshaw: Although Dog Control Orders do not need confirmation by the Secretary of State, local authorities (LAs) can only introduce them after completing the procedure prescribed in the Dog Control Order (Procedures) Regulations 2006. The procedure includes a period of local consultation and notification in the local press. This gives dog owners and local residents the opportunity to make representations to the LA on the proposed controls. In our guidance to LAs on this issue, we have strongly advised them to consider any representations prior to making the orders. They should also provide details of alternative areas in the vicinity where owners can exercise their dogs. Failure to take into consideration the views of the local community could lead to the control order being challenged in the courts.

Officers authorised by secondary authorities must also complete a training course, approved by DEFRA, before they are able to issue fixed penalty notices for Dog Control Order offences.

Energy: Costs

Mr. Streeter: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the cost per kilowatt hour is of (a) tidal and wave power and (b) nuclear power; and if he will make a statement. [125261]

Malcolm Wicks: I have been asked to reply.

The results of modelling of the relative electricity generating costs of different technologies undertaken as part of the Energy Review can be seen at:

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The results of the modelling assume the cost of new nuclear power generation to be around £38/MWh, as a central case. The modelling also considered a high case of £44/MWh and a low case of £30/MWh.

The purpose of the modelling was to provide estimates of the relative cost of electricity generation technologies under different scenarios and assumptions to inform policy analysis. The estimates therefore do not represent the government view on the relative costs of the technologies.

The modelling carried out for the Energy Review did not consider the costs of emerging wave and tidal technologies.

However, the results of the Carbon Trust’s “Marine Energy Challenge” research programme show the lowest-cost offshore wave energy converters to be in a range from £120/MWh to £440/MWh, with central estimates in the sub-range of £220/MWh to £250/MWh.

Energy from initial tidal-stream farms was predicted to cost between £90/MWh and £180/MWh, with central estimates in the sub-range £120/MWh to £150/MWh.

The full Marine Energy Challenge report can be seen at:

The other form of tidal power is tidal impoundment that is the application of mature and well understood technology. This type of scheme was previously studied during the 1980’s at a number of potential sites, the largest being in the Severn Estuary. The results of the Severn study were reported in Energy Paper 57 HMSO 1989 (ISBN 0 11 412952 5). The unit cost of generation for the Severn scheme was estimated to be £75/MWh based upon 1994 prices.

Farms: Crime

Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many crimes were reported on farms in England and Wales in each year since 1997, broken down by (a) type of crime and (b) county; and if he will make a statement. [123537]

Barry Gardiner: The information requested is not available.

Low Carbon Buildings Programme

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much Government funding has been allocated for the low carbon buildings programme during the next five years. [123760]

Malcolm Wicks: I have been asked to reply.

The low carbon buildings programme phase 1 and 2 has been allocated £80 million over the next three years to March 2009. There are no plans to increase the budget.

Pollution Control: Incinerators

Dr. Whitehead: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will issue guidance on the application of the Waste Incineration
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Directive (WID) to the conversion of a proportion of the burners in a power station to WID compliance with the purpose of burning refuse-derived fuel in those burners only. [124650]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Waste Incineration Directive (WID) applies to incineration and co-incineration plants and includes those where waste is used as a fuel or is disposed of at a plant where energy generation or production is the main purpose. The WID, therefore, only requires an operator to upgrade those facilities at a power station in which waste is handled to WID standards.

The third edition of DEFRA’s guidance on the application of the Directive on the incineration of waste was published in June 2006. We do not intend to provide specific guidance on the conversion of power station burners to burn only refuse-derived fuel. However, the Environment Agency will be happy to discuss the details with any operator wishing to undertake such a conversion.

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