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(2) what use is made of the data obtained from the bovine TB disease report form; and if he will list the notices, reports and other documents that have been collected as a result of the process. 
When cattle react positively to a TB test, or TB is detected in a carcase or animal, an investigation is initiated into the circumstances of the incident. Information is collected to establish, whenever possible, the origin of infection.
The DRF is used to capture on-farm information, and collate results from the incident. The collection of data and the epidemiological section are used to consider the possible origins of infection and potential risks of further disease spread, set up lists of animals to be traced and identify which neighbouring premises require additional testing.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what data from the bovine TB disease report form is entered into the electronic data retrieval system; how many forms are held by (a) the State Veterinary Service and (b) his Department; for how long are they retained; and what average time is taken for a veterinary officer to complete a form. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The information in the TB Disease Report Form (DRF) is collated and used by local State Veterinary Service (SVS) Officers to manage TB incidents. At the present time, the majority of the information captured is not normally entered onto an electronic database. However, such information may be routinely captured by other means as part of normal SVS business. The SVS are currently updating their information technology (IT) systems and plan to capture such information electronically in the future.
Information relating to neighbouring farms and cattle movements is used by the SVS to identify cattle at risk of spreading TB. This information is entered into IT systems to trigger TB testing for neighbouring animals or herds. Information such as TB testing results and post-mortem results are taken from other IT systems and added to the DRF.
SVS staff are instructed to initiate a DRF for each TB incident. Between the beginning of 2005 and the end of 2006 there were 7,103 new TB incidents. Records are held by the SVS, not the core Department. DRFs are retained for up to 25 years.
SVS staff initially complete parts of the DRF with the farmer involved, then complete it later at the local office; this can take, in total, between three and four hours. The DRF is subsequently updated with case-related results as required.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent representations have been received by his Department from (a) farmers and (b) landowners seeking licences to cull badgers infected with bovine TB. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Natural England has received three applications in the last 12 months under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 section 10(2)(a) for the purpose of preventing the spread of bovine tuberculosis (bTB). These applications resulted in the issue of one licence, which was to permit an animal hospital to euthanase rescued badgers testing positive to bTB. Of the two remaining applications, both from farmers, one application, which was seeking to interfere with a badger sett, was refused after due consideration, while the other application has been placed on hold.
Most TB applications would currently be placed on hold while scientific evidence base is being assessed and organisational questions around possible badger culling are addressed. However, there may be exceptions, for example, applications to euthanase captive badgers testing positive to bTB will still be processed.
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many cattle have been (a) seized and (b) slaughtered due to inadequate identification in the past 12 months. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Between 23 March 2006 and 23 March 2007, 875 cattle were slaughtered under provisions within the Cattle Identification Regulations on 11 separate occasions. One of these compulsory slaughters accounts for 567 of these animals.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to Clause 4.8 of the draft Climate Change Bill, by what mechanisms he expects to put into law the climate change framework to drive innovation among domestic firms for low carbon solutions. 
Ian Pearson: Paragraph 4.8 of the consultation document on the draft Climate Change Bill refers to provisions aimed at driving innovation among domestic firms. The Bill provides a clear, credible and (crucially) a long-term legal framework for reducing emissions. This will provide greater certainty and confidence for businesses to be able to plan and make the long term investment decisions needed to drive innovation and to deliver the changes needed to move to a low carbon economy.
Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much his Department provided in grants for projects in the London borough of Bexley in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Bradshaw: In addition to funding given under the Environmental, Protective and Cultural Services (EPOS) block of Government grant, the London borough of Bexley has also been awarded other grants for waste management as follows:
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Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research his Department has undertaken on the use of thermal depolymerisation as a process for recycling hazardous medical and sewage waste into fuel. 
Mr. Bradshaw: We recognise that the European Convention has been an important catalyst in raising animal welfare standards. The introduction of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 in England and Wales, as well as the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006, means that our laws are now consistent with the principles set out in the convention. Nevertheless, there are aspirations in the convention, in particular the resolution on breed standards, which may not necessarily be the most effective way of promoting welfare.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to his answer of 16 January 2007, Official Report, column 979W, on rats, if he will break down the rat population in England by (a) region and (b) local authority area as indicated by the English House Condition Survey 2001. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The data on rodent infestation in domestic dwellings as revealed by the English House Condition Survey (EHCS) 2001 are broken down by region in the report Rodent infestations in domestic properties in England, 2001.
My Department does not have data on the rat population broken down by local authority. The EHCS data only provides an estimate of the proportion of dwellings with rat infestations inside or outside. It does not provide definitive data on numbers of rats.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent steps his Department has taken to counteract pollution caused by unauthorised chemical waste dumping; what recent assessment he has made of the extent of such dumping; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: There are strict controls on the management and disposal of all wastes, including waste chemicals, and producers of waste have a duty to ensure that it is lawfully managed. Section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 makes it an offence to illegally dispose of waste and carries a maximum penalty of an unlimited fine, or five years imprisonment, or both. The Government have been developing and implementing its waste crime strategy for a number of years now. We will continue to do so as I believe that all forms of illegal waste disposal need to be prevented as far as possible. Where they do happen, incidents and offenders must be dealt with promptly and efficiently by the enforcing authorities.
The Environment Agency (EA) has the leading role in the enforcement of waste regulation and works with local authorities to tackle the fly-tipping of waste. Over the last five years, the EA has been called out to 134 incidents involving organic and inorganic wastes which would include chemical wastes. In 2006, there was a small drop in the number of incidents compared to previous years. At incidents, the EA take action to ensure that wastes are cleared up to prevent harm to human health and the environment.
Flycapture, the national fly-tipping database, was set up in 2004 by Defra, the EA and the Local Government Association to record the number of fly-tipping incidents dealt with by the EA and local authorities. There are 15 categories of waste that are recorded on the database but none of these specifically record chemical wastes. However, one category records chemical drums, oil and fuel and, in 2005-06, there were 4,927 incidences recorded.
Dr. Whitehead: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what discussions he has had with relevant EU directorates concerning the adoption of the composting protocol by the Environment Agency; 
Mr. Bradshaw: The European Commission has been kept informed of the work undertaken by the Environment Agency (EA) and the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to develop an end of waste protocol for compost.
Officials from DEFRA and the EA attended a recent seminar by the Commission's Joint Research Centre in Seville to discuss Commission-funded research into a methodology for developing end of waste criteria at EU level.
The EA is a member of the DEFRA project board which is steering the UK input to the negotiations on the proposed revisions to the Waste Framework Directive, under which the Commission has proposed a mechanism to set end of waste criteria for the EU. These negotiations are still in progress. The EA's experience in developing end of waste criteria for compost and other materials should help provide valuable input to future EU discussions.
Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 5 March 2007, Official Report, column 1641W to the hon. Member for Meriden (Mrs. Spelman), on waste management, whether a local authority can unilaterally leave a joint waste authority of its own accord once it has voluntarily decided to join one. 
No. As stated in my previous answer of 5 March 2007, Official Report, column 1641W to the hon. Member for Meriden (Mrs. Spelman) the Secretary of State will only be able to dissolve a joint waste authority in two situations: (i) if he/she receives a
request to do so from all the appropriate local authorities; (ii) if he/she considers it necessary.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which foreign governments were represented at the recent meeting hosted by Japan to encourage more countries to support their position in the International Whaling Commission; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: All 72 members of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) were invited to a recent meeting in Tokyo, known as the Normalization meeting, organised by the Government of Japan. As far as my Department is aware, the following Governments attended the meeting:
Antigua and Barbuda
Peoples Republic of China
Republic of Guinea
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