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Mr. Bradshaw: The Waste and Resources Action Programme runs school visits and events which encourage children to think about how waste is managed. Over 6,800 schools have registered under the Eco-Schools programme, and waste is often taught as part of wider sustainable development issues under the national curriculum.
Mrs. Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the Local Government Associations proposal on permitting local authorities to provide incentives for residents who assist in raising recycling performance. 
Mr. Bradshaw: We have sympathy with local councils request for more freedom to use incentives to encourage recycling. Where such schemes exist in other countries, recycling has increased and overall waste fallen, leading to a double environmental and cost benefit to householders.
Barry Gardiner: DEFRA sponsors British Waterways, the Environment Agency and the Broads Authority. I look to them to manage and maintain their waterways in a safe, modern, integrated manner that delivers the wider public benefit such as regeneration, in a fully sustainable way within the resources available.
All the major retailers and several major brands have agreed to a Government request to reduce the amount of packaging in the first place, designing out packaging growth by 2008 and deliver absolute reductions in packaging by March 2010.
17. Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps the Government are taking to ensure that new schools, hospitals and other public buildings meet high standards of energy efficiency. 
Ian Pearson: The Government have put in place a combination of challenging targets and minimum standards to ensure that new public buildings are energy efficient and make a long term contribution to lower carbon emissions.
18. Barbara Keeley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Local Government Association on support for measures to improve waste management at the local level, with particular reference to recycling. 
Mr. Bradshaw: My officials and I meet regularly with the Local Government Association. Increased recycling is a goal we share and are working on together. The household waste recycling rate has quadrupled since 1997 and further measures to increase recycling will be announced in our new waste strategy shortly.
Barry Gardiner: The future business prospects for farming will reflect the interaction of the key drivers (both long-term and short-term) which have shaped the present position. Projections of total income from farming which reflects the income to all UK farms, were published in Agriculture in the UK in March of this year.
20. Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he next expects to meet representatives of local drainage boards to discuss flood and sea defences. 
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on how many days in the last 12 months air pollution levels recorded on Neasden Lane exceeded (a) moderate, (b) high and (c) very high; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Air quality at Neasden Lane is monitored for two air pollutants: nitrogen dioxide and PM10 particulate matter. Provisional data from the London Air Quality Network indicate that monitored levels of nitrogen dioxide at this location did not exceed moderate levels at any time between 1 May 2006 and 1 May 2007. Monitored levels of PM10 particulate matter during this period fell within the moderate range of air quality for 90 days, within the high range of air quality for 44 days and within the very high range of air quality for 80 days.
Neasden Lane has uniquely high levels of observed PM10 particulates for a London air quality monitoring site due to the influence of a single local source of emissions: the waste transfer site at the nearby Neasden Goods Depot. In the past, DEFRA has assisted Brent council in funding a detailed assessment of air pollution in this area, which attributed the elevated PM10 levels to these waste operations.
(i) regular inspection of the waste transfer facility;
(ii) monitoring of air quality within the depot's vicinity;
(iii) designing and implementing mitigation measures in conjunction with the site operators to reduce dust and particulate emissions; and
(iv) ensuring that the site operators are operating within permitted limits, requiring them to take specific actions when appropriate.
Improvements made as part of this process include the installation at the depot of dust suppression systems and improvements to drainage and surfacing of the site, to reduce dust and particulate formation.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the (a) provenance and (b) contents were of the feed given to the turkey poults infected with the H5N1 virus at the Bernard Matthews plant at Holton during the months of January and February 2007. 
Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 25 April 2007]: DEFRA does not hold information on the precise provenance and contents of the feed given to the turkey poults infected with the H5N1 virus at the Bernard Matthews plant at Holton during the months of January and February 2007.
However, the feed mill that produced the feed is approved under the Universal Feed Assurance Scheme. An investigation of the premises found it to be maintained to a very high standard. The whole storage and manufacturing process is inaccessible to wild birds. The feedstuffs produced at the mill comprise only ingredients from UK sources. The main component of the feedstuff produced is pelleted feed in a computer controlled operation which includes a heating process to at least 80°C. Whole wheat grains are added to the pellets making up to 30 per cent. of the final ration. Before inclusion the wheat goes through a spraying process with a proprietary solution (Anitox Monoprene F Liquid) containing ammonium salts of propionic and butyric acids, propionic acid and formaldehyde.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research he has examined on whether avian influenza H5N1 is transmissible through the carcasses of infected poultry. 
Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 14 May 2007]: I assume the hon. Member is referring to biosecurity lapses in terms of animal health. Such lapses are dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Due to the fact that several different pieces of legislation cover biosecurity issues, and the diverse nature of the premises and holdings covered, it would be inappropriate to implement a single, indiscriminate classification system for biosecurity lapses.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 28 April 2007, Off icial Report, column 1230W, on bovine tuberculosis, what steps he is taking
to increase the speed with which results of tests to determine the presence of bovine TB in cattle are conveyed to the owner. 
Skin test results are already provided to the farmer on the day the test results are collected. Gamma-interferon blood tests require samples to be sent to the Veterinary Laboratory Agency (VLA) for processing. Since the roll-out of this method in October 2006, the average turnaround time from receipt of the sample to issuing a result by email to the submitting Animal Health Divisional Office (AHDO) has been 2.01 working days. It would be impossible for the VLA to complete this any quicker as it is an overnight assay.
Animal Health try to contact the herd owner the day they receive the results from the VLA. If this is not possible, the herd owner would be contacted the following day. Dependent upon the circumstances, AHDOs call or write to the herd owner to explain the results.
Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how many bovine tuberculin skin tests were carried out by lay testers in each year between 2004 and 2007; 
|Bovine tuberculin skin tests carried out by lay testers||Trainee lay testers||Trainees that performed testing||Certified after training to perform unsupervised testing|
|(1) To date|
During training, lay testers only perform tests under the supervision of a qualified vet. After training, lay testers perform the tests but qualified vets interpret the results to determine a diagnosis of the tested animals.
Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether cattle tested for tuberculosis by a lay tester would have the necessary clearance for live export from the UK. 
[holding answer 15 May 2007]: European Council Directive 64/432/EEC requires cattle more than six weeks old to have reacted negatively to an intradermal tuberculin test carried out during the 30 days prior to export. Although technical staff employed by Animal Health have been recognised as approved tuberculosis testers, lay testers are not used for pre-export testing of cattle for tuberculosis (TB).
This is in accordance with the Veterinary Surgery (Testing for TB in Bovines) Order 2005, and there are no plans to change this policy.
Kitty Ussher: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what guidance his Department publishes on the contribution that the behaviour of individuals is capable of making to the reduction of carbon emissions from homes. 
Ian Pearson: DEFRA and other public sector organisations are running a number of climate-change communications activities to stimulate action by individuals. These include campaigns to address household energy efficiency, such as the Energy Saving Trusts Commit to save your 20 per cent., and DEFRAs guide to greener living.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what guidance he has provided to other Departments and agencies on the establishment of environmentally sustainable strategies for the Government estate in relation to (a) new buildings, (b) retrofitting existing buildings, (c) water use, (d) land use and (e) transport arrangements. 
Government guidance on public sector construction and property asset management includes sustainable development considerations. Both OGC's High Performing Property programme and Common Minimum Standards for the Built Environment documents reflect Government's environmental and sustainable development targets and standards. Departments are also mandated to work with the Carbon Trust, using their carbon management programme.
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