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14 Jun 2007 : Column 1201Wcontinued
|Declining species but slowing|
Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his most recent policy is on payment of compensation to farmers whose cattle contract tuberculosis; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 11 June 2007]: Since 1 February 2006, compensation in England for bovine tuberculosis (TB) has been determined primarily using table values, which reflect the average sales price of bovine animals in 47 different categories. The categories are based on the animals age, gender, type (dairy or beef) and status (that is, pedigree or non-pedigree).
The Government are obliged to pay compensation for cattle that are culled as a result of TB. However, we believe that table valuations provide a fairer balance between the costs that are expected to be carried by the taxpayer and those that are expected to be carried by the farmer than was provided by the previous system of individual valuation.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to introduce lay testers for bovine tuberculosis following the recent pilot study. 
Mr. Bradshaw: We are considering how to introduce lay testing for bovine tuberculosis. However, final decisions have still to be taken on whether to proceed.
Details of the Animal Health pilot study have been circulated and discussed with interested parties. The pilot has demonstrated that lay staff can successfully be trained to carry out this work under veterinary supervision. However, we recognise that extending the principle of lay testing raises some important issues. These need to be fully explored with the veterinary profession and other interested parties before firm proposals can be developed.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the scientific rationale is for continuing to cull bovine spongiform encephalopathy cohort cattle. 
Mr. Bradshaw: A Veterinary Risk Assessment (VRA), published on 21 May 2007, concluded that culling cohorts of cattle affected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) as soon as possible:
(i) supports the Governments challenging target of eradicating BSE in Great Britain by 2010;
(ii) promotes consumer confidence in UK beef; and
(iii) avoids the need for expensive additional control measures to monitor cohorts.
The VRA is available on the DEFRA website.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the impact of the Irish Government's support for rationalisation of its dairy industry on the UK dairy industry. 
The Irish Government announced a dairy processing industry investment package in 2006. Following commercial and technical evaluation of the applications, the announcement of grant awards was made in April 2007. A total of 19 capital investment
projects were approved and awarded Government grant assistance of €114 million. Industry will fund an additional €172 million to generate an estimated capital spend of €286 million.
The UK Government have made no assessment of the impact on the UK dairy industry as the details of the proposals have only recently been announced. Proposals for research to assess the impact will be evaluated alongside competing proposals in line with Government's priorities. It is, of course, open to the UK dairy sector to fund its own research into the likely effects of the Irish dairy package so that it can respond appropriately.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what methodology is used by his Department to account for its carbon emissions. 
Barry Gardiner: The information requested is as follows.
1. Carbon emissions from buildings
Carbon emissions from buildings are calculated from total kilowatt hour energy use (electricity and fossil fuel) in all buildings on the estate. Conversion factors to convert kilowatt hours into tonnes carbon/carbon dioxide are provided by the Sustainable Development Commission in accordance with the requirements of the Sustainable Operations on the Government Estate (SOGE) return.
2. Carbon emissions from travel
Carbon emissions from official travel within DEFRA are calculated using engine size, total mileage and fuel type. Conversion factors to convert fuel type into tonnes carbon dioxide are provided by the Sustainable Development Commission in accordance with the requirements of the Sustainable Operations on the Government Estate (SOGE) return.
Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the planned date is for the closure of his Department's site at Epsom Road, Guildford. 
Barry Gardiner: The planned date for closure of the Epsom road, Guildford site is 30 December 2007.
Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans his Department has to ensure that its site at Epsom road, Guildford is replaced with a residential development that (a) is low or zero carbon and (b) meets high environmental standards. 
Barry Gardiner: The Department is conscious that any development scheme for which planning consent is submitted should comply with all available sustainable energy and environmental standards.
The Department confirms that the application for planning that is to be submitted is for residential property and as such will attract the relevant policy (SE2) within the Surrey structure plan relating to sustainable energy and the level three standard for sustainable homes as detailed by Department for Communities and Local Government.
Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions his Department and its representatives have had with Guildford borough council on placing tree protection orders on trees at the Departments site at Epsom road, Guildford. 
Barry Gardiner: The Department and its agent have had extensive discussions with Guildford borough councils Trees and Woodlands Officer. The officer is satisfied that there is no threat to the trees under the Departments planning proposal and no Tree Preservation Orders have been made.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many staff funded by the public purse in the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science are classified as people without posts. 
Barry Gardiner: No staff in CEFAS are classified as people without posts.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent estimate has been made of the value of his Departments property portfolio. 
Barry Gardiner: The most recent valuation of the Departments property portfolio was on 1 April 2005. The estimated total value at that date was £490,224,550.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much was spent on advertising by (a) his Department and (b) its agencies in each of the last five years. 
Barry Gardiner: From its inception in 2001 to 2003-04, the Department did not record separate advertising costs as part of its overall communications expenditure. The figures for key advertising campaigns from 2004-05 are as follows.
|Advertising campaign||Amount (£)|
The Department undertakes all of its advertising through the COIs rosters of advertising agencies.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 16 April 2007, Official Report, column 81W, on Domestic Wastes: Waste Management, whether a local authority within a group of authorities that has chosen to pass its waste collection functions to a joint
waste authority (JWA) will be able to leave the JWA unilaterally and take back responsibility for waste collection. 
Mr. Bradshaw: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 5 March, Official Report, column 1641W.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will place a copy of the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) 2005 guidance on alternate weekly collections in the Library. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The Waste and Resources Action Programmes (WRAP) 2005 guidance on alternate weekly collection of waste is currently being updated and has been withdrawn. Copies of the new guidance will be placed in the House Library as soon as it is available.
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