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Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what steps the Government take to ensure that the production of foie gras in England does not contravene UK animal welfare laws; 
Mr. Bradshaw: Foie gras is not produced in the UK and this Government have made their view very clear that the production of foie gras using force feeding gives rise to serious welfare concerns. If any production were to occur, Animal Health would be asked to investigate and advise on any contravention of UK animal welfare laws. The UK has the highest animal welfare standards we have ever had and they are among the highest in the world. This Government have been at the forefront of implementing higher standards domestically, and have been active on a European and international level in trying to improve standards.
The free movement of goods is a well established principle in Community law and is enshrined in Part III, Title I of the Treaty Establishing the European Community (TEC). A unilateral ban by the UK on the import or sale of foie gras would contravene the provisions of the TEC and would be highly likely to result in proceedings being brought against the UK before the European Court of Justice.
In addition, even if the Community law obstacles to introducing a restriction could be overcome, which is unlikely, the World Trade Organisation rules do not allow us to ban imports on the grounds of the welfare standards applying in third countries. Ultimately, the most effective action that can be taken is for individuals not to buy foie gras, if they dislike the way it is produced.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many full-time equivalent staff were employed in the
Departments Genetic Modification Inspectorate in each of the last five years. 
Ian Pearson: DEFRAs GM Inspectorate is based at the Central Science Laboratory in York. Details of full-time equivalent staff employed in the GM Inspectorate in each of the last five years are given as follows.
Lorely Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the availability of Warm Front grants in (a) England and (b) Solihull; and how many people took up those grants in each area in the last period for which figures are available. 
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how Warm Front has drawn up its pricing structure for the installations of new boilers and central heating systems; and whether his Department was (a) consulted or (b) involved in other ways in the development of the structure. 
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Mr. Arbuthnot: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the impact of heavy goods vehicle traffic on (a) air quality management areas, (b) special protection areas, (c) sites of special scientific interest and (d) sites of importance for nature conservation. 
Local air quality assessments include a basic screening process to determine vehicles impact on air quality. Typically, this considers traffic as consisting only of light and heavy duty vehicle types, assigning average levels of emissions to each of these in order to model their air quality impact on the surrounding area. Although this method does not apportion a fraction of the overall level of air pollutants directly to specific classes of vehicles, such as heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), it does ensure that their emissions are represented in the assessment.
Should the screening process identify a likely failure of air quality objectives, a further, more detailed level of assessment is undertaken to establish whether an air quality management area is necessary. These methods of assessment all consider the specific contribution of HGVs to ambient air pollution.
No specific national assessment of the impact of HGV traffic has been made for the areas mentioned in (b), (c) and (d). Terrestrial special protection areas are also notified as sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs). Natural England data on the reasons for unfavourable condition on SSSIs identifies that 18,524 hectares of SSSI land are adversely affected by air pollution. However the impacts of air pollution and identification of air pollution as an adverse activity affecting site condition are currently considered to be under reported. Furthermore SSSI condition is not disaggregated to identify different sources of air pollution. Individual assessments of the impact from air pollution have been made in respect of specific sites.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what EU rules exist on regulation of the use of mercury in (a) barometers and (b) lightbulbs; and if he will make a statement. 
Ian Pearson: A legislative review by the Commission in July 2003 did not identify any EU regulations pertaining specifically to the use of mercury in barometers. As a result, the Community Strategy Concerning Mercury, endorsed by Council in June 2005, contains a commitment to restrict the marketing for consumer use and health care of non-electrical or electronic measuring and control equipment containing mercury.
The Restriction of Hazardous Substances (ROMS) Regulations banned the sale of compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) containing in excess of 5 milligrams (mg)
of mercury per lamp from July 2006. Current mercury levels in CFLs are typically 4mg per lamp.
From 1 July 2007, the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations will require systems to be in place allowing final holders and distributors to return waste CFLs free of charge. For non household CFL waste, the WEEE Regulations require that producers provide for separate collection.
Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his estimate is of the average carbon price which would be required by the nuclear industry in order to make new nuclear power generation economically viable in the UK. 
As part of the 2007 Energy White Paper cost-benefit analysis on new nuclear power generation was published. This showed the balance between costs and benefits under alternative gas price, carbon price and nuclear cost scenarios. The analysis is available at: http://www.dti.gov.uk/files/file39525.pdf
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations he has received from the Soil Association on (a) the 0.1 per cent. threshold for UK organic food and (b) the EU Organic Food Standards adopted on 12 June. 
Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 20 June 2007]: During the consultation period the Soil Association expressed concern over certain aspects of the proposals to revise the EC regulation. These centred around the compulsory use of the EU logo and the provisions regarding the prohibition of GMs. We understand that the Soil Association would prefer no threshold to be specified in the organic regulation.
Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 20 June 2007]: The proposals to introduce into the EC regulation an EU logo and a requirement to use it were issues on which we consulted. The conclusion of the Advisory Committee on Organic Standards was that it supported the proposals, as did the majority of stakeholder bodies. However, the Soil Association expressed concern and opposed the measures.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to consult on his agreement with EU ministers to adopt common standards for organic food across the EU. 
[holding answer 20 June 2007]: We consulted widely on the new regulation between its presentation by the Commission at the end of 2005 and
its agreement by the Council of Ministers on 12 June 2007. We plan to repeat this level of engagement during the development of the detailed implementing rules. The European Commission also plan to launch a public consultation on the implementing rules after the summer.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the potential effects on the health of domestic pets of radio waves from home wireless broadband systems; and if he will make a statement. 
Barry Gardiner: The United Kingdom is a Party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES, which is implemented within the EU by the Wildlife Trade Regulation (Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97), regulates trade in over 5,000 species of animals, including the polar bear (Ursus maritimus). Polar bears are listed under Appendix II as a species that is not necessarily now threatened with extinction, but may become so unless trade is closely controlled. Under the EU Regulation the international trade in polar bears and other vulnerable species is strictly regulated to ensure that it will not be detrimental to their wild populations.
Currently, however, the chief threat to polar bears is the impact of climate change, which is felt particularly strongly in polar regions. If global temperatures continue to rise, Arctic summer sea ice could disappear almost entirely by the latter part of this century. The UK continues to take a strong lead internationally on climate change. In particular, we are working through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the G8 to secure agreement to a long-term international framework that can address dangerous climate change.
Under EU-wide Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE)-related feed ban controls,
introduced in 2001, most processed animal proteins, including those derived from poultry, have been prohibited from use in any farmed animal feed. This builds on longer-standing controls on mammalian-derived processed animal proteins.
Separate controls, in place since 2002 under the EU Animal By-Products Regulations, prohibit processed animal proteins from being recycled back to the same species they are derived from. These controls mean that feeding poultry using recycled processed animal protein derived from dead poultry is not permitted, either in the UK or in any other member state. Additionally, no poultry feed containing processed animal protein derived from poultry may be imported either into the UK, or into any other member state.
Neither pigs nor poultry, as naturally omnivorous animals, have been shown in experiments to be orally susceptible to BSE, and no naturally occurring Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy have yet been identified in these species. Nevertheless, the principle of preventing intra-species recycling of processed animal protein in feed will continue to apply to all farmed animal species both now and in the future.
Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will place in the Library the data from WasteDataFlow showing (a) the final destination of materials sent for recycling, (b) tonnage sent for recycling and (c) quantity sent for recycling but rejected/disposed of by each local authority in England in the last period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Bradshaw: I am arranging for information to be placed in the House Library showing (a) the reported destination of municipal waste sent for recycling, (b) the tonnage of municipal waste sent for recycling and (c) the amount reported as being rejected, by each local authority in England. All data relate to municipal waste and are as reported by local authorities to WasteDataFlow for the 2005-06 financial year.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what marine protected areas are in place; what percentage of the UK coastal and offshore waters they cover; what plans he has for the designation of further such areas; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: There are 182 protected areas in UK inshore waters with a marine element: 81 special protection areas with marine habitats for birds, 98 special areas of conservation with marine habitats or species, and three marine nature reserves. In total, these sites cover more than 1.8 million hectares, or 2.2 per cent. of UK waters.
Work is under way to identify further sites in UK waters. To date, 19 areas for marine habitats have been surveyed and there are plans for additional survey of a further 10 areas. Between them, these areas cover up to 9,550,000 ha or 11 per cent. of UK waters. Seven areas for marine birds have also been surveyed, with plans for 30 more. A selection of these surveyed areas are
likely to be recommended as marine protected areas under the habitats and birds directives, but the number and size of these sites is not yet known.
The Marine Bill will also introduce a new mechanism to enable the designation of marine conservation zones. There have been a number of recommendations on what proportion of the UK marine area might be covered by such zones, including by the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution. However, there is currently insufficient scientific evidence to enable us to make an accurate assessment of the likely extent of a network of marine protected areas.
To inform the impact assessment for the Bill, we have undertaken research investigating the likely extent of a network of marine conservation zones in UK waters under a range of different scenarios. The network configurations generated as part of the exercise all resulted in 14 to 20 per cent. coverage of the UK continental shelf. These figures were based on a number of scenarios, although none of these are necessarily representative of how the final network will look. The findings of this research have been published on the DEFRA website.
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