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Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on how many infected premises livestock has been slaughtered in relation to the recent outbreaks of foot and mouth disease; and how many individual holdings make up the number of infected premises. 
Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 15 October 2007]: Livestock has been culled on eight infected premises during the current outbreak of foot and mouth disease. These eight infected premises comprised a total of 24 individual locations where susceptible livestock was culled.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on which premises livestock was culled during the recent outbreaks of foot and mouth disease on the basis of (a) being on infected premises, (b) the policy of slaughter on suspicion, (c) dangerous contact and (d) being on contiguous premises. 
Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 15 October 2007]: DEFRA policy is not to name individual affected premises. In addition to the eight infected premises there have been two premises on which animals were culled as part of the policy of slaughter on suspicion, and a further seven premises where animals were culled as dangerous contacts. There are no premises where animals have been culled solely on the basis that they were contiguous to an infected premises.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) infected premises, (b) slaughter on suspicion premises, (c) dangerous contacts and (d) contiguous premises were tested during the recent outbreaks of foot and mouth disease for signs of the disease; and how many in each category returned positive tests. 
Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 15 October 2007]: Animals have been tested at all premises where culling has taken place for disease control reasons. At least one animal tested positive for foot and mouth disease at all eight of the infected premises. No animals at the two remaining slaughter on suspicion and seven dangerous contact premises tested positive for foot and mouth disease.
Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many animals have been slaughtered as a consequence of the ban on exports because of foot and mouth disease. 
Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 15 October 2007]: DEFRA holds figures only for animals culled for disease control purposes. It is estimated that the number of animals (cattle, sheep and pigs) slaughtered for consumption in England during August and September this year is 14 per cent. below the same period in 2006 (equivalent to around 455,152 animals). This figure includes animals slaughtered in England but originating in Scotland and Wales.
Jonathan Shaw: The current ban on trail and drag hunting across the whole of Great Britain is a legal requirement under the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) (England) Order 2006 and was also required by previous legislation dating back to 1983.
Epidemiological evidence from the current outbreak suggests that the disease could have been transmitted by fomites on vehicles or other bodies and could have been carried from areas containing infected animals to previously clean areas.
The risk of horses, in particular, transporting the virus in this way is increased. This is because they are often kept on the same premises as susceptible animals, transported in vehicles used for moving susceptible animals, have contact with susceptible animals on neighbouring farms, or are handled by persons who also have contact with susceptible animals.
Our many licensing priorities in both the FMD risk and low risk areas are constantly under review with consideration from the farming industry and experts. Any decision to allow trail and drag hunting under licence will be based on an assessment of the disease risk. We will continue to keep restrictions under review with the aim of lifting them as quickly as possible consistent with our overriding objective of eradicating FMD.
Mr. Atkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will review regulations that forbid trail and drag hunting and stalking in low risk foot and mouth areas such as Northumberland, Cumbria and Yorkshire. 
Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 16 October 2007]: The current ban on trail and drag hunting and stalking across the whole of Great Britain is a legal requirement under the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) (England) Order 2006 and was also required by previous legislation dating back to 1983.
Our licensing priorities are constantly under review with consideration from industry and experts. Any decision to allow trail and drag hunting will be based on assessment of the disease risk. We will continue to keep restrictions under constant review with the aim of lifting them as quickly as possible consistent with our overriding objective of eradicating FMD.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether his Department plans to establish an independent public inquiry into its handling of the foot and mouth outbreaks of 2007. 
Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 15 October 2007]: Following the recent outbreak of foot and mouth disease in August and September 2007, the Prime Minister has asked Dr. Iain Anderson to look at the Governments response to the outbreak. Dr. Anderson chaired the previous independent inquiry into the 2001 outbreak. The terms of reference for the Foot and Mouth Review 2007 are:
i. Establish whether relevant points from the Lessons to be Learned Report on the 2001 outbreak were implemented;
ii. Establish whether new lessons might be drawn from the handling of the 2007 outbreak; and
iii. To make recommendations by the end of 2007 to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on the future handling of foot and mouth disease outbreaks.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what discussions (a) he and (b) his officials have had with the National Farmers Union of Scotland on the outbreaks of (i) foot and mouth and (ii) blue tongue disease; 
(2) what meetings (a) he and (b) his officials have had with the Ministers or officials of the Scottish Executive to discuss the outbreak of (i) foot and mouth and (ii) blue tongue disease; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) what representations (a) he and (b) his officials have received from (i) Ministers and (ii) officials of the Scottish Executive on compensation available to farmers in Scotland following the outbreak of (A) foot and mouth and (B) blue tongue disease; and if he will make a statement; 
[holding answer 11 October 2007]: We are working closely with the Scottish Executive and others to co-ordinate our disease control response
throughout the United Kingdom. DEFRA has had a range of discussions with the Scottish Executive throughout the current outbreaks of foot and mouth disease and bluetongue, at both ministerial and official level. The National Farmers Union (NFU) of Scotland have participated in discussions with officials from DEFRA and the Scottish Executive. We have also received a range of representations from the Scottish Executive and the NFU on these issues, including compensation.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimates he has made of the number of fat lambs which remain unsold due to foot and mouth restrictions. 
Jonathan Shaw: It is estimated that the number of fat lambs slaughtered for consumption in England, during August and September this year, is 21 per cent. below the same period in 2006. This equates to around 370,000 animals and it includes lambs slaughtered in England but originating in Scotland and Wales.
Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 15 October 2007]: Under the Animal Health Act 1981, compensation is paid for animals that are compulsorily slaughtered to prevent the spread of disease. For foot and mouth disease (FMD), the Act requires that compensation is paid at the full market value before the animal became infected. This is determined by an approved valuer at the time of slaughter. Compensation is also paid for other items, such as farm equipment and feed, where these are seized because they are considered to be contaminated; this includes such things as milk. However, it is a long established principle that the Government do not meet the costs of consequential losses, which must be borne by the industry. Government seek to minimise the risk of market impacts, particularly by encouraging public understanding of the issues.
We are taking a risk-based and staged approach to easing movement restrictions when the evidence indicates that it is appropriate to do so. This is the best way to facilitate the return to normal working for the industry. We are working in partnership with the industry, but eradication of foot and mouth disease remains our priority.
There is a role for the Government in partially meeting the immediate need to encourage higher consumption at home and to provide an alternative market for products previously exported. On 8 October, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State (Hilary Benn) announced a support package worth £12.5 million to stimulate the market and assist those livestock farmers worst affected by restrictions imposed as a result of FMD, Official Report, column 39. The package includes £8.5 million to provide
support for our hill farmers; £1 million to assist farmers in the FMD risk area with the cost of removing fallen stock; £2 million to promote the sales of red meat and pork domestically and in our export markets; and a donation of up to £1 million to the Arthur Rank Centre for disbursement to Farming Help charities.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what enforcement mechanisms exist to ensure that companies which fail to dispose properly of toxic waste are liable for damage caused as a result. 
Joan Ruddock: The illegal disposal of waste is a criminal offence under section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Individuals and companies can be liable for the offence which carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment, an unlimited fine, or both. When deciding on the severity of a sentence to impose on a company that has been found guilty of disposing of waste illegally, the court is able to take into consideration any damage caused as a result, including environmental damage.
(a) order an offender to pay the enforcing authority's investigation and enforcement costs, and any costs associated with the seizure of vehicles involved in the offence;
(b) require the offender to pay the Environment Agency, a local authority or the occupier or owner of land, any costs incurred in removing waste that has been illegally deposited. Clean-up costs can include removing the waste and/or taking other steps to reduce the consequences of the incident.
The Government are currently in the process of implementing the Environmental Liability Directive which is aimed at the prevention and remedying of environmental damage. This is based on the polluter pays principle.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what bio-security measures are in force at the Institute for Animal Health Laboratory and the adjoining Merial Animal Health Laboratory at Pirbright to ensure that human and animal health is not affected by work being carried out there; and if he will make a statement. 
[holding answer 17 October 2007]: Stringent bio-security conditions have always applied
to work carried out on the Pirbright site. Additional measures have now been implemented that go above and beyond those contained in the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Spratt reports. These measures are set out in the Government's response to those reports, which is available in the Libraries of the House and on the DEFRA website.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which officials in his Department have been responsible for the inspection and licensing of Pirbright laboratories in each year since 2002; and whether those officials remain in post. 
Jonathan Shaw: Inspections were carried out for the Department by senior DEFRA veterinarians with specialist knowledge of laboratory containment, exotic animal diseases and the requirements for licensing laboratories under the Specified Animal Pathogens Order (SAPO) 1998. Some of these officials have since left the Department, for reasons not connected with this work, while others remain in post.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what policy line he took at the 14(th) Conference of the Parties of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species on the sale of stockpiled ivory. 
Joan Ruddock: The UK policy was, and is, that we only support the one-off sale of stockpiled ivory where the conditions originally agreed by CITES parties in 2002 have been met. At the meeting of the 55(th) CITES Standing Committee on 2 June 2007, immediately prior to the 14(th) Conference of the Parties (CoP14), it was agreed that the conditions had been met and the stockpile sale was permitted. The UK was satisfied that the conditions had been met and, therefore, supported this decision at the meeting, with the proviso that funding for the subsequent monitoring of the outcomes of the sale was secured.
At the subsequent CoP14 (3-15 June), agreement was reached by African range states that increased tonnages could be sold, including stockpiles from Zimbabwe. It was also agreed that there will be a nine year resting period on consideration of any further sales of ivory after the one-off sale takes place to allow the effects of the stockpile sale to be properly assessed. Some of the proceeds of the sale will be placed in an African Elephant Fund to support conservation measures across their range.
Leading up to the Conference, the UK (and EU) maintained an open position on this issue preferring the African elephant range states to debate the issue among themselves. The UK Government was pleased that agreement over such a contentious issue was finally reached and fully supported the outcome.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will place in the Library a copy of the research report
commissioned by his Department on the effect of best and most versatile land designation on planning decisions (LE0217). 
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