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Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make a statement on the mechanism by which the funds for flood defences will be dispersed throughout the country. 
Mr. Woolas: Following public consultation, a set of criteria has been developed to provide greater clarity on what funding and policies for flood and coastal erosion risk management are intended to achieve.
The public consultation also included criteria for priorities. We are now working with the Environment Agency to develop an effective prioritisation process for the capital programme. Allocation of funds for maintenance works is undertaken by the Agency on the basis of their asset management strategy. This takes account of risk.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion and number of fly-tipping incidents recorded on the Flycapture database were associated with traveller sites in the most recent year for which figures are available. 
Joan Ruddock: The Flycapture database records the number of fly-tipping incidents that occur on specified land classifications. This does not include fly-tipping incidents that occur on Traveller sites.
Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the populations of the (a) pea mining bee (andrena lathyri), (b) dark guest ant (anergates atratulus), (c) short haired bumble bee (bombus subterraneus), (d) New Forest cicada (cicadetta montana), (e) Ivells sea anemone (Edwardsia ivelli), (f) black-backed meadow ant (formica pratensis), (g) nomad errans-a cuckoo bee, (h) stenus palposus-a rove beetle and (i) Essex emerald (thetida smaragdaria maritima) in England; and if he will make a statement. 
Joan Ruddock: The nine species listed have recently been assessed as part of the Biodiversity Action Planning process. Population estimates for eight of the species are at, or close to, zero. Estimates for the dark guest ant, Anergates atratulus are hard to make: the species is difficult to find and it is likely to be a naturally rare species.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate his Department has made of the percentage of the UKs renewable energy emissions that comes from using methane collected from landfill sites as an energy source. 
Mr. Woolas: In 2006, landfill gas contributed approximately 20 per cent. of the carbon dioxide emissions saved by renewable energy sources. In the absence of these renewable sources, the electricity and heat they could have produced would have been provided by burning fossil fuels. Furthermore, collection of methane at landfill sites, reduced total UK emissions of methane by some 50 per cent. About 45 per cent. of the methane collected at landfills was utilised for electricity or heat generation, with the remainder being flared.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the incidence of the use of antibiotics as a surrogate for growth promoters in livestock; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: Following the ban of antimicrobial growth promoters by the EU in 2006, the Veterinary Medicines Directorate is not aware of any evidence to suggest that farmers are using antibiotics as replacements for antimicrobial growth promoters.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will commission a review of the extent of the prophylactic use of antibiotics in livestock production; and if he will prohibit the advertising of prescription-only antibiotics directly to farmers. 
Jonathan Shaw: Farm animal veterinary medicine is largely about treating populations of animals in herds or flocks. Antimicrobials are used where a number of animals are already suffering disease both to treat these animals and to prevent the disease from spreading throughout the group.
The sales of antimicrobials for use in animals are reported annually by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) and the report includes antimicrobial medicines designed to be used in feed or in water for the purposes
above. The report also includes the sales of coccidiostats which are zootechnical feed additives used exclusively to prevent the common coccidia parasite in poultry. These are the only antimicrobials used in advance of disease occurring (prophylaxis). In 2005 390 tonnes of active ingredients of medicinal antimicrobials for use in food producing animals and 231 tonnes of coccidiostats were sold.
All antimicrobials currently on the market have the distribution category of Prescription Only Medicine-Veterinarian (POM-V). The Veterinary Medicines Regulations 2007 SI 2539 allows veterinary medicinal products classified as POM-V to be advertised to veterinary surgeons and nurses, pharmacists and professional keepers of animals. The Veterinary Medicines Directorate classifies a professional keeper of animals as someone whose main source of income is derived from keeping animals; this includes farmers. There are currently no plans to change this.
Jonathan Shaw: According to the latest available figures, there have been 30 suspected botulism incidents in cattle and sheep in England and Wales in 2007 (27 in cattle and three in sheep). This figure includes some clusters which have been recorded as a single incident or outbreak where more than one premises has been affected.
The Animal By-Products Regulation (Regulation (EC) No. 1774/2002) is enforced through the Animal By-Products Regulations 2005 in England, and equivalent legislation in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The regulation prohibits the composting of poultry carcases or the spreading of litter or manure containing carcase material.
DEFRA has recommended good practice in litter management and disposal, including expansion of biosecurity messages to broiler farmers to highlight the risks of disease transmission caused by poor carcase removal practices. Advice and guidance is available via the Veterinary Laboratory Agency (VLA) and DEFRA websites.
Veterinary practitioners have been alerted to the issue via letters to the Veterinary Record from the VLA/DEFRA, and the issue has recently been included in a British Cattle Veterinary Association newsletter. Advice on the risks of botulism associated with broiler litter and how these risks may be reduced has also been an agenda item in meetings between the VLA and farmers. One such meeting was held in North Derbyshire on 9 October 2007.
The Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF) set up a sub-group to look at the issue of botulism in cattle, and published a report in December 2006. DEFRA acted as an assessor on this group, and the report endorsed the current DEFRA/VLA guidance on the disposal of poultry
litter. A further ACMSF sub-group, which also includes a DEFRA assessor, is now looking at the issue with respect to sheep and goats. It will publish its findings in due course.
Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he has had discussions with the Scottish Executive on preserving and developing wildlife nature reserves in Scotland. 
Joan Ruddock: This month, I am meeting Michael Russell, Minister for Environment in Scotland, to discuss a range of wildlife-related matters. However, the development of wildlife nature reserves in Scotland is a devolved matter and my Department has not discussed the issue with the Scottish Executive.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will ban the importation of foie gras under article 30 of the treaty of Rome, with particular reference to (a) public morality and (b) the protection of health and life of animals; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: 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 of foie gras would contravene the provisions of the TEC and would result in proceedings being brought against us before the European Court of Justice.
In addition, World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules do not allow us to ban imports on the grounds of the welfare standards applying in third countries. Although it may be possible to use the public morality exemption to justify restrictions on the importation of products in some circumstances, it is unlikely that reliance on this exemption would be successful in this instance.
The potential scope of this exemption is currently being considered in relation to other policy areas. This may result in the WTO Dispute Settlement Panel considering the interface between public morality and animal welfare concerns.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the Answer of 13 September 2007, Official Report, column 2221W, on Pirbright Laboratory standards, what issues were identified; what progress has been made in addressing those issues; whether issues identified in 2006 had been previously identified; and whether recommendations made in previous reports had been implemented. 
The December 2006 inspection reviewed a number of previously identified issues including aspects of management, site security, ventilation, waste handling, storage and transport of
pathogens and documentation. No major or new biosecurity issues were identified during the 2006 inspection.
Where any particular biosecurity issues are identified in an inspection, the laboratory is required to submit action plans addressing these issues and, once agreed, implement the plans. Subsequent to the outbreaks of foot and mouth disease in 2007, and the independent reviews carried out by Professor Spratt and the Health and Safety Executive, substantial progress has been made by IAH with the implementation of a variety of measures to strengthen biosecurity.
Mr. Mullin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to revise the Government's policy on the EU ban on battery cages from 2012; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: Council Directive 99/74/EC prohibits the use of conventional (battery) cages from 1 January 2012. The directive has been transposed into domestic legislation and includes the deadline for the ban on these cages. DEFRA policy remains that there should be no conventional cages from 2012.
Mr. Woolas: The Environment Agency assessed whether dredging the River Severn would reduce flood risk in Shrewsbury using hydraulic computer models as part of their Fluvial Flood Risk Management Strategy in 2006, and in designs for the Frankwell Flood Alleviation Scheme in 2001.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with the Scottish Executive on the Draft Marine Bill; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: DEFRA officials and I have regular discussions with the Scottish Executive on matters of mutual interest including the Marine Bill. I recently met with Richard Lochhead MSP, Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment to discuss a number of issues including the Marine Bill.
UK Government want to deliver coherent arrangements across the whole of the UK marine area. The Scottish Executive has announced their intention to bring forward a Scottish Marine Bill. We will continue to discuss marine policy issues with the Scottish Executive to promote a joined up and consistent approach across both Bills.
Joan Ruddock: Horse chestnut leaf miner ( Cameraria ohridella) was first discovered in Wimbledon in 2002 and has since continued to spread northwards, into south Yorkshire and Cheshire, eastwards almost throughout East Anglia, and it has reached the border counties of Wales.
We are continuing to monitor its movement, and invite the public to report any sightings to us to help us do this. Sightings can be reported to the entomology branch of Forest Research on 01420 22255.
The larvae of Cameraria ohridella devour the leaves, but do not kill the trees, nor do they appear to have any long-term effect on tree health or vitality. Although trees appear unsightly during infestation, they will leaf-out and flower normally in the following year.
There are no effective control mechanisms available, especially where the trees occur together in large numbers, such as in parks and woodland. Research into control continues and gardeners can help to protect their horse chestnut trees by sweeping up and disposing of autumn leaves, which destroys the over-wintering pupae.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to increase awareness of the potential benefits of (a) waste incineration and (b) energy from waste technologies; and if he will make a statement. 
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