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Jonathan Shaw: On 12 October, a general licence was issued which authorises the hunting of any drag or other trail within the foot and mouth disease surveillance and restricted zones in England. This licence was issued subject to the necessary conditions of biosecurity being satisfied by participants in such hunting activities.
Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) if he will ensure that there is parity in the financial assistance packages introduced for farmers in the UK following the recent foot and mouth outbreaks; 
Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what resources he plans to make available to the devolved administrations to support welfare packages for farmers in light of the recent foot and mouth outbreak. 
Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 15 and 16 October 2007]: We are working closely with the devolved administrations during the current foot and mouth disease and bluetongue outbreaks to co-ordinate our response. DEFRA has had a range of discussions with both the Scottish Executive and the National Assembly for Wales, on the disease situation and control measures at both ministerial and official level.
Certain functions under the Animal Health Act 1981, including disease control functions were transferred to the National Assembly for Wales under the Transfer of Functions Order 2004 (SI 2004/3044). Similarly, certain functions on disease control relating to the Animal Health Act 1981 were transferred to the Scottish Executive under the Scotland Act.
However, DEFRA has agreed to make payments on behalf of the National Assembly for Wales and the Scottish Executive for animals killed and property seized due to foot and mouth disease. This does not however extend to specific Welsh or Scottish schemes to protect animal welfare or to support farmers during disease outbreaks. Such schemes remain the responsibility of the devolved administrations who have decided to introduce, their own during the current outbreak.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether his Department plans to relax the 20 day standstill rule for livestock outside the foot and mouth controlled zones. 
Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 15 October 2007]: Movement of any susceptible animal from a premises in Great Britain is currently not permitted if any susceptible animal has been moved on to that premises in the 20 days before the date of the intended move unless a susceptible animal is moving direct to slaughter.
However, since 4 October, in the foot and mouth disease (FMD) low risk area and the bluetongue protection and control zones, breeding rams may be brought on to a premises that has an isolation unit with
a current, valid approval under the Disease Control (England) Order 2003. This is an exception to the 20 day standstill required for farm to farm movements.
Since 9 October, pigs have also been able to move unlimited distances without a standstill between two premises approved under Article 14 of the Pigs Records, Identification and Movement Order 2007. There is no need for pre-movement veterinary inspection but this does require one working days notice to the local Animal Health office.
On 12 October, DEFRA announced the intention to lift the FMD Protection Zone in Surrey on Wednesday 17 October. DEFRA also announced the intention to lift all movement restrictions in England, outside of the FMD Risk Area, to coincide with this lifting of the Protection Zone. From this point forwards, there will be a reversion to the six day standstill rule.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much is available for contaminated land grants in 2007-08; and how much was available in each of the previous four years. 
Jonathan Shaw: DEFRAs Contaminated Land Capital Projects Programme has been resourced by grants, provided under the Local Government Act 2003, since 2006-07. The grant paid for 2006-07 was £13.5 million but the figure for 2007-08 is not yet available.
In the three years before the introduction of grants, the contaminated land programme funding was by Supplementary Credit Approvals in 2003-04, and by Supported Capital Expenditure (Revenue) in 2004-05 and 2005-06. Under both finance systems, the funding was delivered via the Revenue Support Grant system. The amounts for 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06 were £15.3 million, £10.3 million and £12.3 million respectively.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the level of carbon emissions generated by storing (a) ultra high temperature milk and (b) fresh milk. 
Jonathan Shaw: DEFRA has commissioned a literature review of the existing evidence on the environmental impacts, and benefits, of the production and consumption of liquid milk. The literature review will attempt to quantify impacts, including those associated with storage, across the life cycle for a range of milks including UHT, pasteurised and organic. This review will be published later in the autumn.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps the Government are taking to stop the rise in the number of species threatened with extinction and on the IUCN Red List. 
Joan Ruddock: Most of the UK species on the present IUCN Red List are included in the list of UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UKBAP) priority species which has recently undergone an extensive review. Conservation action is being taken under the UKBAP for many of these species and their habitats which will lessen the chance of their extinction.
Internationally, the Government are similarly concerned about the threat of species extinction, using as a focus the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) target of significantly reducing the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. The Government actively participate in inter-governmental biodiversity conservation agreements including the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) as well as through funding mechanisms such as DEFRA's Darwin Initiative and the Flagship Species Fund.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he plans to take steps to warn the public about the dangers of leaving pets outdoors around 5 November. 
Jonathan Shaw: We understand that people are concerned about the distress that animals might experience because of fireworks. The Animal Welfare Act 2006 makes it an offence to infuriate or terrify any animal. Any person or organisation may initiate proceedings under this Act. The courts alone must decide whether an offence has been committed.
The use of fireworks is governed by the Fireworks Act 2003. Regulations were introduced in 2004 under this Act to prohibit the use of fireworks after 11 pm (12 pm on 5 November). They also ban the supply of excessively loud fireworks. These measures were brought in partly to protect animals.
i. keep all pets inside the house once the sun starts to set, some people set off fireworks before nightfall;
ii. cover aviaries and rabbit hutches so that should the very loud noises disturb the animals, they do at least have a natural-like habitat, where they are able to hide;
iii. feed and exercise your animals well during the day, this will lead to a calmer animal once the noise starts;
iv. if your dog runs for its bed, a cupboard or under the bed, leave it there and allow it to follow its natural instinct which is to hide in a den or cave;
v. do not try to acclimatise your dog to the noise by insisting it faces the noise, they may never get used to the noise and you may be causing damage;
vi. allow the dog comforts within the den, give it its blanket, some water and a toy to make it feel comfortable;
vii. your dog may jump into the bath or start to dig, which shows its instinct to run into holes when danger is present; and
viii. if your dog shows any tendency to hide, let it do so.
Jonathan Shaw: We have no plans to introduce a Sow Welfare Disposal scheme. Welfare issues arising from foot and mouth disease (FMD) and bluetongue control measures are being dealt with on a case-by-case basis through the use of special movement licences or measures to support the farmer in their duty of care towards their animals. This includes the provision of advice, temporary shelter and access to supplementary feed.
We are working to ensure that sufficient slaughter capacity is available, particularly for farmers in the bluetongue restriction zone, and would urge farmers facing welfare problems to move animals to slaughter wherever practicable and permitted by disease control restrictions.
Lifting movement restrictions on a phased basis is the best way to alleviate welfare problems facing the industry. On 12 October, DEFRA announced the intention to lift the FMD protection zone in Surrey on Wednesday 17 October. DEFRA also plans to lift all movement restrictions in England, outside the FMD risk area, to coincide with this lifting of the protection zone. These changes will be made provided that there is no change to the disease situation.
Joan Ruddock: Sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs) are notified to conserve and enhance the full range of Englands biodiversity. Some SSSIs are notified for interest features which are liable to damage by trees. On such sites, the felling of trees may be necessary and Natural England works with local landowners and communities so that any felling is carried out in accordance with a management plan.
The aim is to secure the favourable or recovering condition of SSSIs, in accordance with our PSA target to have 95 per cent. SSSIs in England in favourable or recovering condition by 2010. Where woodland is a notified feature of a SSSI, or it supports other notified interest features, it will be conserved or restored as appropriate. Overall the area of woodland being conserved (over 84,000 hectares) is far in excess of the area being felled to restore other features (1,440 hectares).
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what health and safety guidance has been provided to local authorities in relation to manual handling in kerbside collection of domestic rubbish and recyclables. 
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has not produced any guidance specifically for local authorities on manual handling in the kerbside collection of domestic waste and recyclables. However, HSEs web pages include guidance on interpreting and applying the results of research reported in Manual handling in kerbside collection and sorting of recyclables, in order to secure the best possible risk assessment and strike the best balance between environmental controls, meeting landfill diversion targets and ensuring the health and safety of those affected by the industry.
Mark Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress is being made in establishing which countries are being approached by Japan to join the International Whaling Commission. 
Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 23 October 2007]: Foreign and Commonwealth Office posts are aware of the need to watch for indicators that countries may join the International Whaling Commission and adopt a pro-whaling stance. Posts in the relevant capitals are briefed, and engage in discussion with their counterparts on whaling at every appropriate opportunity. Countries are in no doubt as to the importance that the UK attaches to whale conservation.
Mark Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress is being made in engaging in discussions about whaling with countries that vote with Japan at the International Whaling Commission but have no interest in whaling. 
Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 23 October 2007]: We continue to raise the issue of whaling with countries that adopt a pro-whaling stance within the International Whaling Commission (IWC) at every appropriate opportunity. Posts abroad will continue to lobby all countries to support the UKs position. The prominent role we play within the IWC ensures no country can be in any doubt as to the importance we attach to whale conservation.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office will also shortly deliver an updated version of the publication Protecting Whales - A Global Responsibility to Governments that support whaling to encourage these nations to join the effort to protect these species and maintain the moratorium on commercial whaling.
Mark Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress is being made in recruiting more pro-conservation countries to join the International Whaling Commission. 
Jonathan Shaw: We continue to lobby all countries who express any interest in joining the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to support the UKs position. Uruguay has recently joined and several other countries have committed to adhere in time for next years annual meeting.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office will also shortly deliver an updated version of the publication Protecting Whales - A Global Responsibility to host Governments to encourage more anti-whaling countries to join the effort to protect these species and maintain the moratorium on commercial whaling.
Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he has had discussions with Japanese government ministers on the killing of whales for alleged scientific research. 
Jonathan Shaw: There have been no recent discussions between DEFRA Ministers and Japanese Ministers on this issue. However, at this year's annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), the UK and other anti-whaling countries were able to sponsor and secure a key resolution calling on Japan to halt its lethal scientific research programme.
In December last year, the British ambassador to Japan took part in a 27 country démarche to both the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Japanese Fisheries Agency to protest against Japan's programme of lethal special permit (scientific) whaling in the Southern Ocean.
Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will hold discussions with the Prime Minister of New Zealand on Japans whaling activity in the Southern Ocean sanctuary; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: I have no plans to meet the Prime Minister of New Zealand to discuss specifically this issue, but UK Government Ministers and officials engage in regular discussion with all members of the International Whaling Commission regarding Japans continued whaling activity.
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