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22 Jan 2008 : Column 1980W—continued

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will review the tabular valuation system for compensating farmers for animals slaughtered following infection with bovine tuberculosis to make provision for organically-reared cows and steers. [178981]

Jonathan Shaw: The Government recognise that the current table valuation-based compensation system is a cause of concern to some stakeholders, including some organic cattle farmers.

While DEFRA has not ruled out the possibility of changes to the compensation system, any changes would need to be justified and take into account the interests of all parties, including taxpayers.

Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he expects a licence for the use of the BCG vaccine against bovine tuberculosis in badgers to be granted; and if he will make a statement. [178340]

Jonathan Shaw: Before it can be widely used, there is a requirement for BCG to be licensed for use in badgers. There are defined steps in achieving this licence. An experimental safety study performed to Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) accreditation was completed successfully at the Veterinary Laboratories Agency in 2004-05 and two projects are ongoing: a three year field safety study (Project CB0115) and a demonstration of the efficacy of the vaccine (Project CB0116). An independent consultant with experience in the veterinary pharmaceutical industry is monitoring the study.

In addition to these licensing projects, work is also underway on developing an oral vaccine and bait delivery systems for badgers (Project SE3223).

The earliest date a licensed injectable badger vaccine may be available is the end of 2010, and the earliest a licensed oral vaccine may be available is the end of 2013. However, as with all research, there is no guarantee of success.

Even if a licensed vaccine were available, there are a number of significant non-technical barriers to successful rollout surrounding acceptability, practicality, legality and the relative costs, responsibility for costs, and benefits of use.

Bovine Tuberculosis: Costs

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate his Department has made of the average cost to a farmer of (a) veterinary bills and (b) labour for pre-movement testing for cattle for bovine tuberculosis. [178363]

Jonathan Shaw: Pre-movement tests are a private transaction between individual farmers and their local veterinary inspector.

The cost to the farmer of pre-movement testing has been updated in the light of experience and to reflect an independent survey on veterinary capacity and costs. The revised assessment of costs and benefits of pre-movement testing uses a value of £9.60 per animal (£7.10 veterinary cost, 50p tuberculin, £2.00 cost to farmer) as the average cost of pre-movement testing.

The updated assessment and the independent survey are both available on the DEFRA website.

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the average cost to the public purse is of pre-movement testing of an individual animal for bovine tuberculosis. [178364]

Jonathan Shaw: All bovine tuberculosis (TB) pre-movement tests must be arranged and paid for by the herd owner. As there are benefits to the herd owner of buying or selling cattle with some degree of disease assurance, herd owners are expected to cover the costs of the local veterinary inspectors' time to carry out pre-movement tests while Government funds the provision of tuberculin. The average cost of tuberculin per animal tested is estimated at 50 pence.

Bovine Tuberculosis: Disease Control

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many animals had a pre-movement test for bovine tuberculosis in 2007; and how many of those were found to be reactors. [179662]

Jonathan Shaw: In England, between 1 January and 30 November 2007, 344,638 dedicated TB pre-movement tests were carried out. As a result 357 reactors were detected.

The figures are an underestimate of the impact of the policy and show the minimum benefits only. The number of reactors identified do not take into account the benefits of herd owners utilising Government paid TB surveillance tests as pre-movement tests or the number of inconclusive reactors identified by pre-movement testing which have become reactors when retested.

Cumulative pre-movement statistics (from September 2005 onwards) are updated monthly and published on the DEFRA website.


22 Jan 2008 : Column 1981W

Cattle: Imports

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will reduce the number of cattle imported into the UK in order to reduce the risk of further spread of bluetongue. [178982]

Jonathan Shaw: Under the EU bluetongue regulation, susceptible animals are permitted to move out of restricted zones into free areas for intra-community trade, provided an official veterinarian of the exporting country certifies that all the necessary conditions have been met. In most cases, animals must undergo pre-movement testing and these tests must indicate negative results for virus infection. Importers also have a responsibility to import only those animals which comply with the rules and to notify Animal Health in advance of the movement; we have written to importers to remind them of their responsibilities. Animals are also permitted to move freely within the same zones established in each country, such as from the Netherlands protection zone to the UK protection zone. The UK cannot prohibit imports of animals moved in accordance with these conditions.

The recent incidents of bluetongue-positive animals being imported to the UK may highlight inadequacies in the application of these measures in EU member states. We are in contact with the relevant member state officials to establish how these animals arrived in the UK, and we have written and spoken to the Commission to ask for appropriate measures to be taken to ensure such movements are managed safely.

China: Bears

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps the Government is taking to encourage China and Russia to improve welfare standards for bears. [177647]

Jonathan Shaw: DEFRA has no responsibility for animal welfare issues in China or Russia.

Christmas

Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much his Department spent on (a) Christmas cards and (b) postage of Christmas cards in 2007. [176921]

Jonathan Shaw: In 2007, core-DEFRA did not produce physical Christmas cards opting instead for a selection of e-greetings cards chosen following an internal design competition and made available for all staff to use. Accordingly, no postage costs were incurred.


22 Jan 2008 : Column 1982W

Climate Change

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many departmental (a) Ministers, (b) civil servants and (c) consultants, contractors or secondees working full-time or part-time for his Department attended the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali. [179194]

Mr. Woolas [holding answer 16 January 2008]: The number of UK Government delegates from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs who attended the 13th Conference of the Parties (COP13) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bali, Indonesia, was 33. This number included officials and two Ministers, the Secretary of State and myself.

Many of these officials, in addition to representing the UK and EU in meetings, chaired international contact groups and not all of the delegation was in Bali for the whole of the two week Conference.

Countryside Stewardship Scheme: Cornwall

Dan Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what evidence has been obtained by Natural England to form a basis for ending the 10 year Countryside Stewardship agreement with Eastmoor Commoners Ltd (Cornwall); and if he will make a statement. [179752]

Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 17 January 2008]: Regular livestock counts on Eastmoor Common demonstrated that the stocking levels were consistently and significantly higher than the agreed levels set in their Countryside Stewardship Agreement, leading to overgrazing of the Common and the loss of any environment gains planned in the Countryside Stewardship Agreement. Eastmoor Commoners Ltd. was given guidance and advised that this would lead to ending their Countryside Stewardship Agreement, but the situation did not improve and the agreement was terminated.

Dangerous Dogs Act 1991

Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many people were (a) prosecuted and (b) convicted under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 in each police force area in each year since 1997. [177208]

Jonathan Shaw: The information requested on prosecutions and convictions under the Dangerous Dogs Acts of 1989 and 1991 is provided in the following tables:


22 Jan 2008 : Column 1983W

22 Jan 2008 : Column 1984W
Number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts and found guilty at all courts for offences under the Dangerous Dogs Acts 1989 and 1991, by police force area, England and Wales 1997-2006( 1,2)
Proceeded against
Police force area 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006

Avon and Somerset

1

4

5

5

6

11

11

5

11

7

Bedfordshire

2

8

7

6

6

11

11

6

18

19

Cambridgeshire

5

5

13

12

12

15

15

13

19

22

Cheshire

10

11

18

18

18

9

25

15

7

14

City of London

2

Cleveland

9

18

12

10

10

16

12

10

10

12

Cumbria

3

19

9

18

13

12

16

18

17

24

Derbyshire

2

2

6

7

5

8

8

8

16

6

Devon and Cornwall

16

29

52

42

64

55

55

42

30

31

Dorset

11

8

6

8

22

16

11

9

5

8

Durham

6

16

17

20

8

12

18

15

17

18

Essex

22

27

35

26

21

40

35

13

40

31

Gloucestershire

3

4

4

3

6

10

10

9

8

8

Greater Manchester

22

40

51

44

37

52

65

53

56

60

Hampshire

34

40

36

46

40

45

34

47

42

41

Hertfordshire

1

5

11

9

6

12

16

21

22

Humberside

2

8

8

16

13

7

17

13

12

11

Kent

1

2

3

2

7

3

11

27

18

Lancashire

30

26

26

22

31

25

28

27

31

41

Leicestershire

9

13

19

10

15

20

20

24

39

20

Lincolnshire

2

12

8

12

8

11

15

14

16

23

Norfolk

3

5

1

7

1

6

2

8

6

3

Merseyside

12

12

20

16

24

13

17

25

18

18

Metropolitan Police

80

81

79

92

97

86

91

82

80

102

Norfolk

3

5

1

10

3

10

4

8

5

4

North Yorkshire

11

9

9

7

14

3

8

7

13

7

Northamptonshire

6

14

12

23

11

11

20

17

9

13

Northumbria

35

45

43

42

41

38

34

51

28

41

Nottinghamshire

6

21

16

8

7

17

12

15

25

16

South Yorkshire

19

24

17

21

34

32

24

28

36

43

Staffordshire

13

17

22

13

39

26

52

47

41

18

Suffolk

5

4

4

7

6

5

3

7

5

6

Surrey

4

8

9

15

9

11

14

7

7

14

Sussex

25

27

31

27

33

16

23

28

22

27

Thames Valley

15

16

16

28

17

28

24

34

36

58

Warwickshire

3

12

4

1

4

2

2

2

3

5

West Mercia

14

25

15

28

36

30

18

16

35

37

West Midlands

16

39

40

36

48

75

65

78

58

48

West Yorkshire

14

49

48

25

29

45

58

71

73

104

Wiltshire

5

12

14

6

11

8

20

10

13

14

Dyfed-Powys

15

15

31

15

14

10

12

21

10

16

Gwent

1

10

13

32

23

29

19

22

26

15

North Wales

1

7

10

18

12

12

19

22

18

22

South Wales

10

13

13

28

30

27

28

24

22

13

Total

504

764

802

836

886

922

988

990

1,025

1,077


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