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6 Feb 2008 : Column 1273W—continued

Bluetongue Disease: Vaccination

Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the cost of the bluetongue variant 8 (BTV8) vaccine is to farmers per dose; [183432]

Mr Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) whether he intends to apply to the European Commission for an emergency vaccination programme for bluetongue disease; and how he plans to provide for the remaining costs of such a programme; [183570]

(2) when he expects to announce his strategy for the procurement and use of a vaccine for bluetongue disease; [183571]

(3) what proportion of costs he plans to allocate to livestock owners for development of a vaccine for bluetongue disease. [183572]

Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 31 January 2008]: On 19 December, DEFRA announced that it is placing an order with the pharmaceutical company Intervet to supply 22.5 million doses of bluetongue serotype 8 (BTV-8) vaccine, with 20 million doses reserved for England, and 2.5 million for potential use in Wales. The UK was the first member state in northern Europe affected by the current outbreak of BTV-8 to place an order for vaccine, and Intervet has indicated that vaccine is expected to become available for use from May.


6 Feb 2008 : Column 1274W

In keeping with the principles set out in the UK bluetongue control strategy, which was developed in partnership with the farming industry, livestock keepers in the protection zone will be able to purchase doses from the vaccine bank. It is expected that purchasing vaccine will make economic sense for livestock keepers as the cost of purchasing and delivering vaccine is significantly outweighed by the potential costs of the impact of disease.

We are working urgently with Intervet and veterinary wholesalers to finalise the cost of vaccine to farmers. However, it is important to note that the vaccination process may also entail additional costs such as veterinary administration or supervision of vaccination, identification and, potentially, pre-movement testing. Individual livestock keepers, who will benefit directly from the vaccination of their stock, will be responsible for meeting these costs. The extent of these costs will be established through a vaccination plan being developed with the industry, and we will publish a paper detailing likely costs as soon as this information is available.

The European Commission has announced that Community funds will be made available to reimburse certain costs associated with member states' emergency bluetongue vaccination programmes for 2008. The UK Government will start discussing with the Commission shortly what funding may be available, and on what terms, bearing in mind the undesirability of any conditions that may be inconsistent with our overarching objectives for control of the disease, or would increase the overall costs of vaccination to farmers themselves.

Bulls

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he plans to assist the development of a market for bull calves. [183789]

Jonathan Shaw: DEFRA has been actively engaged in encouraging the work of the Beyond Calf Export forum which is seeking realistic and economically viable alternatives to calf exports that will benefit the UK beef industry, calf breeders and also calf welfare.

The forum consists of leading dairy and beef industry organisations, supermarkets and animal welfarists who have been working together to find market-based solutions to the problem of the dairy industry's black and white bull calves.

Carbon Emissions

Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the Answer of 17 January 2008, Official Report, column 1390W, on carbon emissions, how many tonnes were carbon offset in 2006-07 by each individual public authority participating in the Offsetting Fund. [178692]

Mr. Woolas: I have arranged for a table to be placed in the Library which lists Government Carbon Offsetting Fund (GCOF) members, the amount in tonnes of equivalent carbon dioxide emissions they have offset and the activities they have offset this through.


6 Feb 2008 : Column 1275W

Christmas

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether it is his Department’s policy to use (a) incandescent light bulbs and (b) LED lights for festive decorations on departmental premises. [173503]

Jonathan Shaw: The 2007 minimum procurement specifications for lightine in general are included in the Market Transformation Programme’s Quick Wins Guidance. It sets out the following minimum standards for light bulbs:

No specific guidelines have been set for decorative Christmas lights.

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his Department’s policy is on the selection of (a) real and (b) artificial Christmas trees for his Department’s festive decorations; and how real trees are disposed of. [173529]

Jonathan Shaw: DEFRA selects real Christmas trees.

The UK timber procurement policy applies to the procurement of Christmas trees. Therefore, currently DEFRA procures natural Christmas trees from legal sources and actively seeks to procure the trees from sustainable sources.

Christmas trees are then re-cycled via mulching.

Departmental Carbon Emissions

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his latest estimate is of the carbon dioxide emissions of his Department as a result of the consumption of (a) gas and (b) electricity in 2006-07. [181980]


6 Feb 2008 : Column 1276W

Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 25 January 2008]: The latest data on carbon dioxide emissions for the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs as a result of the consumption of (a) gas and (b) electricity in 2006-07 will be published in the Sustainable Development in Government report.

The report, produced by the Sustainable Development Commission is expected in the first week of March.

Departmental Catering

Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his Department’s policy is on the use of free range chicken and eggs in departmental catering facilities; and if he will make a statement. [182054]

Jonathan Shaw: DEFRA’s catering service providers are free to supply free range chicken and eggs within departmental catering facilities. The Department requires as a minimum that eggs supplied are to ‘Lion Standard’, and that chickens supplied are to ‘Farm Assured Standard’.

Departmental ICT

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the (a) start date, (b) original planned completion date, (c) current expected completion date, (d) planned cost and (e) current estimated cost is for each information technology project being undertaken by his Department and its agencies; and if he will make a statement. [180567]

Jonathan Shaw: The following table presents the requested information for major projects within core DEFRA.

A response covering smaller projects within core DEFRA and bodies beyond the core-Department would incur a disproportionate cost.

Project Start Date Original planned completion date Expected completion date Original planned costs (£) Estimated costs (£)

Customer Land Database

September 2006

March 2009

March 2009

1,860,000

1,730,600

Enabling Technology

April 2008

March 2009

March 2009

4,223,000

4,223,000

Renew IT

March 2007

April 2008

Sept 2008

7,400,000

9,800,000

Spatial Information Repository

March 2005

March 2007

March 2009

13,800,000

14,965,000

Surveillance Profiles Database

January 2007

March 2008

March 2008

514,000

514,000

Whole Farm Approach

April 2003

March 20 10

March 201 1

(1)65,000,000

(2)74,000,000

(1) Original planned costs reference the WFA business case v1.0 31 October 2005
(2) Estimated costs include the delivery of relevant e-transactions services in delivery bodies (managed/funded in conjunction with other programmes).

Departmental Manpower

Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many full-time equivalent staff in each pay grade were employed in his Department and its agencies on (a) 1 January 2008, (b) 1 April 2004 and (c) 1 October 2001; and what the equivalent figure was in respect of his Department’s predecessors on 1 June 1997. [180487]


6 Feb 2008 : Column 1277W

Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 21 January 2008]: The information, where available, is shown in the tables. Most of the data for earlier dates is either unavailable or would incur disproportionate cost to compile.

Defra
Grade 31 December 2007( 1) 1 April 2004

AA

115.8

578.7

AO

570.7

1,669.5

EO

582.2

1,426.6

HEO

834.8

1,471.5

SEO

372.5

770.9

Grade 7

517.2

529.7

Grade 6

158.6

153.9

SCS

154.6

159.5

Total

3,306.5

6,760.3


Animal Health Agency (created on 1 April 2005 as the State Veterinary Service)
Grade 31 December 2007( 1)

AA

190.1

AO

480.3

EO

404.9

HEO

197.2

SEO

34.5

Grade 7

250.4

Grade 6

35.0

SCS

9.0

Total

1,601.5


Central Science Laboratory
1 January 2008 1 April 2004 1 October 2001 1 June 1997

Band 1

31.21

41.30

47.65

Level 1

202.63

Band 2

146.83

175.14

176.96

Level 2

273.32

Band 3

161.22

170.06

144.36

Level 3

66.80

Band 4

133.12

136.40

133.47

Level 4

36.00

Band 5

90.45

86.11

71.45

Level 5

17.00

Band 6

58.22

56.25

45.00

SCS

4.00

Band 7

13.00

19.00

18.61

SCS

4.00

4.00

4.00

Total

638.05

688.26

641.5

Total

599.75

Note:
CSL grading structure changed in 2000

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