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Jonathan Shaw: Farm inspections are conducted by different bodies for different reasons. Regarding DEFRA bodies, the chief executives of the Rural Payment Agency, Animal Health, Veterinary Laboratory Agency, Veterinary Medicine Directorate, Natural England, and the Environment Agency have been asked to supply the information for their agencies.
Individual local authorities will hold information on the number of visits they have carried out. A fully comprehensive reply cannot be given as a significant proportion of the information is not collected centrally. Also, there is some uncertainty about whether non-regulatory visits would come within the scope of the hon. Member's question.
|(1) The source for the data is incomplete and it is not possible to differentiate between inspections and testing visits. (2) Includes routine and follow up/special visits but excludes inspections for residues as these are included in Animal Health's figures.|
|(1) All Integrated Administration Control System (IACS) and England Rural Development Programme (ERDP) scheme inspections. (2) All IACS and ERDP scheme inspections. (3) First year of Single Payment Scheme (SPS)includes all SPS Land Eligibility, Cross-compliance, Remote sensing follow-up, Cattle Identification Inspection and ERDP Inspections. (4) As above, plus statutory sheep and goat inspections.|
In 2006-07 and 2007-08, the Horticultural Marketing inspectors who merged with the RPA Inspectorate on 1 April 2006, carried out the following inspections at the premises of glasshouse growers, market gardeners, etc.:
Information cannot be readily gathered from a single IT system for this timeframe without incurring disproportionate cost. Animal Health have been developing its management information and hence more detailed figures are available for 2007.
Using available data, Animal Health undertook in the region of 25,000 on farm inspections in Britain in 2007. This figure includes 4,227 visits to inspect farm animal welfare (including welfare cross-compliance inspections), 12,963 inspections undertaken by the Dairy Hygiene Inspectorate (DHI) and 2,905 on farm inspections made by the Egg Marketing Inspectorate (EMI)(1).
As well as inspection visits, Animal Health carries out various types of visit to sample stock for surveillance and for disease control. Within this category, agency staff or official veterinarians(2) working on its behalf undertook more than 50,000 herd tests for bovine TB in 2007 and 8,000 visits under the National Scrapie Plan (NSP).
(1) DHI and EMI merged with the State Veterinary Service in October 2006 and April 2007 respectively.
(2) OVspreviously referred to as Local Veterinary Inspectors (LVIs).
The number of inspections of farm animal welfare and on farm inspections performed by DHI and EMI, in 2003-07 is shown in the following table. It also shows the number of bTB herd testing visits and NSP sampling visits completed in these years.
|Type of visit||2003||2004||2005||2006||2007|
|(1) 2007 welfare inspection visits include welfare cross-compliance inspections.|
Jonathan Shaw: The Whole Farm Approach includes a project looking at on-farm inspections. The aim is to join-up inspections, bringing together as many organisations as possible that visit farms to enforce regulatory requirements or undertake routine monitoring. The project is focusing on increased sharing of inspection resource and inspection data to better target inspection activity and reduce the burden on the better performing farms.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department plans to take to ensure that the flood defence pumps in the Lyth Valley, South Cumbria, continue to operate effectively. 
Mr. Woolas: The Environment Agency is producing a Catchment Flood Management Plan (CFMP) for the Kent and Leven catchments, which includes the Lyth Valley. The CFMP will consider a wide variety of interests and initiatives in the area. Public consultation will commence within the next month.
The CFMP will identify future flood risk management actions across the catchments for the next 50-100 years and will include long term decisions about river maintenance and the land drainage pumps in the Lyth Valley. However, in the short term, the Environment Agency will continue to operate and maintain the pumps in the Lyth Valley.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the damage to furniture, furnishings and moveables that were damaged and sent to landfill following the floods in summer 2007; and what estimate he has made of the impact these losses will have on council tax for those councils most affected. 
Evidence provided by local authorities indicates only a relatively small increase in municipal waste arisings as a result of last years flooding. This is within the normal range of variations in annual waste arisings and should not have a long-term or significant impact on waste management costs.
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which of his Departments programme budgets were administered by the Government Offices of the Regions in each of the last five years. 
We have a number of programme budgets administered centrally by my Department which fund projects within the Government Office regions, and the Government Offices have an oversight role on these regional funds, in terms of how and where the money is spent. The following table sets out a number of programmes where the Government Office has had an oversight role in each of the last five years.
More generally, Government Offices have a key role to play on the DEFRA agenda by acting as environmental leaders and working in partnership with local stakeholders on cross-cutting issues such as climate change, sustainable development natural environment and waste.
|DEFRA programmes indirectly administered by the Government Offices|
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 22 January 2008, Official Report, column 1994W, on greyhounds: animal welfare, if he will take account of representations on (a) a single system of regulation and set of national standards for greyhound racing, (b) an independent oversight body, (c) a compulsory levy on bookmakers to fund welfare improvements, (d) a central database to record injuries to greyhounds, (e) a mandatory independent veterinarian at tracks, (f) requirements for greyhounds to be able to stand up and turn around while being transported, (g) rules on race frequency, (h) independent inspections of tracks and kennels and breeders' premises, (i) micro-chipping of dogs, (j) licensing of trainers and track staff and (k) a presumption against euthanasia in considering the response of the greyhound industry to Lord Donoughue's review; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: We are currently considering proposals for the regulation of greyhound racing. The Government will, of course, take into account the recommendations made by Lord Donoughue and also the Associate Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare (APGAW). There will be a full public consultation on any proposals before scrutiny by Parliament.
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