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2 Apr 2008 : Column 913Wcontinued
Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what assessment he has made of the likelihood of cases of bluetongue arising in 2008 and subsequent years; 
(2) what assessment he has made of the likelihood of bluetongue overwintering in the UK. 
Jonathan Shaw: Bluetongue disease is spread from animal to animal by midges. During the winter, midge activity is at its lowest, and low temperatures mean that the virus is unlikely to replicate in the midges. As temperatures increase and midges become more active, it is likely that disease will re-emerge this year.
Experiences in northern Europe in 2007 showed that the virus reappeared in spring, with clinical cases being observed in June/July. Given our similar climate, we are preparing on the basis of a similar scenario in the UK this year.
The implementation of a vaccination programme could significantly reduce bluetongue virus circulation and limit its geographical distribution, contributing to its control and potential eradication at some point in the future. However, the future is uncertain and it is acknowledged that the UK may have to live with the threat of bluetongue for some time to come.
Further information about our control and vaccination strategy is available on the DEFRA website.
Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he expects a bluetongue vaccination programme to begin. 
Jonathan Shaw: DEFRA placed an order with pharmaceutical company Intervet to supply 22.5 million doses of BTV-8 vaccine for use in England and Wales. Intervet has indicated that the first batches of vaccine are expected for delivery in May 2008.
Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions he has had with (a) the Chancellor of the Exchequer, (b) other Treasury Ministers and (c) Treasury civil servants on funding for tackling bovine tuberculosis. 
Jonathan Shaw: There have been no recent discussions with my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, other Treasury Ministers or officials on funding for tackling bovine TB.
Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) if he will make a cost-benefit assessment of the cattle-based control options recommended by the Independent Scientific Group on bovine tuberculosis; 
(2) when he will make a substantive response to the recent Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee Report on the final report of the Independent Scientific Group on bovine tuberculosis. 
Jonathan Shaw: We are grateful to both the Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB (ISG) and the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee for their respective reports on bovine TB.
We are committed to making decisions on bovine TB control policies for the future which are based on the evidence available. There is a great deal to consider in the ISG and Select Committee's reports concerning both cattle-based TB control measures and the potential role of badger culling in controlling TB in cattle.
Once we have made a decision on the way forward we will respond to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 19 March 2008, Official Report, column 1123W, on cattle, if he will make it his policy to collect information on the number and proportion of cows in the national herd which are being kept in zero-grazed conditions. 
Jonathan Shaw: There are currently no plans to collect such information.
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the contribution to the rural economy of (a) mountaineering and (b) hill walking. 
Jonathan Shaw: DEFRA has not specifically assessed the contribution to the rural economy of hill walking or mountaineering. However, Natural England has published the results of a survey of leisure day visits in England in 2005 and these do provide an estimate of the value of walking, hill walking and rambling in rural areas. The estimated value, in 2005, of walking, hill walking and rambling in the countryside and along the coast was £1.325 billion.
Not all of this expenditure was made in the rural economy as, for example, many of the visits started from urban areas and involved spend on petrol and ticket fares. Also, this figure does not include overnight spend on accommodation, or spend by overseas visitors. Although mountaineering activity was captured in this survey, the numbers of participants interviewed as part of the telephone survey of 46,000 households was too low to make a statistically reliable estimate of spending specifically associated with this activity.
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much funding his Department gave to capital infrastructure projects for youth hostels in each of the last 30 years. 
Jonathan Shaw: DEFRA was created in June 2001 and it does not have responsibility or provide direct funding for youth hostels.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make it his policy to oppose the application from China to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species to become a trading partner for the agreed ivory stockpiles; and if he will make a statement. 
Joan Ruddock: Trading nation status can only be granted once all the conditions contained in Conference Resolution 10.10 (Rev14) have been complied with. The UK, along with our EU colleagues, will be looking at all information relevant to those conditions before coming to any conclusions. We will take into account all the information available to us, including that from Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species Secretariat visits, third country visits and reports from non-governmental organisations, before taking any decision to approve or oppose China as a trading partner.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what capital funding was provided for (a) Pirbright and (b) Weybridge laboratories in the last five years; and what future capital funding is planned. 
Jonathan Shaw: Under a ministerial agreement made with the then Department of Trade and Industry, now the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, DEFRA agreed to provide a total of £67 million capital grant in aid funding during the period 2004-13 for the redevelopment of the Institute of Animal Health laboratory and Pirbright. To date the value of the funding DEFRA has provided is:
DEFRA capital funding for the Veterinary Laboratories Agency located at Weybridge for the last five years and estimated funding for the current and future years is:
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much waste was sent to landfill outside the region of origin in the last period for which figures are available, broken down by region of reception. 
Joan Ruddock: The following tables provide data on inter-regional movements of waste for disposal to landfill in 2006, which is the most current data set available. The data relate to all types of waste deposited in landfill, including inert, hazardous and non-hazardous wastes.
Environment Agency data come from site input returns provided by landfill operators. Providing information on the origin of waste is not mandatory. This is reflected in the not codeable column, which shows the quantity of waste that does not have an identified origin.
The data only report on inputs from Scotland, Northern Ireland and Outside UK since the Environment Agency does not have comparable information on deposits in those areas.
|Inter-regional movements of waste for landfill disposal in 2006|
|Origin of waste (from site input returns)|
|Deposit region||North East||North West||Yorkshire and Humber||East Midlands||West Midlands||East of England||London||South East|
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