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The Environment Agency operates an integrated programme of farm inspections covering a number of regulatory regimes. Some regulatory regimes provide for charges to recover costs from those that are regulated while others are funded by Grant in Aid from DEFRA.

The Environment Agency estimates that the annual Grant in Aid cost of agricultural inspections is approximately £3.4 million. This has not changed significantly over the last five years.

The Plant Health and Seeds Inspectorate (PHSI) undertakes a range of plant health duties. While this includes some on-farm inspections, the majority of PHSI inspection work is undertaken either at points of entry or on horticultural premises. It is not possible to separately identify expenditure specific to on-farm work.

Natural England does not undertake formal farm inspections. All formal farm inspections in relation to England Rural Development Programme and Rural Development Programme for England agreements are conducted by the Rural Payments Agency Inspectorate.

The Pesticides Safety Directorate does not undertake farm inspections.

The Health and Safety Executive is not an Agency of DEFRA.

Fisheries: Subsidies

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what information his Department holds on (a) European Union grants made to national fisheries committees of each member state and (b) grants to national fisheries committees by each member state authorised by the European Commission since 1997. [198836]

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Jonathan Shaw: We do not hold information on grant paid to national fisheries committees in other member states in accordance with Council Regulation (EC) No. 391/2007 of 11 April 2007. This Regulation lays down detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No. 861/2006 as regards the expenditure incurred by member states in implementing the monitoring and control systems applicable to the Common Fisheries Policy.

European Union grant awarded to each member state is set out in a Commission Decision which is published annually in the Commission’s Official Journal. The Commission Decision gives details of how much grant has been awarded to each member state and for the broad project areas. Details are available on the Commission’s website.

Food: Poverty

Mr. Meacher: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he plans to attend the Intergovernmental Plenary of the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD); and what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the IAASTD process in developing his Department's policy on the future of food, farming, global hunger and rural poverty. [199517]

Jonathan Shaw: There are no plans for any DEFRA Minister to attend the Intergovernmental Plenary of the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD), and no assessment has been made of the effectiveness of the IAASTD process on developing DEFRA policy.

Inland Waterways: Repairs and maintenance

Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much was spent on the repair and maintenance of inland waterways in 2005-06; and how much is planned to be spent in 2008-09. [198598]

Jonathan Shaw: DEFRA only holds information on the amount spent on the repair and maintenance of inland waterways by the three main navigation authorities. These figures are summarised in the following table. The repair and maintenance activities vary between the authorities.

£ million
2005-06 2008-09

British Waterways(1)



The Broads(2)



The Environment Agency(1)



(1) England and Wales only.
(2) 2008-09 figure for the Broads authority provides for staff costs of £223,500 whereas staff costs were not available in 2005-06.


Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will take steps to increase the proportion of beef, pork and lamb meat consumed in England which has been produced in England. [199423]

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Jonathan Shaw: The Government recognise that the marketing of local food can bring benefits for producers and consumers. In general, fewer middlemen are involved, and this allows farmers and small producers to retain a higher proportion of the end price of their produce. It also increases consumer choice and raises awareness and interest in local food by helping to improve consumers’ links with, and understanding of, the rural economy and food production. Suppliers will flourish by providing what customers want and there is growing public enthusiasm for locally produced food and food with a clear regional provenance.

We have helped to facilitate local sourcing by providing funding (through our various grant schemes and our support for Food from Britain) towards a range of measures helping regional and local food producers overcome barriers to market. Examples include “meet the buyer” events, the encouragement of food hubs and shared distribution facilities, and training seminars. Support is also available under the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) for activities linked to the promotion of quality regional and local food culture, for the use of native English breeds of cattle in environmental stewardship schemes and for activities linked to promoting the economic sustainability of the livestock sector.

I also refer the right hon. Member to the oral ministerial statement by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State on 8 October 2007, Official Report, column 39, in which he announced a package of measures to help those farmers most affected by the outbreak of foot and mouth disease. This included £2 million for the promotion and marketing of lamb, beef and pork both at home and in our export markets. The domestic promotional activity carried out by the English Beef and Lamb Executive (Eblex) and the British Pig Executive ran from October 2007 to March 2008 and, during the specific periods of promotion, four week volume sales increased between 2 and 14 per cent. compared to the previous year.

DEFRA also provided £1.2 million of funding from August 2006 to March of this year to kick-start the Beef Better Returns Programme administered by Eblex. This has involved measures to improve the competitiveness of the English beef sector and promote the product under the English Beef Quality Mark.

In addition to this, DEFRA’s ongoing Public Sector Food Procurement Initiative (PSFPI), launched in 2003 to help deliver the Government’s Sustainable Farming and Food Strategy, aims to increase opportunities for small and local producers to tender to supply food to the public sector. Our funding of this initiative has helped support workshops for buyers and suppliers, regional pilot projects to develop the supply side, and a range of guides aimed at both food producers and public sector buyers. More information on the PSFPI can be found on the DEFRA website.

However, the success of the livestock sectors in England will continue to depend upon their ability to compete upon market principles, including performance, quality and welfare standards.

Pet Travel Scheme

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many animals were part of the Pet Travel scheme in each year since its inception,
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broken down by species; and what plans he has for changes in the scheme to bring it into line with other EU countries. [199914]

Jonathan Shaw: The following table shows the number of pet cats, dogs and ferrets entering the UK under the pet travel scheme (PETS) each year since 2000:

Cats Dogs Ferrets

































2008 (January-March only)




No decisions on changes to PETS have yet been taken. The European Commission has proposed an extension to the derogations which the UK and some other member states have under EC Regulation 998/2003 until 31 August 2009. The European Parliament is considering a further extension until 30 June 2010.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which countries have (a) multilateral and (b) bilateral arrangements with the UK with regard to the Pet Travel scheme. [199915]

Jonathan Shaw: UK-resident dogs, cats and ferrets can travel to any of the countries and territories shown as follows and return to the UK under the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS). Pets that come from any of these countries can also enter the UK under PETS as long as they meet the rules. Pets must not have been outside any of the listed countries in the six calendar months before travelling to the UK in order to qualify.

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