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the closure or removal from the network of 20 complete sites (from 1 October 2007).
the dissemination of data from 51 carbon monoxide and 32 sulphur dioxide sites stopped on 1 October 2007.
the addition of 17 local authority sites into the network; a further five sites will be brought into the network during May/June. For the remaining sites, work is ongoing to identify suitable local authority sites to bring into the network.
the purchase of type approved gaseous analysers for DEFRA-owned sites to replace existing non-type approved equipment. These analysers will be installed during routine site visits during 2008.
the installation of 22 reference method equivalent PM10 analysers and the procurement of 11 PM2.5 analysers.
an OJEU notice has been published to procure the remainder of the particulate matter analysers.
Jonathan Shaw: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has not been detected in farmed livestock in the UK and there is no current evidence that food-producing animals form a reservoir of infection in the UK. The organism has been isolated from dairy cows, pigs and chickens outside the UK, as well as in companion animals (including cats, dogs and horses) both in the UK and elsewhere. Ongoing monitoring of the international picture is being maintained. A 12-month long study to provide an initial overview of the presence of MRSA in breeding pig herds across Europe began in January 2008. This is being carried out under Community legislation. It is anticipated that the results of this study will be published in mid 2009 and that they will inform the direction of future work by DEFRA.
DEFRA's Antimicrobial Resistance Co-ordination (DARC) Group continues to provide guidance on policy relating to antimicrobial resistance. The membership of the DARC Group reflects a partnership approach and includes representatives from many organisations involved in both human and animal health throughout the UK. DARC created a MRSA sub-group in 2005, through which DEFRA is assisting and encouraging various initiatives relating to MRSA from the Bella Moss Foundation (a UK registered charity promoting awareness of MRSA in animals), industry and the veterinary profession. DEFRA has funded research to better understand the epidemiology of MRSA in companion animals and livestock and any role it may play in human infections.
In addition to chairing the DARC Group, DEFRA's Veterinary Medicines Directorate have used various means including legislation, publication of guidance and liaison with interested parties, such as the RUMA (Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture) alliance, to achieve a co-ordinated and integrated approach to raise awareness of the issues surrounding antimicrobial resistance in animals and promote the responsible use of antimicrobials.
Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the contribution of beekeeping to the agriculture sector; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: Through their important role in pollinating flowering plants, honey bees make a vital contribution to sustainable agriculture. Reflecting this, DEFRA continues to fund a programme of controls and education for beekeepers via the National Bee Unit and the Bee Inspectorate.
Jonathan Shaw: DEFRAs Bee Health Programme underpins bee health policy and covers work on exotic and statutory pests and diseases of bees. Research is carried out to fill gaps in the knowledge base used to support policy and to allow evidence-based policy decision making. The research should deliver results which can be used by Government and the craft of bee keeping in combating pests and diseases.
Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research the Government is funding on (a) acaricide-resistant varroa destructor and its associated viral diseases, (b) European foulbrood, (c) bee viruses and (d) nosema. 
Jonathan Shaw: In 2008-09, the research programme will continue to focus on the development of a monitoring and surveillance system for the Small Hive Beetle ( Aethina tumida (Murray)) and assessing the effectiveness of the shook swarm technique for the control of European Foul Brood (EFB). A three-year PhD studentship studying bee viruses, including those that are not transmitted by Varroa, which is based at the University of Surrey, will continue to build on recent progress.
Last year, the National Bee Unit analysed samples for the two Nosema species known to infect bees, Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae. Both species are present in England and Wales, although exact details of the spread and prevalence of these species are currently unknown.
No research is currently being carried out on Varroa destructor. However, this has been identified as a potential future research priority in the draft Bee Health strategy, which has recently been published for public consultation.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what reasons dairy non-pedigree calved females are valued more highly than pedigree calved females over 36 months in tabular valuations related to bovine tuberculosis. 
Jonathan Shaw: To support table valuations, sales data are collected from a large number and wide range of sources across Great Britain. We capture around 98 per cent. of the sales data for cattle sold at public auction, and, in our view, the table valuations reflect the market situation for same category cattle. Table values are only applied for any category in any month if adequate amounts of data have been obtained. Otherwise individual valuation is used to establish market value.
The non-pedigree table value has been higher than the pedigree value for the dairy calved female category on three occasions (between January and March 2008) since monthly table valuations for cattle compensation were introduced in February 2006. This reflected the underlying sales data that we received. I would stress that the approach we take is completely objective; sales data are not manipulated in any way.
Non-pedigree table values are based on one month's data, whereas for pedigree categories we use six months' data to cover seasonal variability in pedigree trade and to obtain adequate amounts of sales data.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the level of reductions necessary for each household from 2002 to 2050 assuming the current breakdown of carbon dioxide emissions between the different component elements for the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by (a) 60 per cent. and (b) 80 per cent. to be achieved by 2050. 
Mr. Woolas: Under the Climate Change Bill, the Committee on Climate Change must provide its first advice to the Secretary of State before 1 December 2008. That advice must include recommendations on the levels of the first three budgets as well as on the level of the 2050 target. It must also refer to the sectors of the economy in which there are particular opportunities for contributions to be made towards meeting the carbon budget.
The Government will consider the Committee's advice before announcing the first three budgets alongside fiscal Budget 2009. It is required to lay before Parliament a report on proposals and policies for meeting those budgets, including how they affect different sectors of the economy.
The Government's existing package of measures in the household sector, as set out in the 2007 Energy
White Paper, is designed to reduce UK household emissions to less than 30 million tonnes of carbon (MtC) from today's level of 40 MtC.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the extent to which the UK has met its obligations under the EU by-catch regulation (EC) No. 812/2004; and what impact this has had on cetacean populations in UK waters. 
Jonathan Shaw: The UK has reported on its implementation of EC 812/2004 in June 2006 and June 2007. As can be seen from these reports, we have fully met our obligation to monitor cetacean by-catch. This work is being carried out by the Sea Mammal Research Unit, and the annual reports of this research are published on the Departments website. However, technical problems with current designs have precluded full deployment of acoustic deterrent devices. No assessment has been made of the impact of these actions on cetacean populations in UK waters.
Jonathan Shaw: Acoustic deterrent devices, pingers, are required to be used in certain fisheries under Council Regulation (EC) 812/2004. Prior to enforcing the use of pingers, the UK Government wants to be sure that the pingers we recommend to be used are safe and cost-effective for the industry and offer maximum protection to porpoises. The European Commission has recognised that because of deployment problems, some member states are not able to implement pingers as required by the Council Regulation, and have recommended that member states should continue with trials to develop a working pinger. The Sea Mammal Research Unit are currently looking at the effects that a super-pinger has on the population distribution of porpoises. These super-pingers are larger and therefore fewer devices are required, reducing deployment problems. We will consider the results of this research when it becomes available. We are therefore not aware of how many UK vessels are currently using acoustic deterrent devices to reduce by-catch of cetaceans.
Jonathan Shaw: The Department has implemented a comprehensive system of by-catch monitoring under the requirements of the EC Habitats Directive and Council Regulation 812/2004. The Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) produces annual reports of this research for DEFRA, and these are published on the Departments website.
Since 2000, the UK has put over £2 million into researching by-catch mitigation measures and monitoring by-catch on vessels through observers. This is to try to identify those fisheries responsible for high levels of cetacean by-catch and mitigation measures that are
effective at deterring cetaceans over the long-term and are safe and cost-effective for the industry. We are due to receive the final report project on By-catch Mitigation Research from SMRU at the end of May. A new research contract on this issue has recently been agreed with SMRU.
Jonathan Shaw: All data on Cetacean strandings across the UK, up to and including the 2006 data, are publicly available on the Defra website in the form of UK Cetacean strandings investigation programme (CSIP) Annual reports:
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much his Department and its predecessors spent on carbon offsetting in each of the last three years; and to which companies payments for carbon offsetting have been made in each such year. 
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what (a) surveys, (b) questionnaires and (c) other services were provided by polling companies for his Department in financial year 2007-08, broken down by company. 
Jonathan Shaw: This information is not held centrally, and so the following information is what could be gathered without disproportionate cost. It lists the surveys, questionnaires and other services conducted by third parties which received funding from Defra and which sought opinion, and which were provided in completed and agreed form during the financial year 2007-08.
|Company which conducted it||Title of report|
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