Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the likely effect of the most recent US Farm Bill when enacted on British farming exports. 
Jonathan Shaw: The Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (the Act) represents a missed opportunity during a time of high commodity prices to reduce the levels of trade distorting domestic support given to US agriculture. The impact of domestic support payments on global agricultural markets is difficult to disaggregate at the country by country level and we have not conducted detailed analysis of the impact of changes in the Act on British farming exports. The Act makes relatively minor changes to the commodity title in the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (i.e. the last US Farm Bill).
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what funding his Department has provided to young farmers' organisations for the provision of skills and development in each of the last three years; and what plans he has to provide such funding in the next three years. 
Jonathan Shaw: DEFRA has provided £51,500 to the National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs for each of the last three financial years covering the period 2004-05, 2005-06 and 2006-07, a total of £154,500 over three years. The National Federation for Young Farmers Clubs have used this funding for a range of developmental activities for their members, aged 10 to 26 years, including skills training and competitive activities .
|Number of plants approved|
|1 Financial year April to March|
Animal Health (AH) have an approval period of two years, then plants are re-approved. As a result no figures are available for more than two years ago, as those plants will either have been re-approved or are no longer operating. The AH re-approval overwrites the original dates, making it impossible to distinguish between new and re-approved plants.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he expects to respond to the Fourth Report of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee Session 2007-08, HC 130-I, on badgers and cattle TB; and what the reasons are for the time taken to respond. 
Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 11 June 2008]: We have no date for a response to the Committees Report at this time. There is a great deal of complex evidence to consider in relation to bovine TB and badger culling and we have been determined to get the views of all the interested parties over recent months. As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State explained in his letter to the Chair of the EFRA Committee on 28 April, it will take time to produce a response that deals thoroughly with the Committees recommendations. The matter is receiving our full attention.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether dog-owners will be consulted on coastal access provisions in the Draft Marine Bill; and whether he plans to increase access to the coast to people with dogs under the Bill. 
Jonathan Shaw: We have held discussions with the Kennel Club about the coastal access provisions in the draft Marine Bill which aim to improve public access to the English coast for walkers and for those who may be accompanied by a dog.
We have no plans to specifically consult dog owners but anyone wishing to comment on the draft Bill may do so by writing to the Marine Bill Team, Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, Area 2C, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London, SW1P 3JR, or e-mail:
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research evidence was reviewed by his Department on the use of electric shock training devices for dogs prior to commissioning further research. 
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make an assessment of the animal welfare consequences of the use of electric shock (a) collars, (b) mats and (c) leads in training dogs. 
Jonathan Shaw: My Department is aware of a number of scientific studies on these devices, but considers that to date those studies published are not sufficiently robust. Further research into these types of collars is a priority. An Open Competition Call was published in DEFRA's annual research requirements document in August 2005 inviting bids for research on the effect of both electronic and non-electronic training aids on the welfare of dogs. A single proposal was received in response to the call but it did not satisfactorily meet the advertised requirement and it was rejected.
In July 2006, DEFRA circulated a revised call for research in the form of a limited tender call. The call invited proposals for studies to assess the effect of specific electronic pet training aids (excluding electric fences) on the welfare of dogs. The call encouraged an epidemiological approach, based on observation of collars already in use. One proposal was received in response to the call and a study commissioned which is due to complete in 2010.
DEFRA has also asked the Companion Animal Welfare Council, advisory body to Government on companion animal welfare matters, to undertake an independent study of available evidence on the use of these electronic training aids to help inform policy and complement the DEFRA funded study.
The study will not cover electric mats and leads. We are not aware that these devices are used to any significant extent. If they do cause a dog to suffer unnecessarily then it would be possible to bring a prosecution under the Animal welfare act 2006.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when his Departments research into electric shock collars will be completed; what the cost of the research is; and when he expects to decide on whether to ban electric shock collars. 
Jonathan Shaw: The study to assess the effect of electronic training aids on the welfare of dogs commenced in 2007, and it is expected to be completed in 2010 at a cost of £469,000. Details of the research project are available on the DEFRA website. We will not be making any decision on whether to ban electronic training aids until we have considered the results of the completed research project.
Mr. Benyon: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had on the future of the Institute for Animal Health at Compton; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 9 June 2008]: DEFRAs Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer was a member of the independent review panel, chaired by professor Sir John Beringer, to advise the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) on the future in terms of funding, governance and risk management at the Institute for Animal Health (IAH).
Among other things, the panel recommended that the BBSRC Council should consider the future of IAH Compton in the context of work to develop a new centre at Pirbright. DEFRA is currently in discussion with the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills and the BBSRC about the future of the Pirbright centre.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many convictions there were for non-compliance with requirements on cleansing and disinfecting livestock vehicles in each of the last five years. 
Jonathan Shaw: Over the last five years, the numbers of successful prosecutions resulting from non-compliance with cleansing and disinfecting requirements for all vehicles, including road, air and sea, are as follows:
|Number of Convictions|
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to find alternative sources of funding for the provision of border controls designed to stop the importation of illegal meat following the reduction of his Department's funding. 
Jonathan Shaw: Anti-smuggling controls on all products of animal origin at the Great Britain border except at border inspection posts are operated by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs and resourced directly from their budgets. The reduction in DEFRA's funding will not impact on this.
All commercial imports of meat from outside the EU must be checked on entry to ensure that they comply with the import requirements. The costs of these checks must be recovered from the importer under EU law. If a consignment does not comply with
the EU rules, it must be re-exported or destroyed and additional costs incurred during this process are also recovered from the importer.
Mr. McLoughlin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many representations he has received about quarrying on Longstone Edge in Derbyshire; and if he will take steps to end quarrying in the area covered by the 1952 planning permission. 
Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 12 June 2008]: Since the beginning of 2007 we have received over 70 representations from fellow Members of Parliament and stakeholder organisations and also over 70 representations directly from members of the public about the quarrying on Longstone Edge in Derbyshire.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many live animals were seized on entry to the UK in the most recent year for which figures are available; and how many of them were (a) destroyed, (b) repatriated, (c) placed in the care of Government agencies and (d) placed in the care of charities. 
Staff from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) seize live animals only in connection with Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97 on the protection of species of wild fauna and flora. Data on animals seized under the Regulation are set out in HMRCs Annual Reports. In 2006-07 there were 39 seizures, comprising 1,229 separate animals.
Animals are only destroyed on the basis of expert advice from qualified veterinarians, who also carry out the necessary euthanasia. Most animals that are seized will be placed into the care of zoos, registered keepers/breeders, breeding programmes, or registered societies.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what reasons and on what basis charities taking over care of animals seized on entry to the UK are required to pay fees to take possession of the animals; and if he will make a statement. 
[holding answer 10 June 2008]: Costs may be involved if animals require quarantine. If an owner is not available, the relevant local authority is responsible for paying for an initial two week period. However, rabies susceptible animals have to go into quarantine for a six month period, and these costs must be met or the animals will be destroyed or returned to the exporting country. If there is no owner or importer to claim responsibility for the animals, and charities
wish to save the animals from being euthanizedit is the responsibility of those charities to meet the costs of the quarantine period. This is a decision made by the charities, and they would not receive compensation for this from public funds.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether charities taking over care of animals seized on entry to the UK are compensated from public funds for the cost of that care. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Secretary of State publishes annual aircraft noise contour maps and reports (which include population statistics) for the three London airports (Heathrow Gatwick and Stansted) which are designated under section 80 for the purposes of section 78 of the Civil Aviation Act 1982 for noise control purposes.
These follow the standard UK practice of producing aircraft noise contours for the average summer's day (Leq 16 hour, 7.00 am to 11.00 pm) where summer is the 92-day period from 16 June to 15 September.
Aircraft noise contour reports for 2007 in respect of Heathrow Gatwick and Stansted are to be published shortly. The number of people falling within the 57dBA Leq contour is 251,900, 4,800 and 2,500 respectively.
Additionally, population statistics are summarised for these airports and for some of the non designated airports in table 3.10 of Transport Statistics Great Britain 2007this table can be found on the Department's website at:
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