Previous Section Index Home Page

17 Jun 2008 : Column 793W—continued


17 Jun 2008 : Column 794W

Roads: Accidents

Shona McIsaac: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) men and (b) women were killed in car accidents in the Humberside police authority area where at least one driver involved was aged 21 years or under and (i) male and (ii) aged 21 years or under female in each year since 2000. [211846]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The numbers of (a) male and (b) female fatalities in reported road accidents involving at least one (i) male and (ii) female car driver aged 21 years or under in the Humberside police force in 2000 to 2006 are shown in the table.

Number of fatalities( 1)
Male car driver aged 21 years or under Female car driver aged 21 years or under

Male fatality Female fatality Male fatality Female fatality

2000

5

2

0

2

2001

6

0

4

0

2002

8

0

0

0

2003

6

3

0

1

2004

2

1

0,

1

2005

12

6

0

2

2006

8

2

1

3

(1) Some fatalities may be double counted in the table as an accident could involve both a male driver (aged 21 and under) and a female driver (aged 21 and under).

Welsh Language

Mr. Crabb: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent assessment she has made of the level of demand for the services provided by (a) her Department and (b) its agencies and non-departmental bodies to be provided in the Welsh language; and if she will make a statement. [210539]

Jim Fitzpatrick: Demand for Welsh language publications is low across the Department for Transport and Executive Agencies.

Our policy is adherence to the Welsh Language scheme and to that of the Welsh Language Act 1993 and we have liaised with the Welsh Assembly Government on the delivery of publicity and advertising in media in Wales.

We also publish bilingual documents. For example the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency's major documents and bulk outputs (vehicle registration documents, driving licences, vehicle excise reminders) are already supplied in bilingual or Welsh and English format to postcode addresses in Wales. This of course serves to reduce individual requests.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Abandoned Vehicles

Mr. Scott: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many left-hand drive (a) cars and (b) vans have been found abandoned in each of the last three years. [210731]

Jonathan Shaw: DEFRA does not hold data on the number of abandoned vehicles that are left hand drive.


17 Jun 2008 : Column 795W

Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 4 June 2008, Official Report, column 919W, on abandoned vehicles, if he will provide the information on abandoned vehicles, broken down by (a) vehicle type and (b) scenario as defined by the Home Office Crime Reduction and Community Safety Group. [211657]

Jonathan Shaw: DEFRA does not routinely collect detailed information about the type of vehicles that are abandoned nor the scenarios of their abandonment.

Agriculture

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many new entrants there were to farming in (a) upland and (b) lowland areas in each of the last five years. [210078]

Jonathan Shaw: Information on the number of new entrants to farming is not collected.

The following table shows the number of principal farmers, spouses and business partners, split by those inside and outside the hill and upland areas which have been designated as Less Favoured Areas (LFAs), on 1 June in England in each of the last five years. These figures indicate the net change in the number of farmers.

Number of principal farmers, spouses and business partners, 1 June, England
Thousand

2003 2004 2005 2006 2007

Full-time

LFA

15.4

14.9

15.0

16.4

15.6

Non-LFA

85.1

83.2

82.3

80.4

76.1

All

100.5

98.1

97.9

96.7

91.8

Part-time

LFA

15.5

16.0

16.1

20.0

20.2

Non-LFA

103.2

110.2

108.9

107.1

107.0

All

118.7

126.2

125.0

127.1

127.1

Notes: 1. These data are collected by the June Survey of Agriculture. The results of this survey are subject to sampling error. More details of the survey are at: http://statistics.defra.gov.uk/esg/statnot/june_eng.pdf 2. The way in which we classify holdings to Favoured Areas was improved in 2006 which has led to a break in the series. The data from 2006 on are therefore not comparable with that from earlier years. 3. The most recent detailed information on new entrants to farming was a research report 'Entry to and Exit from Farming' which was commissioned by DEFRA in 2003. This is available on the DEFRA website at: http://statistics.defra.gov.uk/esg/reports/entryexit/default.asp

Agriculture: Subsidies

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will investigate the case of K E Lyons and Son, Sandhurst, Gloucester and their submission of field codes to the Rural Payments Agency. [211231]

Jonathan Shaw: The case of K. E. Lyons is subject to ongoing investigations by the Rural Payments Agency.


17 Jun 2008 : Column 796W

Animal Feed

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the safety of the re-introduction of meat and bone meal into animal feed. [210742]

Jonathan Shaw: The Food Standards Agency has funded research to assess the oral transmissibility of certain transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) to pigs and poultry (research transferred from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food’s portfolio). The European Commission has funded research on prion disease in fish.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published opinions on the residual BSE risk of meat and bone meal (The EFSA Journal (2005) 257, 1-30); on feeding fish meal to ruminants (The EFSA Journal (2007) 443, 1-26); and on feeding animal proteins to farm animals (The EFSA Journal (2007) 576, 1-41).

In December 2007 the Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee (SEAC) considered the potential for TSE risks associated with future options for permitting processed animal protein (PAP) into livestock feed, arising from the European Commission’s TSE Roadmap. The scientific papers are available on SEAC’s website. SEAC is preparing a statement for publication.

There is also an EU-coordinated test development project (SAFEED-PAP) under way to develop and validate official testing methods capable of reliably identifying PAP from different species in feed samples. Such tests may provide the necessary control tools to allow consideration of future proposals to use non-ruminant-derived PAP in the feeding of non-ruminant livestock. Improved testing methods will also support EU-wide monitoring for compliance with the current controls. DEFRA is contributing to SAFEED-PAP through the funding of research at the Veterinary Laboratory Agency (SE1797) and the Central Science Laboratory (SE1798).

Animals: Disease Control

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what contingency plans there are for his Department to deal with more than one animal disease outbreak occurring at the same time. [210823]

Jonathan Shaw: DEFRA’s generic Contingency Plan for Exotic Animal Diseases for England is reviewed and amended annually (as required under the Animal Health Act 2002) and covers arrangements for dealing with a range of exotic animal diseases. The Contingency Plan was used for the response to the simultaneous outbreaks of Foot and Mouth Disease, Bluetongue and Avian Influenza in 2007 and would be used if there are simultaneous outbreaks of different exotic animal diseases in the future.

The Contingency Plan is subject to ongoing revision based on the latest scientific advice, developments in policy and comments from stakeholders and operational partners together with lessons identified from disease outbreaks.


17 Jun 2008 : Column 797W

Animals: Religious Practice

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what regulations are in place to govern the treatment of animals during religious ceremonies. [210049]

Jonathan Shaw: The Welfare of Animals (Slaughter or Killing) Regulations 2005 (as amended) prohibit religious slaughter (slaughter without prior stunning) outside a slaughterhouse. This helps protect the welfare of animals slaughtered for consumption during Muslim or Jewish religious ceremonies, or festivals. In addition the Animal Welfare Act 2006, makes it an offence to cause an animal under the control of man unnecessary suffering. In addition, the Act places a ‘duty of care’ on any owner or keeper to ensure that the welfare needs of their animals are met. Meeting the needs of animals includes the provision of a suitable environment (place to live); a suitable diet; ability to exhibit normal behaviour patterns; to be housed with, or apart from, other animals (if applicable); and to be protected from pain, injury, suffering and disease.

Bees: Disease Control

Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions his Department has had with the Office of Environmental Policy in the US on the causes of colony collapse disorder. [211241]

Jonathan Shaw: In May, DEFRA officials met with colleagues from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to exchange views on colony losses. The USDA are continuing their investigations into the causes of colony losses, which may be the result of a combination of factors, rather than a single cause. Contributory factors being considered by the USDA include varroa, poor nutrition, pesticides and secondary viruses.

Bees: Health

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with his German counterpart on (a) the suspension of the registration of eight insecticidal seed treatment products manufactured by Bayer and (b) the collapse in bee populations in Baden-Wurttemberg. [211067]

Jonathan Shaw: There have been no ministerial discussions on this issue. However officials in the UK Pesticides Safety Directorate are in close contact with relevant officials in Germany.

Bluetongue Disease: Vaccination

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what roll-out strategy his Department has adopted for vaccination against BTV8. [210046]

Jonathan Shaw: In accordance with the strategy for rolling out vaccination across England, which has been developed with a core group of industry stakeholders, the protection zone is being expanded at regular intervals
17 Jun 2008 : Column 798W
over the summer, enabling vaccination to take place on a progressive basis. The strategy, which splits England into priority areas, is designed to be flexible, taking into account the delivery of vaccine, take-up in the existing protection zone, epidemiological information and the location of new disease, when it recurs. The strategy is available on the DEFRA website.

So far, over nine million doses of vaccine have been made available and the protection zone has been expanded accordingly. Initial indications suggest a good response to the availability of vaccine, and the take-up of vaccine is high.

Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the adequacy of supply of doses of the BTV-8 vaccine to Cumbria in the period up to the end of July 2008. [211025]

Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 13 June 2008]: In accordance with the strategy for rolling out vaccination across England, which has been developed with a core group of industry stakeholders, the protection zone will be expanded at regular intervals over the summer, enabling vaccination to take place on a progressive basis. The strategy, which splits England into priority areas, is designed to be flexible, taking into account the delivery of vaccine, take-up in the existing protection zone, epidemiological information and the location of new disease, when it recurs.

Under the order with Intervet, vaccine will arrive in regular deliveries until the end of August. Intervet is currently ahead of schedule. We cannot specify at this stage when vaccination will be rolled out into Cumbria. However, on 11 June, we announced that we are placing an order with Merial for 13 million doses, eight million for England and five million for Wales. Merial anticipate delivering vaccine in regular batches over the summer, which, alongside DEFRA's existing contract with Intervet, will ensure that sufficient doses are available for vaccination to be rolled out across England and Wales by September.


Next Section Index Home Page