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Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the effects of global financial turbulence and projections of future global growth on innovative financial instruments for development, with particular reference to the International Finance Facility for Immunisation bonds. 
Gillian Merron: To date the International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm) has issued two bonds through the international capital markets, raising approximately US$1.2 billion dollars for the immunisation and health systems strengthening programmes of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI Alliance). IFFIm contributed to the GAVI Alliance's results in 2007 and early 2008. Some of these results include;
immunising 194 million children in 32 developing countries with life saving measles vaccine;
immunising more than 100 million children under the age of five against polio;
helping immunise 26 million women against tetanus.
IFFIm is on track to achieving its objective to provide frontloaded and predictable funding to the GAVI Alliance in order to immunise millions of people, and to save five million children's lives by 2015 and a further five million adult lives thereafter.
Despite the current problems in the financial markets, IFFIm was able to issue the second bond in March this year through the Japanese capital market; raising US$223 million for the GAVI Alliance. Plans are underway to issue further IFFIm bonds in the coming years.
Gillian Merron: The Department for International Development (DFID) does not have a central budget for language training. Responsibility for sourcing and funding is devolved to divisions. Where appropriate to business needs divisions provide a range of language training opportunities, for example Portuguese for staff in Mozambique or French for those operating in Rwanda.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will hold discussions with his G8 counterparts to seek an increase in their funding of development assistance; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Thomas: G8 Development Ministers at their meeting in Tokyo on 5-6 April stated that they remain firmly committed to working to fulfil their commitments on Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) made at Gleneagles. In preparation for the G8 Summit in July and the Follow-Up Conference on Financing for Development in November, we are continuing to discuss with our G8 partners the increased funding necessary to achieve the millennium development goals.
Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 25 June 2008]: I assume my hon. Friend refers to farm biosecurity relating to controlling the spread of animal disease. The Government are currently running the Give Disease the Boot campaign, which provides livestock owners and veterinarians with information on a range of diseases and how best to protect the health of their animals and the health of the farming industry.
DEFRA has produced various materials promoting the need for vigilance, and providing information about how to spot disease and prevent its introduction and spread. This information is available on the DEFRA website.
Leaflets offering biosecurity advice to animal keepers are distributed by DEFRA at the Livestock Markets Roadshow, which is touring 80 towns in England during 2008. Key messages promoting biosecurity and vigilance are also featured in publications such as Farming Link.
Jonathan Shaw: Set-aside is an EU requirement linked to the single payment scheme and it is not open to member states to reach their own decisions on whether it should apply. The UK supported the Commission's proposal last year to set the rate at zero for the 2008 harvest because of high cereal prices. We also support the Commission's proposal in the CAP Health Check to abolish set-aside as from the 2009 harvest and agree that steps should be taken to retain the environmental benefits that set-aside has delivered.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will provide grant aid towards the cost of slurry storage facilities on farms arising from the implementation of the Nitrate Vulnerable Zones Directive. 
Mr. Woolas: DEFRA is not intending to provide a capital grant scheme for the construction of slurry stores in part because past experience has shown that this may simply increase supply prices and merely postpone the impact of market forces.
Mr. Morley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he plans to support proposals for a UN declaration on animal welfare; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what (a) statutory instruments, (b) departmental circulars and (c) other documents he (i) has issued in the last 12 months and (ii) plans to issue in the next 12 months consequential to the provisions of the Bees Act 1980; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: No statutory instruments or departmental circulars consequential to the Bees Act 1980 have been issued in the last 12 months. The European Commission is currently considering protective measures in respect of Aethina tumida, the small hive beetle, which may require implementation by domestic legislation in the next 12 months.
A draft Bee Health Strategy has been developed in consultation with interested organisations representing beekeepers. This was published for consultation on 8 April. The consultation closes on 29 August 2008. The strategy will help determine priorities for the Bee Health Programme and associated research and will define responsibility for action on bee pests and diseases.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his
Department (a) is taking and (b) plans to take to (i) monitor and (ii) control diseases in bees; what recent representations he has received about this issue; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: The National Bee Unit (NBU), part of the Central Science Laboratory (CSL), an executive agency of DEFRA, delivers the bee health programme in England. The aim of the programme is to control the spread of endemic notifiable diseases of honey bees and to identify and manage the risk associated with new exotic pests and diseases that may be introduced.
The NBU operates a statutory inspection programme for notifiable diseases and pests, and provides a comprehensive training and education programme for beekeepers to enable them to become more self-reliant in combating disease problems through improved bee husbandry.
In 2007, beekeepers benefited from more than 26,000 colony inspections and an extensive programme of training, including over 600 technical events, delivered by the NBU to help them improve disease control through good apiary management.
Since the beginning of April 2008, 33 parliamentary questions have been received and approximately 230 letters and emails from MPs and members of the public have been received on the issue of bee health in the same period.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much (a) the National Bee Unit and (b) the Bee Inspectorate received from his Department in each year since 1997; and how much each will receive in 2008-09. 
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Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many beekeepers each National Bee Unit inspector is responsible for in the six months of the year in which inspections are undertaken; and how many each was responsible for in that period in (a) 1997, (b) 2001 and (c) 2005. 
Jonathan Shaw: The number of beekeepers for which bee inspectors have responsibility varies according to the inspector's allocated area and whether they are employed on a part-time or full-time basis. In 1997, 2001 and 2005, apiary visits totalling 3,801, 3,706 and 4,053 respectively were carried out. Many inspectors conduct around 100 to 150 visits, and some 200 to 250 visits, per season. In addition, regional bee inspectors are available all year and can carry out inspections outside the traditional season. Inspections are targeted in areas where disease risk and colony density are highest and about 10 per cent. of the total number of apiaries is inspected each year.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what (a) primary and (b) secondary legislation regulates (i) beekeeping and (ii) bee products; what recent representations he has received on this legislation; and if he will make a statement. 
The Bee Diseases and Pests Control (England) Order 2006 makes provisions for the notification and control of statutory pests and implements community legislation on post import controls for imports of bees from third countries. The Animals and Animal Products (Import and Export) (England) Regulations implement community legislation relating to the importation of bees and apiculture products. The Honey Regulations 2003 make provisions for the specification and labelling of honey. The Veterinary Medicines Regulations 2007 make provisions for the authorisation, manufacture, classification, distribution and administration of veterinary medicinal products.
Strengthening the enforcement of existing bee health regulations on disease control, including the import of honey bees is addressed in the draft Bee Health Strategy, which was published for public consultation on 8 April. DEFRA has received no recent representations on the legislation.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the population of each species of bee in (a) Essex and (b) England in each year since 1980. 
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many beekeepers there were in (a) Southend and (b) Essex in (i) each of the last five years and (ii) at the most recent date for which figures are available. 
Jonathan Shaw: Five beekeepers in Southend and 509 beekeepers in Essex are currently registered with the National Bee Unit. Historical data are not available. The actual number of beekeepers in these areas will be higher as registration is not compulsory.
Mr. Tom Clarke: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Brecon and Radnorshire, (Mr. Williams), of 2 April 2008, Official Report, columns 913-4W, on bovine tuberculosis, what progress he has made in his consideration of the conclusions of the Independent Scientific Group on Cattle Tuberculosis on the potential role of badger culling in controlling tuberculosis in cattle. 
Jonathan Shaw: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 17 June 2008, Official Report, column 798W, to the hon. Member for South-East Cornwall (Mr. Breed). The position remains unchanged. We continue to consider all the complex evidence on this issue and will respond to the Committee as soon as our deliberations are complete.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will publish the scientific evidence relating to badger to cattle transmission of bovine tuberculosis evaluated by his Department in the last 10 years. 
Jonathan Shaw: The scientific evidence relating to badger to cattle transmission of bovine tuberculosis has already been published in the Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB (ISG)'s Final Report (18 July 2007). This and previously published interim reports of work carried out during the trial are available on the DEFRA website, alongside a list of peer-reviewed research papers published by the ISG and their research assistants.
DEFRA also publishes the final reports of all its funded research projects, some of which are relevant to questions about the transmission of bTB from badgers to cattle. These are also available on the DEFRA website.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with his French counterpart on policies to deal with bovine tuberculosis; and if he will make a statement. 
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will seek discussions at EU level to review the decision under the EU Pesticides Directive to ban the use of pesticides that treat carrot fly. 
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