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David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Gangmasters Licensing Authority on enforcement of the minimum wage in the agricultural sector. 
Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 17 September 2008]: DEFRA is responsible for enforcing the Agricultural Wages Order (AWO) in England and Wales. The AWO sets minimum wage rates and certain other minimum terms and conditions of employment which apply to workers in agriculture. Compliance with minimum wage legislation is one of the criteria which a labour provider must meet to be issued with a licence by the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA). DEFRA Ministers have regular discussions with the GLA, but there have been no specific discussions about the enforcement of the Agricultural Wages Order.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many single farm payment scheme claims from (a) North Yorkshire, (b) Yorkshire and the Humber and (c) England from 2005 have not been paid in full. 
Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 10 September 2008]: There are currently eight cases outstanding from the 2005 Single Payment Scheme who have not been paid in full. These cases awaiting payment are held up on probate/legal grounds. None of the holdings concerned are based in North Yorkshire and Yorkshire and the Humber.
|Scheme year||Number of claims|
|(1 )In addition there are 100 claims which have been paid manually where a further payment may be necessary.|
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent estimate he has made of the number of farmers who have received none of the single farm payment they were due since the start of the scheme; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 15 September 2008]: The Rural Payments Agencys most recent estimate is that four farmers have received none of the single farm payment they were due since the scheme started. These case are held up on probate/legal grounds.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much (a) fines and (b) interest payments for late payments of the single farm payment cost in each of the years that the scheme has been running; and if he will make a statement. 
(a) Financial corrections relating to reductions for failure to meet payment deadlines for single payment scheme (SPS) 2005 payments are approximately £58.67 million. No late payment penalties have been incurred for SPS 2006 or SPS 2007.
(b) The current value of interest payments made to claimants who received their full SPS payment after the closing of the regulatory payment window are approximately £2.5 million for the 2005 SPS, £500,000 for the 2006 SPS and £31,000 for the 2007 SPS.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on what occasions computer system failure has resulted in the inability of the Rural Payments Agency to (a) access historical records and (b) make payments in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 15 September 2008]: The IT systems used by RPA staff to access historical records and/or make payments have been available for use for 99.73 per cent. of the planned hours of service during the last 12 months. The short periods of system downtime amounted to an average of only one hour per month and none of these outages have affected the RPA payment schedules, nor access to historic records or other critical information.
Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 15 September 2008]: The Rural Payments Agency maintains numerous systems and controls to safeguard customer records throughout their lifecycle. These systems and controls conform with the latest Cabinet Office requirements and with European Union requirements for handling CAP data. They are kept under constant review and regularly audited by the European Union and National Audit Office.
Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the environmental effects which may arise from the maintenance of allotments. 
[holding answer 17 September 2008]: Although allotments will always be mainly used for growing food, they have other values that are now
gaining greater recognition. As well as being places for healthy exercise, allotments are also an increasingly important resource for wildlife. Many of the plants and animals that struggle to survive on intensively managed farmland find a refuge on allotment sites. Natural England published the 'Wildlife on allotments' document in 2007.
Mr. Truswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many prosecutions for offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 have been brought (a) in Leeds and (b) in total since the Act came into force, broken down by prosecuting agency. 
Jonathan Shaw: [holding answer 15 September 2008]: The Animal Welfare Act came into force on 6 April 2007 in England and 27 March 2007 in Wales. The first published data will be available in the autumn of 2009.
Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 10 September 2008]: Coccidiosis is not a notifiable disease hence reporting of coccidia diagnoses is voluntary. The levels of endemic diseases, such as coccidiosis, in the cattle and sheep population of Great Britain (GB) are monitored through the Veterinary Laboratories Agency's (VLA) Endemic Disease Surveillance Programme. This is performed by analysis of test results from clinical diagnostic samples submitted by veterinary surgeons to the VLA regional laboratories and to the Scottish Agricultural College (SAC) disease surveillance centres for investigation. The figures shown in Table 1 correspond to the number of coccidiosis incidents recorded by the VLA's Veterinary Investigation Diagnosis Analysis (VIDA) database for the years 2003 to 2008. Incidents in this setting are defined as farm holdings reporting a case of coccidiosis, affecting one or more animals, either for the first time or after a four-week period from the last reported incident of coccidiosis diagnosed on that farm. Note therefore that holdings can be recorded as having cases more than once within the same year.
|All incidents of coccidiosis in cattle in Great Britain recorded on VIDA. 2003 to August 2008|
|2003||2004||2005||2006||2007||2008 (January to August only)|
|All incidents of coccidiosis in sheep in Great Britain recorded on VIDA. 2003 to August 2008|
|2003||2004||2005||2006||2007||2008 (January to August only)|
England and Wales data were last updated on 4 September 2008, Scotland (and therefore GB) data were last updated on 14 August 2008.
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