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15 Oct 2008 : Column 1210W—continued

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£ million
Net change from 2008-09 to 2009-10

Cash Percentage Real Percentage

RPA Operations





RPA OCDS Costs(1)

Marine and Fisheries Agency

Animal Health





Govt Decontamination Service

(1) OCDS (Older Cattle Disposal scheme) ends February 2009


Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) if he will assess the relative health benefits and safety from toxins of wild prawns farmed in the UK with farmed prawns imported from South East Asia; and if he will make a statement; [226475]

(2) if he will increase the rigorousness and regularity of the testing of shellfish imported from South East Asia; and if he will make a statement; [226476]

(3) what steps he is taking to reduce the risk of toxic imported shellfish being put on sale to the public in the UK. [226542]

Huw Irranca-Davies: Prawns are not farmed in the UK. Some other shellfish are farmed in the UK, but are subject to controls required by EU legislation aimed at raising the standards of aquaculture health throughout the EU.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has responsibility for food safety matters, including controls on imported food such as shellfish from non-EU countries. These imports are subject to robust checks at UK seaports and airports of entry by local authorities in accordance with EU food safety and hygiene legislation.

All imports of food products from non-EU countries must meet food safety and food hygiene requirements equivalent to those in the UK. Products of animal origin, including shellfish, may be imported from non-EU countries which ensure that establishments meet EU standards and, have enforcement officials who monitor and are required to certify compliance with EU food safety criteria.

Such products must enter the EU through designated Border Inspection Posts under the control of official inspectors, where they undergo documentary and identity checks and a prescribed proportion are subject to physical compliance checks, which can include testing for toxins.

DEFRA’s Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) carries out surveillance for unacceptable residues of veterinary medicinal products in imported foodstuffs every year. This is based on recommendations from the independent Veterinary Residues Committee (VRC), which advises the VMD and FSA on residues issues. The programme focuses on looking for substances prohibited from use in the EU, and which therefore should not be present in food imported into the EU.

Warm water crustaceans have been included in the programme for several years. Several non-compliant results for metabolites of nitrofurans (antibiotics prohibited from use in the EU owing to health concerns) were reported in 2005 and 2006, with fewer non-compliant results in 2007 and 2008 to date. These are predominantly from South-East Asia. The UK authorities wrote to the Commission on this issue in January 2007.

Number of samples Number of non-compliant










2008 to date



Further details of the results can be obtained from the VRC’s website at

Non-compliant consignments are rejected and can be destroyed. The EU Commission is notified through the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) of such consignments and all EU (and EEA) border posts are advised to reinforce controls.

If a consignment fails these checks then the next 10 consignments from the relevant establishment are checked, for example, for the presence of veterinary residues. EU emergency safeguard conditions are taken when there is an outbreak of disease or other circumstances likely to present a risk to public health.

Inland local authorities also carry out checks of food on sale, regardless of country of origin. It is for food businesses to ensure that food on sale in the UK meets food safety requirements. Robust import conditions and targeted enforcement action is used to check food throughout the food chain to minimise potential risks to public health.

Primates: Pets

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) wild-caught and (b) captive-bred primates have been imported into the UK as pets since 2000. [225073]

Huw Irranca-Davies: Since 2000, the UK CITES Management Authority has issued one import permit to allow the importation of one wild primate for the purpose of keeping as a pet. The animal had been hand reared after it had been rejected by its mother and could not be returned to the wild. The Government’s scientific authorities advised that in this particular case there would be no detriment to the conservation status of the species in the wild. A permit was issued with the condition that the animal must be kept in adequate housing and could only be relinquished to a zoo or specialised keeper after ensuring that the intended recipient had been adequately informed of the accommodation, practices and equipment required to ensure the animal would be properly cared for.

There have been no permits issued in the same period to allow captive bred primates to be imported as pets.

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Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many pet primates have been seized in the UK as a result of noise or other nuisance since 2000; and where such seized primates were subsequently kept. [225075]

Huw Irranca-Davies: Any seizures of primates due to noise or other nuisance would be undertaken by local authorities. Central records of such seizures are not held.

Warm Front Scheme

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much Warm Front spent in labour costs associated with installing central heating in each of the last three years; and how many dwelling installations this figure represents. [224909]

Joan Ruddock: I have been asked to reply.

The following table illustrates the labour costs associated with the installation of central heating and the number of installations this represents. Figures split by scheme years.

Number of central heating installations delivered Heating costs—labour (£)













John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many properties in Bassetlaw constituency received Warm Front grants for (a) insulation and (b) central heating in the last three years. [224911]

Joan Ruddock: I have been asked to reply.

In the last three years, Warm Front has delivered (a) 533 insulation measures and (b) 691 heating measures to households in Bassetlaw.

Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether those living in residential park homes may be eligible to participate in the Warm Front scheme. [225009]

Joan Ruddock: I have been asked to reply.

Those residing in park homes are not disqualified from receiving assistance through the scheme and are subject to the same entry criteria as all applicants. However, many park homes can prove ‘hard to treat’ and may not be suitable for some of the measures currently available under Warm Front.

However, Warm Front has developed mechanisms for assessing new technologies that could be brought onto the scheme and is currently reviewing alternative heating and insulation measures which could provide potential future solutions for park home properties.

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Warm Front Scheme: Contracts

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs who the largest five contractors were, in terms of business value, installing Warm Front-funded central heating in Bassetlaw constituency have been in the last three years. [224719]

Joan Ruddock: I have been asked to reply.

The five largest contractors, in terms of the number of installations delivered through Warm Front, in Bassetlaw are:

Energy and Climate Change

Climate Change

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what progress has been made on the commitments undertaken at the ministerial G8 Gleneagles Dialogue meeting in Berlin, Germany in September 2007; and if he will make a statement. [225358]

Joan Ruddock: The third Ministerial G8 Gleneagles Dialogue meeting in Berlin in 2007 concentrated on developing an integrated view on energy and climate policy with a focus on technology and investment in sustainable energy systems. The Berlin ministerial recognised the urgent need for clear and predictable policy frameworks on the national and international levels in order to spur more climate-friendly sustainable development pathways and underscored the need for agreement on a strong process to develop a post-2012 framework.

To this end, the International Energy Agency and the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership, the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st century, national experts from Dialogue countries and interested stakeholders were invited to explore in more detail the technology potentials in key sectors in Dialogue countries. Analysis focused on how to ensure economic growth with a lower carbon footprint, including identifying specific innovative mechanisms for technology co-operation. The results were reported at the Japanese G8 presidency in July 2008.

International Financial Institutions were invited, in co-operation with national experts from Dialogue countries and the private sector, to analyse in depth the international co-operation toolbox, including expanding and scaling up mechanisms such as the Clean Development Mechanism, sectoral approaches, and blended public and private financing.

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what progress has been made on the Gleneagles Plan of Action on climate change to exploit cleaner technologies, promote energy efficiency and invest in clean technologies in emerging economies. [225367]

15 Oct 2008 : Column 1215W

Joan Ruddock: The International Energy Agency (IEA) undertook three years of detailed work under the Gleneagles Plan of Action funded by G8 members. The Agency’s report of the main conclusions can be found on its website. On energy efficiency, the IEA has completed an exhaustive analysis of the global potential for improvements in energy efficiency and the action that needs to be taken to realise that potential. This analysis culminated in 25 recommendations made by the IEA to the leaders of the G8 for improving global energy efficiency covering action on buildings, appliances, lighting, transport, industry, energy utilities and cross-cutting policies and which, by 2030, could reduce global demand for oil by 15 per cent., and energy-related CO2 emissions by almost 20 per cent., G8 leaders at the Hokkaido summit in Japan in July accepted the IEA’s conclusions, which also included:

In terms of work on encouraging investment in clean technologies in emerging economies, the World Bank and other multilateral development banks (MDBs) have been invited to increase dialogue with borrowers on energy issues and put forward specific proposals at their annual meetings to:

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what progress the Government has made on Public Service Agreement 27 on leading the global effort to avoid dangerous climate change; and if he will make a statement. [225368]

Joan Ruddock: Public service agreement 27 on climate change covers three major challenges—to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions by working for a global deal, to reduce UK emissions to put us in the forefront of the move to a low carbon economy; and to ensure the country is adapting to the consequences of climate change which are already unavoidable. Progress has been made on all three fronts but much more still needs to be done.

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