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20 Oct 2008 : Column 27W—continued

Bovine Tuberculosis: Vaccination

Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he expects a bovine tuberculosis vaccine to be available for (a) badgers and (b) cattle. [227319]

Jane Kennedy: Badger vaccines are likely to be available sooner than cattle vaccines. The earliest projected date for the widespread use of Bacille Calmette Guerin (BCG) oral badger vaccine is 2014. Injectable BCG badger vaccines may be available by 2010.

The earliest projected date for the widespread use of a BCG cattle vaccine with a differential diagnostic test (DIVA) is mid to late-2015.

Climate Change: Diseases

Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the increase in mean surface temperatures on the potential for (a) malaria, (b) equine fever, (c) dengue fever, (d) lyme disease, (e) African Horse Sickness, (f) Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever virus, (g) Rift Valley fever and (h) other vector borne diseases to spread to the UK; and what steps he has taken towards securing vaccines for these diseases. [227327]

Jane Kennedy: DEFRA has an ongoing programme of international disease surveillance that monitors disease outbreaks. Risk assessments for African Horse Sickness and Rift Valley Fever have been published on the DEFRA Website. Equine fever could refer to a number of diseases of the horse, so we are unable to say whether we have performed a risk assessment for it.

DEFRA has not conducted specific assessments of the potential increase of the risk of these diseases as a result of an increase in mean surface temperatures. Surface temperatures are only one factor affecting the potential spread of disease and/or vectors. A number of natural and human-related factors, such as trade, animal movements and livestock husbandry practices may have a more significant role in disease spread in the short-term. Some research is under way to investigate potential implications of climate change for animal diseases.

No steps have been taken to secure vaccines against these diseases. Vaccines are often specific for particular types and strains, and decisions on vaccine procurement would need to be taken on the basis of risk assessments and our agreed control strategy for each disease.

Malaria, Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever virus, Dengue fever and Lyme disease are human health issues and therefore queries should be addressed to the Department of Health.


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Dairy Farming

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the number of dairy farmers in each of the last 10 years. [228535]

Jane Kennedy: The number of holdings and associated farmers (full and part-time) in England where dairy is the predominant activity are shown as follows. Farmers includes partners, directors and spouses (if working on the holding).

Dairy type holdings Farmers, partners, directors and spouses

2007

10,649

21,082

2006

12,628

25,706

2005

12,918

26,168

2004

13,264

28,057

2003

13,770

28,918

2002

14,537

30,425

2001

14,293

30,178

2000

15,219

31,418

1999

16,313

33,216

1998

17,014

34,405

Notes:
1. The 2007 dairy farm type was calculated using data taken from the cattle tracing system and is therefore not directly comparable to previous year’s results. Prior to 2007, the farm type was based on June survey data. As the annual June survey is based on a sample, estimates have been made for holdings not surveyed.
2. Figures prior to 2001 are not directly comparable with later results as they cover main (commercial) holdings only and also because of a register improvement exercise in 2001 which impacted on the labour figures.
Source:
June Survey of Agriculture and Horticulture

Domestic Waste: Waste Disposal

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make a statement on the implications of the Local Government Ombudsman ruling 06/C/10554, in relation to the waste policies of local authorities which seek to restrict the number of household bins which are collected. [224617]

Jane Kennedy: The Ombudsman found against this particular local authority on the basis that it had made insufficient effort to assess whether requiring the householder to have only one bin for the size of the household, was reasonable.

The ruling does not change the fact that local authorities can, under section 46 of the Environment Protection Act 1990, restrict the number of waste receptacles per household. However, section 46 requires the arrangements for receptacles to be reasonable and it is the authority's failure to comply with that requirement that led to the Ombudsman's investigation and subsequent ruling.

Flood Control

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations he has received on the consultation on restructuring of inland drainage boards. [224593]


20 Oct 2008 : Column 29W

Jane Kennedy: The Inland Drainage Board Sub Catchment review set a direction of travel following an independent report produced in 2006. The independent report outlined the strengths and weaknesses of the current performance of internal drainage boards and made recommendations for future improvements.

There has not been formal consultation on this, but representations have nevertheless been received from interested organisations and internal drainage boards, making points on the detail of the report as well as seeking guidance on the review itself.

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when the Government will (a) respond to and (b) set out its five proposals for action in respect of the consultation on options for allocation of responsibility for the ownership and long-term maintenance of drainage systems; and if he will make a statement. [224612]

Jane Kennedy: The Government will not be providing a separate response for the consultation and has indicated in the Summary of Responses to the consultation that the next steps will be announced in the response to the Pitt Review "Lessons learned from the 2007 floods".

The response to the Pitt Review is due in November.

Floods: Coastal Areas

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how often the Environment Agency updates its maps of river and coastal flood risks. [226700]

Jane Kennedy: The Environment Agency is continually updating its Flood Map, which shows areas that could be affected by flooding from rivers or the sea. Flood Maps, published on the Environment Agency's website, are sent to local authorities for planning and Civil Contingencies Act purposes. These show areas at risk of flooding and are updated and published on a quarterly basis.

Floods: Housing

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the number of homes at risk of (a) coastal flooding and (b) inland flooding, broken down by region. [226463]

Jane Kennedy: The latest national flood risk assessment (NaFRA) was carried out during 2006. The NaFRA data were published in March 2007.


20 Oct 2008 : Column 30W

A brief summary of appendix L of the NaFRA 2006 report follows and indicates the number or properties (both homes and businesses) at risk from tidal and fluvial flooding.

Environment Agency water management region Number of properties at risk from tidal flooding Number of properties at risk from fluvial flooding Number of properties at risk from both tidal and fluvial

Anglian

183,652

119,034

14,936

Midlands

25,358

196,002

1,092

North-east

138,385

146,704

10,824

North-west

65,614

47,742

3,220

South-west

72,999

89,612

6,394

Southern

124,769

133,797

11,095

Thames

418,295

281,327

36,611


Incineration: Waste Management

Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department is taking to encourage alternatives to incineration for the management of non-recyclable waste. [225010]

Jane Kennedy: It is local authorities, not DEFRA, who are responsible for deciding how waste is managed as part of their local waste management strategies. Any plans for facilities that converted waste to energy should emerge out of local waste strategies, so that all options for reuse, recycling and composting can be explored before landfill.

Recovering energy from waste offers a considerable climate change benefit compared to the alternative landfill. This is primarily through avoided landfill methane emissions, with the energy recovered from the biodegradable part of that waste not only displacing conventional power generation based on oil, coal or natural gas, but also counting towards our renewable energy targets.

Milk: Imports

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much milk was imported in each of the last 10 years; and from which countries such milk was sourced. [227607]

Jane Kennedy [holding answer 16 October 2008]: The following table shows the volume of liquid milk imported into the UK from 1997 to 2007, by country of dispatch, as recorded in the Official Trade Statistics.


20 Oct 2008 : Column 31W

20 Oct 2008 : Column 32W
UK imports of liquid milk, 1997 to 2007, by country of dispatch
Million litres
Country 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007

Irish Republic

81

88

60

60

55

26

19

24

8

19

19

Germany

24

27

17

20

11

6

4

8

15

20

18

France

20

20

13

9

10

10

9

10

11

15

14

Denmark

11

40

30

25

9

1

0

1

1

0

0

Belgium-Luxembourg

14

11

7

7

4

2

4

11

9

24

24

Netherlands

1

0

4

0

1

2

1

0

3

7

13

Austria

0

3

1

0

0

Other countries

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

All countries

150

188

134

122

90

48

37

55

47

84

88

Source:
HM Revenue and Customs.
Data prepared by Trade Statistics, Agricultural Statistics and Analysis Division, DEFRA.

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