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The information requested is not held by this Department. The practice for the registration of residential moorings varies between
navigation authorities and it is not possible to produce a consistent list of all residential moorings.
Jane Kennedy: The public consultation on the Waste Oils Protocol was launched on 28 July 2008 by the Environment Agency and the Government funded Waste and Resources Action Programme, and will close on 20 October. It is anticipated that a post-consultation draft of the protocol will be submitted to the European Commission in January 2009 for notification as a technical regulation in accordance with the Technical Standards Directive (98/34/EC). Subject to no substantial difficulties arising from this notification, the final protocol will then be published in August 2009.
Colin Challen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with the Treasury as to whether the rate of duty to be applied to waste-derived fuel oil from 1 November 2008 is consistent with Government obligations under the Waste Framework Directive to encourage the recovery and reuse of waste. 
Jane Kennedy: The Waste Oil Directive requires member states to ensure the collection and correct management of waste oil and to take measures to give priority to the regeneration of waste oil above combustion. As a specific measure applying to waste oil, the Waste Oil Directive takes precedence over the Waste Framework Directive.
It is the view of the Government that the duty regime applicable to waste derived fuel oil from 1 November 2008 should have no adverse effects on the volume of waste oil collected, as correct management of hazardous waste is a legal requirement. Waste oil has a value and there will continue to be a demand for waste-derived fuel. A higher duty rate for waste-derived fuel could also encourage the provision of regeneration of waste oil in preference to combustion.
Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will bring forward legislation to prohibit the keeping, selling, buying and training of primates as pets. 
However, as a result of concerns raised during the passage of the Animal Welfare Act through Parliament, the Government intend to introduce a code of practice on the keeping of primates as pets. We are in the process of setting up a working group of experts to consider the standards that should be included in the code. Members include representatives of zoos, primate sanctuaries, specialist vets and private keepers.
The code is intended to help owners and keepers to meet their statutory duty to provide for the welfare needs of their animals. While it will not be a specific offence to fail to comply with the code, it could be used in court as evidence to support a prosecution brought under the Animal Welfare Act. The code will be subject to consultation and approved by Parliament. We hope that the code will come into force next year.
Jane Kennedy: The welfare of rabbits is provided for in the general provisions of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, and the Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) Regulations 2007 has a specific schedule relating to rabbit welfare. DEFRA also has a welfare code for rabbits. There are no specific EU wide standards for rabbit welfare.
Stephen Hesford: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of (a) the size of the UK rat population and (b) the areas most affected by rat infestation. 
Data on rodent infestation in domestic dwellings are obtained from the English House Condition Survey (EHCS). The detailed findings for 2001 are summarised in the report Rodent infestations in domestic properties in England, 2001. The EHCS only provides an estimate of the proportion of dwellings with rat infestations inside or outside. It does not provide definitive data on numbers of rats.
In May, DEFRA published an interim report on rodent presence in domestic properties from the EHCS data for 2002-03 and 2003-04. The key findings were that the occurrences of rats in these years are not significantly different from those observed in 2001.
Huw Irranca-Davies: The Government are committed to supporting the sustainability of all communities, including those in rural areas. Evidence shows that, overall, rural areas are performing well in comparison to their urban counterparts, although there are some problems around housing and local economies.
The Government welcome Matthew Taylor MPs recent report on housing and planning in rural areas, which makes a number of important recommendations on the sustainability of rural communities, and will be producing a formal response to that report in due course.
The Governments policies to promote stronger, more sustainable communities through enhancing the quality of life, increasing affordable housing, tackling crime, raising educational standards, developing economic potential and improving local accountability apply equally in rural and urban areas.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 12 December 2007, Official Report, column 712W, on seas and oceans: biodiversity, whether he has finalised the network of Natura 2000 marine area sites; and if he will make a statement. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: Our programme of data collection and survey work is continuing to identify further sites to complete the UK Natura 2000 network. We hope to have the network substantially complete by 2012.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the provisions of the communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on the role of the CFP in implementing an ecosystem approach to marine management (COM(2008) 0187 final); and if he will make a statement. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The UK remain fully committed to the ecosystem approach to fisheries management and is fully supportive of the draft Council Conclusions on the Commission's Communication, which are to be agreed at a forthcoming EU Council of Ministers.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 12 December 2007, Official Report, column 712W, on seas and oceans: biodiversity, what reports he has received on the Joint Nature Conservation Committee on offshore sites being damaged by fishing activities; and if he will make a statement. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), our scientific advisers, have not indicated that potential offshore sites are being damaged by fishing activities. If the JNCC did indicate that such damage was occurring, we would approach the Commission to ask them to consider proposing protective measures.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 12 December 2007, Official Report, column 712W, on seas and oceans: biodiversity,
whether he has submitted an initial tranche of candidate offshore special areas to the European Commission; and if he will make a statement. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: An initial tranche of candidate offshore special areas of conservation (cSAC) were submitted to the European Commission on 29 August 2008. These included the sites at Braemar Pockmarks, Darwin Mounds, Haig Fras, Scanner Pockmark and Stanton Banks.
Two sites have been delayed pending resolution of issues arising during public consultation: North Norfolk Sandbanks and Saturn Reefs, and Wyville Thomson Ridge. DEFRA officials are working to resolve these issues and these sites will be considered for submission to the Commission at the earliest opportunity.
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the likely effects of implementing the proposals for electronic identification of sheep on (a) the sheep industry and (b) hill farmers. 
Jane Kennedy: A Regulatory Impact Assessment has been produced for England, a copy of which is available on the DEFRA website. An updated version to take account of changes to Council Regulation 21/2004 that were negotiated over the summer and more detailed implementation options will accompany the consultation that is planned for the spring.
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with the European Commission on the effects of electronic identification on the UK sheep industry. 
Jane Kennedy: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State met with Commissioner Vassiliou on 29 September to press for a review of Council Regulation 21/2004, which provides for the mandatory implementation of electronic identification (EID).
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what meetings he has had with farmers' representatives from (a) England, (b) Scotland, (c) Northern Ireland and (d) Wales on the European Commission's plans for electronic identification of sheep. 
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State did however meet with representatives of the NFU, NFU Scotland, NFU Wales, National Sheep Association, British Meat processors Association, Livestock Auctioneers
Association and the Association of Independent Meat Suppliers on 30 June to discuss EID.
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what meetings he has had with his counterparts in each of the devolved administrations on the European Commission's plans for electronic identification of sheep. 
Jane Kennedy: As part of the normal course of business, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State talks to his devolved counterparts on a variety of issues, including electronic identification (EID). DEFRA officials also meet with their devolved counterparts to discuss EID on a regular basis.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 10 December 2007, Official Report, column 41W, on special areas of conservation, whether Natural England has identified further sites that should be selected as special areas of conservation; and if he will make a statement. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: Further to the reply of 10 December 2007, Natural England is developing proposals for eight special areas of conservation (SACs) in inshore waters following survey work last summer. It is at the stage of considering potential boundaries for the areas of qualifying habitat that they have identified. Once the proposed boundaries have been identified, they will be agreed by Natural England's board before being forwarded to DEFRA. The areas involved are:
Inner Dowsing, Race bank and North Ridge (Outer Wash);
Haisborough, Hammoond and Winterton (Outer Wash);
Margate Sands and Long Sands (Outer Thames);
Lyme Bay to Poole Bay Reefs;
Prawl Point to Plymouth Sound and Eddystone Reefs;
Lands End and Cape Bank; and
Shell Flats and& Lune Deep (Morecambe Bay).
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps the Government have taken to ensure water companies maintain pipe work and mains to high standards. 
Jane Kennedy: Each water company is required to maintain its assets so that it can provide services to consumers over the long-term, while protecting the environment. In its role as the independent economic regulator for the water industry, Ofwat monitors how well each company is maintaining its assets in its annual serviceability assessments. Serviceability is the capability of a system of assets to deliver the right level of service to consumers now and in the future.
In February 2006, Ofwat wrote to all water and sewerage companies (MD212, 'Asset Management Planning to Maintain Serviceability'). This signalled Ofwat's intention that if a company cannot demonstrate stable serviceability at the price review in 2009 it will treat this as a shortfall in delivery. Shortfalls are where a company fails to deliver outputs, targets or service levels specified in price limits. Ofwat recovers the money set aside for these, on behalf of customers, when it next sets price limits.
A further letter (PR09/06, 'Setting Price LimitsLogging Down and Shortfalling' in November 2007) sets out how shortfalls would be applied in respect of failure to deliver serviceability outputs (section 2.1). This has focused the attention of the water and sewerage companies on the issue.
Ofwat's work over the last few years has culminated in its ability to report a marked improvement in serviceability for 2007-08. Details of these and other regulatory actions are set out in Ofwat's set of reports on company performance which can be found on the Ofwat website.
Scrutiny of the water companies by the inspectorate has resulted in improved compliance with European drinking water standards from 95 per cent. in 1991 to 99.96 per cent. in 2007. On the advice of the inspectorate, the drinking water regulations were amended in 2007. These changes introduced a requirement for water companies to implement a risk management approach to water safety.
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