Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the implications for human health of the expiry in 2010 of the UK derogations on the quarantine arrangements for pet animals entering the United Kingdom from non-EU countries; and if he will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: EC Regulation 998/2003 sets out the animal health requirements for movement of pets within the European Union and into the EU from other countries. The regulation makes provision for a pet entering the EU from a third country which does not meet the appropriate animal health requirements to either be placed under official control until it meets those requirements, or returned to its country of origin or, as a last resort, be euthemised where return or isolation in quarantine is not possible. Those conditions will remain in place beyond 2010.
At present, pet animals entering the UK from countries not listed in the EC regulation are licensed in to quarantine for six months and are vaccinated against rabies immediately on their arrival. They are also observed and monitored for any signs of disease or illness whilst in quarantine.
An assessment of the potential risks to public health that could arise as a result of pet dogs, cats and ferrets entering the UK from third countries not listed in EC Regulation 998/2003 has been carried out and is currently being considered across Government in developing our future strategy for the UK Pet Travel Scheme in the event that our derogations from that regulation lapse in 2010.
The shape of the UK's pet movement controls, including quarantine, that may apply in 2010 is under review and is being discussed with the European Commission. These controls need to be based on a good understanding of the disease risks and are being considered on the basis of scientific evidence. We are also in discussions with the other four member states who also have derogations to the pet movement regulation.
Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the quarantine arrangements will be for pet animals entering the United Kingdom from non-European Union countries when the UK derogations expire in 2010; how these requirements will differ between countries identified as having favourable and unfavourable rabies status; what assessment he has made of the Government's policy in comparison with those applied in other EU member states; and if he will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: The pet movement derogations that apply to the UK as well as to Sweden, Ireland, Malta and Finland are due to expire on 30 June 2010. The extension to the derogations was granted as the European Commission is still considering its position regarding the shape of the Community pet movement rules that will be in place in 2010. DEFRA is currently engaged in discussions with the European Commission, the Department of Health and the other four member states with derogations with regard to our respective positions on pet movement controls come 2010.
At present, pet animals entering the UK from third countries which are not listed in an Annex to EC Regulation 998/2003 as amended, i.e. the pet passport regulation, are required to be licensed into quarantine for a period of six months. Furthermore, pet animals from other third countries which do not comply with the animal health requirements laid down in that regulation may not freely enter the UK but will either have to remain outside the UK until such time as they meet the requirements in full or be licensed into quarantine in the UK. The regulation also requires that any pet animal entering the European Community from a third country which does not meet the entry requirements shall either be re-exported, kept under official control until such time as it does comply with those requirements or, in the last resort, put down.
For the majority of other member states, pet animals from countries not listed in the regulation may enter their territory without the need for quarantine as long as they have met certain pre-entry requirements, including rabies vaccination and a blood test.
In 2006, my Department carried out a review of the UK rabies import control policies and as part of that review commissioned an independent scientific risk assessment on rabies import controls. This risk assessment has been published on the DEFRA website. The overall
conclusion from the review was that our current controls may no longer be proportionate to the risk of rabies entering the UK. No changes have yet been made to our import controls for pets as a result of that review as we are reviewing further evidence to inform our discussions with the European Commission on the shape of the controls that should be in place in 2010.
We are currently reviewing our position, including a review of published scientific evidence, on what the appropriate entry controls for pets, including those from countries with a less than favourable rabies status, would be for the UK.
Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the Government has sought relevant expert opinion on the human and animal health implications of the expiry of the UK derogations relating to pet quarantine arrangements in 2010. 
In 2006, as part of a review of the UK's rabies import control policy, including the ability to place pet animals into quarantine if necessary, we obtained expert opinion through separate independent veterinary risk assessments on rabies and other exotic diseases, such as those carried by certain ticks and tapeworms. The risk assessments closely examined our existing controls and those controls that may apply should the current derogations which apply to the UK lapse or change in some other way in 2010. Both risk assessments have also been considered by the independent expert Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens. The risk assessment have been placed on the DEFRA website. During the review of our rabies import controls we also sought views from a range of stakeholders including veterinary organisations and Government Scientific advisers.
An assessment of the potential risks to public health that could arise from the introduction of diseases and disease vectors that are exotic to the UK via pet dogs, cats and ferrets entering the UK has been carried out and is currently being considered across Government in developing our future strategy for the UK pet travel scheme in the event that the derogations lapse from EC Regulation 998/2003 lapse in 2010.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many complaints of racial abuse relating to staff for which his Department is responsible have been (a) investigated and (b) upheld in the last 12 months. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: During the last 12 months (for the period July 2006 to July 2007) the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has received less than five official complaints of racial abuse and therefore the information is withheld the grounds of confidentiality.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what advice he has given to local authorities on (a) the collection of waste material for recycling and (b) the storage of such material; and if he will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: In general the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) established the Recycling and Organics Technical Advisory Team (ROTATE) with the specific task of providing local authorities with advice and guidance on all the waste collection methodologies currently available. This advisory team has produced a wide range of guidance for local authorities including some covering the collection and storage of different recyclates. These can be accessed through WRAPs website at
More specifically in response to the impact of the recent economic downturn on markets for recyclates, DEFRA and the Environment Agency released a joint statement last week. This document has been published on the Environment Agencys website and can be accessed at
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many requests have been made to the Environment Agency for temporary increases in storage capacity for recyclable waste in each of the last 12 months. 
Jane Kennedy: The Environment Agency do not hold a central record of temporary increases in storage capacity of recyclable waste. The Environment Agency has, however, seen no increase in requests in the last 12 months for permit modifications or registration of exemptions that may relate to storage of recyclables.
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what recent discussions he has had with the (a) Environment Agency, (b) Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee and (c) Local Government Association on the state of the recycling sector; 
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many staff in his Department left under (a) involuntary and (b) voluntary staff exit schemes in each year since 2005-06; how many of them in each case were paid (i) up to £25,000, (ii) £25,001 to £50,000, (iii) £50,001 to £75,000, (iv) £75,001 to £100,000 and (v) over £100,000 in the year before they left; and how much (A) was spent in each of those years and (B) is planned to be
spent on such schemes in (1) 2008-09 and (2) 2009-10 by (Y) his Department and its predecessor (Z) each of his Department's agencies. 
Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many of his Department's staff who left under (a) an involuntary and (b) a voluntary exit scheme in each year since 2005-06 received a severance package of (i) up to £25,000, (ii) £25,001 to £50,000, (iii) £50,001 to £75,000, (iv) £75,001 to £100,000 and (v) over £100,000; and if he will make a statement. 
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what (a) water safety and (b) other environmental regulations are in place that prevent public access to grassed areas above covered reservoirs; and if he will take steps to encourage water companies to allow such access, with particular reference to urban areas with limited access to green space. 
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what reports his Department and its predecessor commissioned on the rivers in (a) the South East and (b) Hertfordshire in the last 10 years. 
Jane Kennedy: The Environment Agency is the statutory body with a duty to manage water resources in England and Wales. The Environment Agency regulates water abstraction from sources including rivers, lakes, canals and underground sources through a system of abstraction licensing, to minimise damage to the environment.
The Environment Agency has commissioned a number of reports in relation to water abstraction on rivers in the Thames Region, North East Area covering Hertfordshire, and Southern Region in the last 10 years.
Catchment Abstraction Management Strategies (CAMS) are six-year plans detailing how the Environment Agency is planning to manage water resources in a given area. They can be found on the Environment Agencys website.
Cuckmere and Pevensey Levels
Arun and Western Streams
Isle of Wight
Adur and Ouse
Test and Itchen
Roding, Beam and Ingrebourne
Kennet and Vale of White Horse
Cherwell, Thames and Wye
Thames and South Chilterns
Hugh Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress has been made in processing grant applications made to the Rural Payments Agency by Mr. Norman Coles of N Maidstone, Kent; and if he will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy [holding answer 25 November 2008]: Mr. Norman Coles of Vine Cottage, Lower Street, Broomfield, N Maidstone, Kent received a payment under the Single Payment Scheme (SPS) for the 2006 scheme year. This was the first year in which he had claimed under the scheme.
The Rural Payments Agency did not receive an SPS application from Mr. Coles for the 2007 scheme year and he did not therefore receive an SPS payment for that year. Mr. Coles appealed against the decision under the SPS Appeal Procedure, and the appeal is currently being considered.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what consideration he has given to the future chairmanship of the Sustainable Development Commission; and whether Sir Jonathon Porritt has indicated a wish to continue as chair beyond the end of his present term of office in July 2009.