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15 Dec 2008 : Column 318Wcontinued
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on what date the EU target of 96.14 per cent. of payments by value under the single payment scheme in England was met in each of the scheme years to date; and when he expects the target to be met for the 2008 scheme year. 
Jane Kennedy: The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) announced on its website that it had exceeded the EU target of 96.154 per cent. of payments, by value, on the following dates:
RPA is not in a position to predict the date when payments made for the 2008 scheme year will exceed the EU target, as this will depend on the associated values of the particular claims as they complete validation and are ready to be paid out.
RPA is committed to meeting its formal targets of making 75 per cent. of payments, by value, by the end of January 2009 and 90 per cent. by value by the end of March 2009.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many claims of under (a) £300 and (b) £500 were made under the single farm payments scheme in England in 2007. 
Jane Kennedy [holding answer 9 December 2008]: Under the Single Payment Scheme 2007 in England, to date 10,898 payments have been made where the claim value was under £300 and 16,605 payments have been made where the claim value was under £500. It should be noted that these numbers may reduce if payments are subsequently voided.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much his Department spent on inspections to support the work of the Rural Payments Agency in each of the last five years. 
Jane Kennedy [holding answer 11 December 2008]: The direct costs of the Rural Payment Agency (RPA) Inspectorate for the last five years are as follows:
|Financial year||£ million|
The Inspectorate also carries out inspections on behalf of other administrative bodies in addition to RPA such as Natural England. These costs include administering, carrying out and reporting on physical inspections but do not include overheads or the costs of administering the results of those inspections.
The costs for 2004-05 onwards include expenditure relating to services provided by agents.
The increase in the 2006-07 costs were as a result of merging Horticultural Marketing Inspectorate into the Inspectorate.
The Environment Agency also undertakes inspections in support of the work of the RPA but does not allocate any specific costs towards such inspections because the majority of visits are undertaken as a matter of course. However the Environment Agency has identified costs of additional reporting and it is estimated that the following is spent per annum:
Animal Health also spent the following amount on inspections to support the work of the RPA:
Animal Health does not hold figures for 2003-04 and 2004-05 because the State Veterinary Service was part of Core DEFRA during that period. 2005-06 was the first year for the State Veterinary Service as an Executive Agency of DEFRA and this was a transition period in respect of data.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to the answer of 19 November 2008, Official Report, column 476W, on inspections, if he will break down the cost of training programmes for 2007-08 by category of programme. 
Jane Kennedy [holding answer 9 December 2008]: Animal Health do not hold figures of training by programme. This information could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what precautionary steps his Department has taken to prevent the spread of BTV8 and BTV1 from imported live stock to domestic sheep and cattle in the UK. 
Jane Kennedy: DEFRA continues to conduct post-import tests on all imported animals for all BT serotypes. This means we can detect all types of Bluetongue through our routine testing.
We have an agreed policy for controlling incursions of any new serotypes under the existing UK Bluetongue Control Strategy. This strategy was reviewed recently in light of this years experience and to address risk from other serotypes, and was published on the DEFRA website on 1 December.
Details of the Control Strategy are currently available on the DEFRA website. Copies will also be placed in the House Library.
DEFRA continues to urge industry to consider the risks and check the health and vaccination status of animals when sourcing any animals, from within the UK or abroad.
Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the level of bluetongue vaccine uptake in England. 
Vaccination against bluetongue in England is voluntary, and delivered through existing veterinary medicine supply chains, an approach agreed with the livestock industry to ensure the simple, rapid roll-out of vaccine to protect animals earlier this year. Because the
approach to vaccination is voluntary, no definitive figures can be provided on the numbers of livestock actually vaccinated.
However, to date, sales data from the supply chain suggests the overall uptake of vaccine across the whole of England is around 60 per cent. Initial vaccine uptake was highreaching between 80 per cent. and 90 per cent. in the South East and East of England, but uptake in the counties of northern England and in Wales has been lower.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate his Department has made of the cost of introducing a deposit and return scheme for bottles; how such a scheme would be applied; and how it would work in practice. 
Jane Kennedy: DEFRA has not recently estimated the cost of introducing a deposit and return system for bottles. A study undertaken for DEFRA in 2004-05 estimated that the annual operating costs for such a system would be in the region of £100 million. We recently commissioned a study by Environmental Resources Management which looked into the advantages and disadvantages of deposit systems and the issues that need to be addressed in setting up such systems. This report will be published shortly.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the terms of reference of the Bovine TB Eradication Group are. 
Jane Kennedy: The Terms of Reference of the Bovine TB Eradication Group for England are:
To make recommendations to the Secretary of State on bovine TB and its eradication.
To review the current TB strategy and control measures and develop a plan for reducing the incidence of bovine TB from cattle in England and moving towards eventual eradication. To assess options to help farmers in high incidence areas maintain viable businesses when under disease restrictions.
To make recommendations on other issues as they arise. DEFRA may also choose to refer specific issues to the group.
The group will look at the options available to address infection in cattle and to reduce the risk of transmission between cattle and between cattle and wildlife, and consider costs and benefits in making recommendations for action. It will consider options for using vaccination in cattle and badgers. It will also consider any exceptional circumstances or new scientific evidence that might arise relating to the established policy on badger culling for control of TB.
A priority output from the work of this group will be a series of measures which can be submitted to the European Commission for approval as part of a formal eradication plan.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of the waste generated by (a) his Department and (b) the Environment Agency has been recycled or composted in each of the last three years. 
Jane Kennedy: DEFRA recycled and composted the following amounts of waste in each of the last three years.
At this time the Sustainable Development Commission has yet to publish Government data for 2007-08.
DEFRA has increased the number of sites on which it reports from 39 in 2004-05 to 54 in 2006-07. The waste data also include laboratory waste. A large amount of laboratory waste is hazardous and cannot be recycled.
The following table shows Environment Agency estimates for waste recycled from its offices and depots for the last two financial years. Prior to 2006-07 records were not held centrally and are therefore unavailable.
Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the total income generated by farming in England (a) in absolute terms expressed in pounds sterling and (b) as a percentage of gross domestic product in each of the last three years. 
Jane Kennedy: Latest estimates of Total Income from Farming for England for the last three years are shown as follows.
|Total Income from Farming: England|
Total Income from Farming (TIFF) is income generated by production within the agriculture industry, including subsidies. It represents business profits plus remuneration for work done by owners and other unpaid workers.
Agricultures contribution to the economy is measured by its contribution to Gross Value Added. Gross Value Added differs from Total Income from Farming in that it excludes consumption of fixed capital, subsidies and taxes that are decoupled from production, compensation of employees, net rent and interest. The latest estimates of Gross Value Added for agriculture expressed as a percentage of Gross Value Added in England are shown as follows; an estimate for 2007 is not yet available.
|Agricultures GVA as percentage of regional GVA: England|
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