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Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which procedures have to be followed to enable a farmer to remove waste dumped on his farmland; what the cost of those procedures to the farmer is; what estimate he has made of the average cost to farmers of applying such procedures; and if he will make a statement. 
A farmer has a range of options for removing waste dumped illegally on his farmland. If the waste is posing an immediate threat to human health or the environment, he should contact the
Environment Agency for advice. If the waste is of a non-hazardous nature, he must either remove the waste himself to a registered disposal site or contract a registered waste carrier to remove it for him. In both instances he should contact his local authority who may be able to offer support and advice. The exact cost of removal would depend on the nature and volume of waste deposited.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what plans he has for the £20 million for flood defence expenditure announced in the pre-Budget report; 
(2) what the evidential basis was for the statement in the pre-budget report that 27,000 homes will be protected from flooding with the help of the £20 million funding announced; and where those homes are located. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: Following the Government's announcement that £20 million will be brought forward for flood defence schemes from 2010-11 to 2009-10, an estimated 27,405 households will benefit from new or improved flood risk protection a year earlier than planned.
Funding will be allocated by the Environment Agency. The exact location of households benefiting will be dependent upon schemes passing the necessary feasibility studies and planning applications, as well as final approval for projects, which will be determined in February 2009. The Environment Agency has issued a list of schemes expected to be brought forward as a result. Copies of the list have been placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect of changes in (a) nitrogen prices and (b) levels of nitrogen supply on food production; and if he will make a statement. 
In October DEFRA published its first forecast of total income from farming for the UK for 2008. This took into account the impact on input costs of changes in nitrogen prices and usage. A revised forecast will be published at the end of January together with forecasts of farm incomes in England by farm type for 2008-09. These will also take into account the change in nitrogen prices between 2007-08 and 2008-09.
A fuller economic analysis of the agriculture industry and of commodity production and supply, reflecting the full range of factors impacting on the sector, will be published in Agriculture in the United Kingdom in March 2009.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) funded into the effect of animal disease on food security in the last 12 months. 
Jane Kennedy: DEFRA has not commissioned/funded any work specifically into the effect of animal disease on food security. However, we continue to fund research, to the value of £1.6 million annually, on a number of major endemic diseases of livestock, including cattle, sheep, pig and poultry, which seriously affect or are a serious potential threat to livestock production and thus food security. In addition, there is a programme of research, costing in the region of £8 million annually, on exotic diseases aimed at protecting UK livestock from exotic disease incursions.
One of the ways in which we are able to minimise the effects of animal disease on UK food security is by having a supply of livestock products from a wide range of countries, including the UK, which effectively spreads the risk. Disease outbreaks in the UK or elsewhere in the world affecting our trading partners should prompt a swift response in trade flows as the market seeks to offset the impacts of any supply disruption.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his policy is on advertisements for products produced with meat from EU countries other than Britain carrying the British tractor assured label; and what guidance he has issued to food retailers on the use of the label on foodstuffs produced elsewhere in the EU. 
Jane Kennedy: The Red Tractor scheme is operated by Assured Food Standards, a company that is owned by representatives of the entire food chain from farmers to retailers. As a privately owned scheme it is the responsibility of Assured Food Standards to satisfy itself that it complies with food law, which makes it an offence to mislead the consumer as to the origin of food.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he plans to reduce the level of intensive rearing and farming of game birds; and what advice he has received from the Farm Animal Welfare Council on this matter. 
The Farm Animal Welfare Council recently published its opinion on the welfare of farmed game birds containing their recommendations on certain management practices. The opinion will guide the working group in the drafting of a code of practice.
We will work with the relevant bodies to ensure that country sports are protected while ensuring high standards of environment protection, animal welfare and safety.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to the answer of 26 November 2008, Official Report, columns 2187-8W, on horse racing, if he will make it his policy to gather statistics on thoroughbred fatalities on British racecourses. 
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to the answer of 26 November 2008, Official Report, column 2188W, on horse racing, if he will make an annual assessment of the welfare issues arising from surplus breeding of race horses. 
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to the answer of 26 November 2008, Official Report, column 2188W, on horse racing, what assessment he has made of the levels of competence of veterinary surgeons charged with destroying injured horses on British racecourses. 
Jane Kennedy: We have made no such assessment. However, any veterinary surgeon registered by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons is obliged to follow a guide to professional conduct. This includes the requirement that they (i) keep their skills and knowledge up to date (ii) keep within their own areas of competence save for the requirement to provide emergency first aid and (iii) continue their professional education by keeping up to date with the general developments in veterinary science, particularly in their area of professional activity.
Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether his Department has performed a cost/benefit analysis on the EU requirement for foals born after 1 July 2009 to be identified by a microchip linked to a horse passport; and what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of implementing such a requirement in the first 12 months of its operation. 
Jane Kennedy: DEFRA is currently consulting on the implementation of Commission Regulation (EC) 504/2008 of 6 June 2008. The consultation document includes a draft Impact Assessment (IA) which estimates the costs and benefits of the new legislation.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Local Government Association on alternatives to incineration; and what potential exists within private finance initiatives for localised waste solutions. 
Jane Kennedy: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has had no recent discussions with the Local Government Association on incineration. Private finance initiative waste infrastructure projects are initiated by the local authorities and are therefore always tailored to local circumstances.
Jane Kennedy: There is no target or average for the number of local authorities expected to comprise each joint waste authority. The joint waste authority model is a voluntary option for local authorities who will need to decide whether or not such a model is appropriate for them.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what the estimated cost to (a) farmers and (b) the public purse of electronic identification of sheep is for its first year of operation; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what assessment he has made of the likely effects of electronic identification of sheep on (a) hill farmers incomes and (b) management of upland ecosystems; and if he will make a statement. 
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. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will place in the Library a copy of the speeches and presentations made by representatives of the Environment Agency at the Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee Conference in November 2008. 
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he expects the Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the right hon. Member for Liverpool, Worcester (Jane Kennedy), who is responsible for Farming and the Environment to reply to the letters from the hon. Member for the Forest of Dean of 12 September and 26 November regarding surface water charges. 
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he plans to bring producers of (a) packaging, (b) chewing gum and (c) cigarettes within the remit of regulations on producer responsibility. 
Jane Kennedy: Animal Health have issued 60,000 blank certificates to veterinary practices in each of the last three years. We do not keep records of how many passports are issued by veterinary practices.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect on levels of UK poultry exports of the UKs avian influenza-free status; and if he will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: The UK was able to resume trade in live poultry and poultry products with its European Union partners on 8 July last year. Subsequently, the UK achieved official international recognition of avian influenza freedom by the World Organisation for Animal Health on 20 November. We are currently working with our industry stakeholders to identify the key third country markets which need to be reopened and the best way to take negotiations forward in each case.
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the (a) Environment Agency, (b) Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee and (c) Local Government Association on market conditions in the recycling sector. 
to further promote waste minimisation;
to maintain public confidence that recycling is worthwhile to ensure continuity of collection systems for recyclables;
to focus on producing high quality marketable recyclables;
to ensure any storage of recyclables do not undermine the environment or public health or the recyclability of those materials;
where the traditional markets for recyclables have contracted, to encourage the most sustainable recovery and disposal optionsi.e. landfill as a last resort; and
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