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the Animal Health Long Service Award.
Two awards (a 25-Year and a 40-Year Long Service award) are presented locally to individuals who have completed the requisite service in the civil service (including any previous service in MAFF, DEFRA, the State Veterinary Service, Animal Health or any other Government Department).
Recipients receive a certificate and are granted two days special paid leave (for the 25-Year award) or five days special paid leave (for the 40-Year award), which are awarded at the agencys bi-annual awards ceremony that celebrates success.
The scheme is designed to act as a motivational award to an individual or team, which underpins VLAs organisational values, aims and objectives. It encourages and rewards good performance, promotes team building or recognises outstanding contribution.
Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to the answer of 10 November 2008, Official Report, column 770W, on departmental training, what personal training courses at public expense other Ministers in his Department have undertaken since 1 January 2008. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: DEFRA Ministers attended three courses in the period concerned, each of them lasting no longer than one day. The courses were intended to enable Ministers to carry out their duties effectively in line with the ministerial code.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what powers waste collection authorities have to enter premises in relation to suspected breaches of waste regulations; and what powers they have to (a) measure and (b) photograph household waste; 
Jane Kennedy: Section 92A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA) gives local authorities powers to serve a litter clearing notice on any open land, requiring the occupier, or failing that, the owner, to clear litter from that land. If the notice is not complied with, they can enter the land, clean up and then reclaim their costs.
Section 59 of the EPA allows waste regulation authorities and waste collection authorities to serve a notice on the occupier or owner of land to require the removal of controlled waste unlawfully and knowingly deposited. Where a person fails to meet these requirements, the local authority or the Environment Agency may clear the waste and seek to recover the costs.
It is intended that joint waste authorities should have the same powers as are currently available to local authorities when they are carrying out those functions which joint waste authorities may take over.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what guidance (a) his Department and (b) the Waste and Resources Action Programme has provided to local authorities on the use of large communal bins for household waste; 
Jane Kennedy: There has not been a call for guidance on the use of large communal bins for household waste or on the number of household waste bins to be provided to households, either to DEFRA or WRAP.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research (a) his Department and (b) its agencies have undertaken into means of waste (i) collection and (ii) disposal of mercury-containing compact fluorescent lights for domestic use. 
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what steps his Department is taking to encourage local authorities to undertake separate food waste collections; 
Jane Kennedy: Separate collection of food waste has so far been introduced by 36 local authorities in England, including 17 authorities who are working with the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) on trials of the collection of segregated household food waste. These are separate food only schemes and do not include mixed food and garden waste collections.
Separate collection of food waste can help achieve environmental gains more cost-effectively, including through the use of anaerobic digestion to provide energy. Further means of extending separate food waste collections and increasing the proportion of food waste collected which is routed to anaerobic digestion are also under consideration.
Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what provisions of EU directives within his Departments area of responsibility have not yet been transposed into law; in respect of the provisions of which such directives the UK has been subject to infringement action by the European Commission since January 2005; and what stage has been reached in such action in each case. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: There are 34 Directives within the Departments responsibilities, in relation to which the due date for transposition has not yet been reached, or which have not yet been transposed completely into UK law.
It is the Governments policy to neither confirm nor deny the existence of infringement proceedings or to disclose details of any infringement action by the European Commission except where an overriding public interest in disclosure of such information can be demonstrated on a case-by-case basis.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate his Department has made of the effect on the sheep industry's revenue of the introduction of the electronic identification of sheep. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The 68 Catchment Flood Management Plans in England have been completed and signed off by Environment Agency Regional Directors. The Environment Agency is re-consulting on elements of six of the plans that impact on the East Riding of Yorkshire council.
Huw Irranca-Davies: The Environment Agency undertakes regular assessments of the number of properties at risk of flooding from rivers and from the sea through its National Flood Risk Assessments. In the most recent assessment (in 2006) DEFRA and the Environment Agency estimated that 2.3 million properties were at risk of flooding in England and Wales.
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with the Rural Payments Agency on the processing of applications by growers to be recognised as producer organisations for the purposes of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Aid Scheme. 
Jane Kennedy: No ministerial discussions have taken place with RPA on the processing of applications by growers to be recognised as producer organisations for the purposes of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Aid Scheme. My predecessor was fully briefed concerning developments following recent European Court of Auditors and European Agricultural Guarantee Fund audits of the scheme and remedial actions required to address audit concerns.
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many organisations in England were recognised as producer organisations for the purposes of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Aid Scheme in 2004; how many have been de-recognised since 2004; and how many are currently recognised. 
In 2004 there were 73 recognised producer organisations in the scheme. 32 of them have been de-recognised since 2004. In addition some have left the scheme voluntarily and/or merged with other producer organisations.
Jane Kennedy: Proposals for Joint Waste Authorities may be submitted until 31 July 2009. It is estimated that it will take 12 months to assess a proposal and to lay the relevant legislation. The first Joint Waste Authorities may therefore be established from 31 July 2010.
Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) calves and (b) horses were exported from the UK for further fattening and slaughter to each destination country in the latest period for which information is available; and what the average journey times were to each such country. 
Jane Kennedy: The Cattle Tracing System (for Great Britain) and APHIS (for Northern Ireland) show the following numbers of calves (animals under 42 days old) as being exported from the United Kingdom during 2008. Due to the way the data are held, it is not possible to specify whether the animals were intended for breeding, production or slaughter.
|Export destination||1 January 2008 to 31 December 2008( 1)||Range of travelling times (hours)||Average times (hours)|
|(1) Animals under 42 days old.|
The range of travelling times and averages are taken from new route journey log applications received in 2008 that have been calculated and approved excluding rest times (mid journey rests and rests at control posts). These are only plans and not the actual times recorded from journeys that have taken place.
Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he plans to reply to the letter of 12 December 2008 from the hon. Member for West Worcestershire on the Amazon rainforest. 
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) if he will bring forward funding to enable British Waterways to undertake (a) necessary maintenance of its grade D and grade E assets and (b) projects to improve the standard of towpaths to create a national towpath network; 
An estimation on the number of employment and training opportunities the creation of a national tow path would bring, depends on the scale of the programme. DEFRA is considering a range of possible proposals to support the economy and environment.
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