Bob Spink: To ask the hon. Member for South West Devon, representing the Speakers Committee on the Electoral Commission what guidance the Electoral Commission issues on the release of electoral packs to candidates at local elections and their agents. 
Mr. Streeter: The Electoral Commission informs me that it issues guidance to local government returning officers advising that packs containing nomination papers, an election timetable and guidance notes for prospective local election candidates should be prepared well before the start of the formal election period and supplied on request.
The Commission has also published performance standards for returning officers in Great Britain. In order to meet performance standard seven, Communication of information to candidates and agents, returning officers must ensure that candidates and election agents are offered briefing sessions and are issued with written guidance on the election process.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many proposals for anaerobic digestion plants have been licensed by each local authority in each of the last five years. 
Jane Kennedy: Prior to the implementation of the Environmental Permitting Regulations in 2007, waste disposal and waste recovery operations were regulated under separate legislation. Environment Agency records are therefore split between the two different information systems used. These systems are currently in the process of being integrated.
|Site name||Year permitted||Local authority (unitary or county)|
41 sites that utilise biogases derived from anaerobic digestion under the pollution prevention and control (PPC) regulations have been permitted across England within the last five years. Environment Agency records do not specify the local authority for PPC sites.
|Primary name||County||Permit effective from date|
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much was spent on the screening of imported wildlife for potential diseases in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: Animals and animal products are imported from EU member states and from third countries approved as having equivalent animal health status to an EU member state for the species in question. Strict EU rules are imposed to prevent disease entering the European Community.
As soon as an animal is captured and transported it becomes a kept animal and therefore animal health import legislation applies. This includes ensuring a veterinary health check is undertaken within the 24-hour period prior to loading at the country of origin in order to determine that no clinical signs of disease are presentthe cost is met by the importer. An animal cannot travel to this country unless accompanied by a valid veterinary health certificate. Live animals imported from approved third countries must enter at a designated Border Inspection Post (BIP) where they are again subject to veterinary inspections for clinical signs of disease and the accompanying health certificates are verified. However, Animal Health does not keep a record of the individual costs for imported animals tested as part of its disease prevention measures.
When there is a significant increase in disease risk, DEFRA's Global Animal Health Division will act quickly to mitigate it, usually in concert with the EU. DEFRA may take unilateral safeguard measures to block legal imports from countries or regions with outbreaks of disease. Recent imports of animals which might present a risk would also be traced and checked.
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