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15 Oct 2009 : Column 1005W—continued


Environment Agency

The following table shows the number of single regime, integrated and cross-compliance inspections that have been undertaken by the Environment Agency in the last five years.


15 Oct 2009 : Column 1006W

Number of visits

2004-05

6,504

2005-06

5,835

2006-07

5,767

2007-08

6,768

2008-09

5,787

Source:
EA Operations Performance Data (2004-05 to 2008-09)

The Food and Environment Research Agency

The Food and Environment Research Agency's Plant Health and Seeds Inspectorate carry out technical inspections of crops and commodities on farms. These are inherently different to the inspections undertaken by other agencies. The figures for the last five years are as follows:

The National Bee Unit's Bee Inspectors carry out inspections of apiaries for statutory bee diseases. The figures for these inspections are as follows:

However, it is not possible to distinguish how many of these were to bee farmers or to amateur beekeepers (approx. 99 per cent. of beekeepers are amateurs).

GM audits (seed) do not take place on farms. GM trial inspections are focused on the trial itself only, and very often take place on research institutes, etc and therefore these figures are not included.

Fisheries

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on how many occasions the monitoring of (a) fish stocks and (b) other marine wildlife has been instigated following the loss of a harmful cargo into the sea since 1 May 2007; what the results of such monitoring was; and what the (i) nature of the harmful cargo, (ii) location and (iii) period of monitoring was in each case. [292782]

Huw Irranca-Davies: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 22 June 2009, Official Report, column 572W.

Since the MSC Napoli was breached in Lyme Bay on 20 January 2007, the containers on the beach and any litter have now been cleared and the beaches have been available for public access since Easter 2007. Furthermore, in 2007 the bow was recycled at Harland and Woolf's dry dock in Belfast, and the stern was raised using heavy lifting equipment and dismantled in situ earlier this year.

The Marine Fisheries Agency has reviewed their Marine Pollution Contingency Plan to take account of lessons learnt from the MSC Napoli incident. A copy of the plan is available at:


15 Oct 2009 : Column 1007W

Milk: Overseas Trade

Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the liquid whole milk equivalent volume of (a) imports and (b) exports of milk-based products in each of the last three years. [291910]


15 Oct 2009 : Column 1008W

Jim Fitzpatrick: It is not possible to provide the different milk products in liquid milk equivalent. It is a complex calculation which can lead to double counting. The following table shows the UK trade in milk products for 2006-08.

2006 2007 2008
Flow Description Tonnes £000s Tonnes £000s Tonnes £000s

Imports

Cheese

378,105

885,940

402,936

930,342

421,800

1,195,175

Yoghurt

143,591

124,378

137,793

124,798

159,158

164,743

Buttermilk

134,692

115,063

143,902

113,512

151,679

143,339

Butter

147,139

334,749

103,231

228,565

81,402

233,576

Ice Cream

90,716

136,834

92,729

139,481

95,781

162,619

Condensed milk

45,367

41,956

40,841

43,909

39,051

45,857

Whey

21,452

17,282

25,334

30,218

22,066

21,951

Other

3,498

5,367

3,305

5,563

3,223

6,978

Imports total

964,561

1,661,568

950,070

1,616,388

974,159

1,974,237

Exports

Cheese

104,212

230,624

97,174

241,260

88,420

281,306

Whey

74,112

32,612

66,702

42,157

74,040

31,843

Ice Cream

55,587

50,319

39,007

47,793

33,316

48,435

Butter

35,670

59,914

31,662

66,170

23,751

54,772

Buttermilk

22,080

8,381

25,107

9,720

14,015

8,283

Yoghurt

17,189

25,322

16,911

29,302

16,694

34,602

Condensed milk

6,346

8,326

5,615

8,123

3,052

5,375

Other

553

2,323

634

1,922

511

1,588

Exports total

315,748

417,820

282,812

446,447

253,797

466,203

Source:
HM Revenue and Customs.
Data prepared by Trade Statistics, Economics and Statistics Programme, DEFRA.

Nitrates: EU Law

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effects of implementation of the Nitrates Directive on tenant farmers whose landlords may have applied nitrates to the tenanted land. [293167]

Huw Irranca-Davies: No such assessment has been made. However, normally a landlord cannot apply nitrates to a tenant's land without the permission of the tenant, unless the tenancy agreement specifically provides for this. A tenant is considered to be the occupier of the land under the Nitrate Pollution Prevention Regulations (2008) and is therefore responsible for compliance with the regulations.

Ragwort: Weed Control

Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department is taking to tackle ragwort on public property; and what guidance it has provided to local authorities on the subject. [293492]

Huw Irranca-Davies: DEFRA has published a Code of Practice on How to Prevent the Spread of Ragwort. The Code provides comprehensive guidance on how to develop a strategic and cost-effective approach to weed control. It is intended for use by all landowners and occupiers but is particularly relevant for large-scale organisations managing significant land areas, including local authorities and public bodies who are primarily responsible for the control of Common Ragwort on their land.

DEFRA also has an enforcement procedure under the Weeds Act 1959 for investigating complaints about the injurious weeds specified in the Act, including Common Ragwort.

Under this procedure, complaints about the spread of injurious weeds are prioritised. Natural England (on DEFRA's behalf) investigates complaints where weeds are threatening to spread to land used for: keeping or grazing horses and other livestock; farmland used to produce conserved forage; or other agricultural land activities, and the complainant has already made reasonable efforts to contact the landowner or occupier where the weeds are growing.

The Ragwort Code of Practice and details of the complaints procedure can be found on DEFRA's website.

Justice

Cybercrime

James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) prosecutions, (b) convictions and (c) police cautions there have been for offences under the Computer Misuse Act 1990 in each of the last five years. [292184]


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