A current list of Government appointed tsars, envoys, champions and ambassadors has been published on page Ev 41 of the Public Administration Select Committee's Eighth Report of Session 2009-10: Goats and Tsars: Ministerial and other appointments from outside Parliament. Copies are available in the Libraries of the House.
Mr. Davey: To ask the Prime Minister if he will publish the (a) current and (b) former guidelines issued by his Department to officers of those intelligence services which fall within his responsibilities on interviewing prisoners abroad and on co-operating with interviews conducted by other countries; and if he will make a statement. 
The Prime Minister: The consolidated guidance to intelligence officers and service personnel on standards during the detention and interviewing of detainees overseas will be published shortly. We will not be publishing previous documents.
Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he has made a recent assessment of the level of the administrative burden on the agriculture industry. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: In DEFRA's recent Simplification Plan 'Simplifying the Business Environment: Driving Burdens Down', published in December 2009, DEFRA reported that it was on target to achieve a 20 per cent. reduction in administrative burdens by May 2010. The report details measures that affect the agriculture industry. Between the simplification measures already implemented and other activities currently in progress, we anticipate DEFRA will meet and may even exceed the 25 per cent. target by May 2010.
Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department is taking to encourage retailers to purchase domestically-produced agricultural products. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The purchasing decisions of retailers are a commercial matter for them, and EU state aid guidelines on advertising specifically preclude publicly subsidised "Buy British" campaigns.
However, we recognise the importance of providing consumers with information on a food's production and its provenance to enable them to make informed choices about the food they buy. That is why we have been encouraging retailers to comply with the Food Standard Agency's best practice guide on origin labelling, and recent evidence from the agency has shown that compliance has increased in recent years. More specifically, the Pig Meat Supply Chain Task Force which we established bringing together producers, processors, retailers, the food service industry, and a consumer representative has developed a voluntary industry code on the labelling of pork and pork products. This code, which was launched at the National Farmers Union conference last month, covers origin labelling, the use of breed names on labels and product definitions. Support from both the retail and food service sector has been strong.
Retailers are putting in place policies aimed at sourcing more domestically-produced food and drink products. This in turn provides opportunities for UK farmers to capture a greater market share by becoming more competitive.
We also appreciate the need to improve our food and drink producers' access to market in order to meet the growing demand for more food with a regional provenance. We have done this by providing funding for a range of measures including "meet the buyer" events with retailers and the encouragement of food hubs and shared distribution facilities.
Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the UK's progress towards reaching the EU target to halt biodiversity loss by 2010; and if he will make a statement. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The European Commission and member states are currently compiling data to allow an assessment of progress against the targets in the EU Biodiversity Action Plan. We measure our progress towards the EU's 2010 target to halt biodiversity loss through the UK Biodiversity Indicators. Progress was reported in the National Statistics publication 'Biodiversity Indicators in Your Pocket 2007', which was updated most recently in April 2009. Statistics for wild birds were updated in October 2009 and those for Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) are updated monthly.
Overall, 23 (72 per cent.) of the 32 measures that comprise the UK Biodiversity Indicators are "improving" or show "little or no overall change" since the year 2000. In particular, almost 91.2 per cent. of SSSIs are in favourable or recovering condition, agri-environment schemes are leading to significant improvements, and we have made great strides with the Marine and Coastal Access Act.
Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he plans to discuss with the devolved administrations his Department's policy on the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy after 2013. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: DEFRA have ongoing discussions with the devolved Administrations on a wide range of agricultural issues of shared interest, including the UK's ambitions for the future of the common agriculture policy after 2013.
Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many people resident in each local authority area were (a) prosecuted and (b) convicted for offences under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 (i) between the date of entry into force of the Act and 1997 and (ii) in 2009. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts and found guilty at all courts for offences under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, England and Wales 1991 to 1997 and 2008 (latest available) has been placed in the House Library.
Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Ruislip-Northwood of 9 February 2010, Official Report, columns 924-25W, on departmental information officers, what the (a) title and (b) division is of each of the seven embedded communicators working within the business; and on what date each of these positions was first established. 
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Mr. Syms: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the cost of contracts with public relations consultancies was for each non-departmental public body within his Department's remit in each of the last five years. 
Dan Norris: This information is not held centrally and there is no specific procurement category or account for expenditure with public relations consultancies. To obtain the information for each of the last five years from each non-departmental public body would incur disproportionate cost.
Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will set out, with statistical information related as directly as possible to Manchester, Gorton constituency, the effects on that constituency of the policies of his Department and its predecessors since 1997. 
Dan Norris: Due to the broad nature of the question and the wide range of DEFRA and its predecessor's policies implemented in Gorton, it is not possible to provide a detailed answer in the form requested.
Gorton is obliged through statute to comply with central Government legislation. DEFRA's policy responsibilities are summarised in its departmental strategic objectives (DSOs) that have been agreed with the Treasury:
To promote a society that is adapting to the effects of climate change, through a national programme of action and a contribution to international action.
To promote a healthy, resilient, productive and diverse natural environment.
To promote sustainable, low carbon and resource efficient patterns of consumption and production.
To promote an economy and a society that are resilient to environmental risk.
To champion sustainable development.
To promote a thriving farming and food sector with an improving net environmental impact.
To encourage a sustainable, secure and healthy food supply.
To provide socially and economically sustainable rural communities.
To be a respected Department delivering efficient and high quality services and outcomes.
Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many tonnes of (a) carpet and (b) mattresses were sent to landfill in each of the last five years; and what proportion of annual landfill each such figure represents. 
Dan Norris [holding answer 12 March 2010]: DEFRA does not hold this information. The Environment Agency publishes data on wastes to landfill from permitted site returns, recorded by the European Waste Code (EWC). The EWC classification does not allow the identification of individual product categories, such as those requested.
Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what reasons Natural England has declined to consider evidence on damage to the Lymington Marshes Ramsar site presented by the Lymington River Association; and if he will make a statement. 
This evidence was presented as part of the Wightlink/Natural England stakeholder engagement exercise which finished on 5 February. Natural England is currently reviewing the points made by all those who responded, and will respond to the Lymington River Association in the next few weeks to enable discussion at a meeting which has already been agreed.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether his Department consulted with (a) the RSPB, (b) the Hawk and Owl Trust and (c) other animal welfare groups on its assessment of the European Eagle Owl as an invasive non-native species which should not be introduced into the wild. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: Between November 2007 and January 2008, DEFRA and the Welsh Assembly Government held a public consultation on proposals to review schedule 9 to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 ('the Act'), and to ban the sale of certain non-native species in England in Wales. Schedule 9 lists species which, under section 14 of the Act, are prohibited from being introduced into the wild.
This was a general public consultation and organisations directly contacted about it included the RSPB and the Hawk and Owl Trust as well as a number other organisations concerned with animal welfare and conservation. The full list of consultees is available on the DEFRA website.
As part of the process for collating evidence to support policy decisions on management of invasive species, full risk assessments are being developed for a number of species. When risk assessments (including that for the eagle owl) are published for expert comment, the GB Non-native Species Secretariat notifies all the stakeholders on its database who have shown an interest in invasive non-native species policy. This includes the RSPB and a wide range of other organisations; however the Hawk and Owl Trust is not recorded among the organisations in the database.
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