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Warble Fly Eradication

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Donoughue: The following information is taken from the Reports of the Chief Veterinary Officer for the relevant years for England, Wales and Scotland.

There were no statutory requirements to treat cattle infected with warble fly from 1970 to 1978 in Great Britain.

In 1979, a policy was introduced to reduce the prevalence of warble fly infestation with the intention of moving on subsequently to eradication. In 1979, a statutory requirement was introduced for any animal in GB showing evidence of infestation in the spring to be compulsorily treated. In 1981, this was extended to include additional treatment of such animals the following autumn.

In 1982, warble fly infestation was made a notifiable disease in GB and compulsory whole herd treatment in the autumn was introduced where infested animals were found. In addition, herds suspected of being affected due to their proximity to infected herds were included in the requirement to treat. An infected area policy was introduced in Scotland, followed in 1983 in England and Wales. This required compulsory treatment of all cattle over 12 weeks of age in infected areas. The following infected areas were declared between 1982 and 1986. No infected areas are reported in the Chief Veterinary Officer's Reports for 1987 and 1988.

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    Dorset and parts of neighbouring counties including most of South Avon

    Anglesey and the Lleyn Peninsula


    West Dorset and neighbouring parts of Somerset

    South West Devon including Dartmoor

From 1989 in England and Wales (1995 in Scotland), spring and autumn treatment has been required of any herds in which serological evidence of infestation is found together with all herds within a 3km radius of them. 3km zones have been declared as follows:


    21: in South West England, Wales, North Midlands and the North of England


    6: in Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Gwynedd and Cornwall


    2: in Cumbria and North Yorkshire


    39: in Avon, Ayrshire, Bedfordshire, Cheshire, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Dyfed, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Kent, Lancashire, Lothian, Oxfordshire, Shropshire, Somerset, Staffordshire, West Sussex, Wiltshire and Worcestershire


    3: in Cumbria, Hereford and Worcester, and Wiltshire

Warble fly was made a notifiable disease in Northern Ireland in 1969, when a statutory requirement was introduced for any animal in Northern Ireland showing evidence, during the period 1 February to 31 August each year, to be notified to and compulsorily treated by the department.

As a result of an upsurge in the level of warble infestation notified during spring 1976, compulsory autumn treatment programmes were carried out as follows:

1976 (1 September-30 November)--Treatment of all cattle in herds in two areas comprising south Down and south east Armagh and south east Fermanagh, and in addition, outside those areas, all cattle in herds which had evidence of infestation in Spring 1976.

1977 (15 September-30 November)--Treatment of all cattle in herds in five areas comprising west Down, Co. Armagh, south east Tyrone, Clogher/Fivemiletown and south east Fermanagh, and in addition, outside those areas, all cattle in herds which had evidence of infestation in spring 1977.

1978 (2 October-30 November)--Treatment of all cattle in herds in seven areas comprising west Belfast, south and mid Antrim, Co. Armagh, west Down, south east Fermanagh, south east Tyrone and Dungannon, and in addition, outside those areas, all cattle in herds which had evidence of infestation in spring 1978.

There have been no compulsory autumn treatment programmes since 1978 to date.

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There is no serological surveillance programme for warble fly infestation in Northern Ireland, surveillance being by physical examination on farm and at markets and slaughterhouses.

There have been no cases of warble fly in Northern Ireland since 1994.

EU Tobacco Crop: European Consumption

The Earl of Bradford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What percentage of the tobacco grown in the European Union is consumed in the European Union. [HL852]

Lord Donoughue: According to the latest figures available from the European Commission, approximately 18 per cent. of the tobacco grown in the European Union in 1996 was consumed in the European Union.

BSE in EU Member States

The Earl of Bradford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many cases of BSE they would have expected to be reported in each European Union country given the numbers of cattle exported to each country from the United Kingdom; and what actual numbers have been reported.[HL 853]

Lord Donoughue: An estimate of the number of cases of BSE which other countries of the European Union might have expected was published by Schreuder et al in the Veterinary Record on 23 August 1997. However, these estimates have been challenged by various authorities on the grounds that the estimates are based on insufficient data (e.g. that the trade figures do not distinguish between dairy and beef cattle).

The actual numbers reported in EU countries are shown in the following table.

European Union country Date of last reportNo. of cases from UKTotal casesSource of confirmation
Republic of Ireland24/02/9812284EU Commission
France16/02/9834EU Commission
Belgium27/01/981EU Commission
Portugal27/01/98793EU Commission
Germany27/01/9856*EU Commission
Denmark05/07/9611EU Commission
Netherlands27/01/982EU Commission
Luxembourg27/01/981EU Commission
Italy05/07/9622EU Commission

* Includes 1 BSE case from a non-EU country

The accuracy of the figures in this table cannot be guaranteed as they are dependent on information provided by outside sources.

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English Uplands: Development and Conservation Grants

Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What grants will be made available for rural development and conservation in the uplands of England.[HL923]

Lord Donoughue: The future of the rural economy and future protection of the uplands countryside are closely linked, and we need to continue to develop our grant schemes to help to strengthen that relationship.

The Government are therefore issuing new proposals for an experimental scheme, under which an integrated package of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food's Objective 5b rural development grants and Countryside Stewardship grants could be put together to meet local employment and conservation needs. This experiment will apply in two areas of England. Secondly, we are proposing to extend the range of grants for the conservation of the uplands under the Countryside Stewardship scheme.

We issued yesterday a consultation paper setting out these proposals in detail. We will welcome comments by the end of May.

Fisheries Enforcement

Lord Gallacher asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What action is being taken to improve the effectiveness of fisheries enforcement in the United Kingdom.[HL899]

Lord Donoughue: The Fisheries Departments and the Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency are currently spending some £25 million a year on fisheries enforcement, primarily on monitoring the application of the Common Fisheries Policy and ensuring that measures designed to conserve fish stocks and to safeguard the long term interests of the fishing industry are respected.

Our present enforcement arrangements are highly regarded and the Government would like to pay tribute to the dedication of our UK fishery officers on shore and those at sea, including the Royal Navy and the SFPA Marine Service. There is, however, no room for complacency. Enforcement must be effective and since taking office this Government have made clear their determination to tackle the problems created by undeclared landings of fish.

Last year we announced that we would be introducing a new licence condition prohibiting the discarding of stowed fish. That took effect from 1 January this year. We also advised that we would be assisting the Marine Safety Agency with checks for vessel safety certificates and crewing certificates. Checks by British Sea Fishery Officers on vessel safety certificates will begin in April and those for crewing certificates in June.

Progress is being made with the requirements for the introduction of satellite monitoring. The Fisheries

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Departments expect to award a contract for the establishment of a vessel tracking system in the next two months. That system should be operational by mid summer and within 18 months will monitor the movements of all UK vessels over 24 metres as well as those from other member states operating in our waters. This will allow us to make more effective use of the resources we devote to aerial surveillance and inspections at sea.

Similarly, we need to make the best use of the resources we devote to port surveillance. We believe that the effectiveness of our land based inspectorates would be significantly improved by introducing a system of designated ports and discharge times for all non pelagic landings made by vessels of 20 metres overall length and above. These vessels account for over 70 per cent. of the total tonnage and 65 per cent. of the total value of non pelagic landings into the UK made by the over 10 metre fleet, and the ports that will be designated will cover over 90 per cent. of such landings. Nonetheless, we recognise that there are some vessels which are based at or land into non-designated ports. We shall continue to permit this subject to these vessels providing a minimum of four hours' notice of the discharge of their catch. A consultation paper setting out our proposals is being issued to the fishing industry and copies have been placed in the Library of the House. These arrangements, which will be subject to clearance with the European Commission, will complement those which already exist for the landing of pelagic species where the operation of designated ports, coupled with more rigorous surveillance at sea and separate area licensing has had a significant impact on addressing undeclared landings in the pelagic sector. The new control measures will be kept under close review by the Fisheries Departments to ensure that they are effective and practical and that they are meeting the desired objectives.

Apart from introducing designated ports, we continue to keep under review other measures for strengthening enforcement in the UK. These include improving the arrangements for the submission of sales note data, which has been a Community requirement since 1994. Further consideration will also be given to the adoption of a system of administrative penalties for fisheries offences. Such arrangements, which would need to be the subject of consultation with the fishing industry, would depend on changes being made to existing legislation so that action could be taken in respect of offences other than breaches of licence conditions.

Although action is being taken to improve the effectiveness of our national enforcement arrangements, the Government are equally committed to raising enforcement standards throughout the Community. If the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is to succeed, it is essential that fishermen should be subjected to the same level of control wherever they land. To this end we have been intensifying co-operation on enforcement with other member states. Also, we are pleased to say that the Commission has now issued a report on fisheries monitoring under the CFP in time for discussion at the March Fisheries Council. That report reviews the operation of the existing fisheries enforcement

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arrangements in the Community and sets out a programme of action to improve control leading to a fairer and more effective enforcement regime. We will seek to take this work forward during the remainder of the UK Presidency.

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