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Fisheries Council, 26 October

Baroness David asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Hayman: The Fisheries Council met in Luxembourg on 26 October. My honourable friend the Parliamentary Secretary represented the UK together with John Home Robertson, Deputy Minister for Rural Affairs in the Scottish Executive.

The Council had extensive discussions on two draft regulations. The first, revising the market regime for fish and aquaculture products, and the second, reforming the structural funds in the fisheries sector in the context of Agenda 2000. My honourable friend the Parliamentary Secretary stressed that the fishing sector needed to be economically, as well as biologically, sustainable and that this needed to be reflected in the market and structural measures to be applied. It did not make sense to sustain excessive capacity in relation to the available fish stocks; and import arrangements needed to be adjusted to meet the actual market circumstances. The Council will resume discussion on both proposals at its next meeting on 22 November.

The Commission reported that it hoped to take up contacts with Morocco shortly to begin negotiations on a successor agreement to the current EC-Morocco Agreement, which expires on 30 November. The Commission also introduced the findings of an independent study it had commissioned on the costs and benefits of third country fisheries agreements, which will now be examined in detail. There was an initial discussion of a draft Council regulation on improving the dialogue with the industry. This was remitted for further examination.

Intervention Board: Performance Targets

Baroness David asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Hayman: In agreement with my right honourable friends the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, the Minister for Rural Affairs, Scotland and

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the Secretary for Agriculture and Rural Development, Wales, we have set the following targets for 1999-2000:

Target
Percentage of claims processed within deadlines99.0%
Percentage of claims processed correctly98.5%
Cumulative running cost efficiency gains2.5%
Improvement in index of productivity4.0%
Ratio of disallowance to EAGGF funds handled0.40%
New value for money savings in procurement of goods and services7.0%
Yield: cost ratio of anti-fraud activities3.0:1.0
Percentage of invoices paid within deadlines98.5%

BSE

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will publish in the Official Report an updated table showing the number of cases of BSE confirmed in Great Britain each week during 1999 to date, together with the moving annual total of cases reported in each 52-week period.[HL4296]

Baroness Hayman: The following table shows the number of cases of BSE confirmed in Great Britain during each week of 1999 up to 22 October, together with the moving annual total of cases reported for each 52-week period.

Week numberNumber confirmed each week52-week total reported
1164,232
21314,226
3904,173
4904,150
5504,126
61274,119
7464,079
8744,052
91484,024
10724,019
11913,999
12603,974
13533,942
14313,908
15743,875
16443,849
17593,822
18483,813
19233,820
20663,780
21723,786
22193,770
23243,761
24153,737
25713,723
26793,697
27503,662
28303,642
29383,632
30503,599
31633,591
32613,557
33263,532
34213,490
35173,473
36733,431
37513,412
38743,387
39153,358
40133,315
41333,270
42823,258

Note: Week 1 is the week ending Friday 8 January 1999.

As a result of the sampling of heads from cattle slaughtered under the Over Thirty Month Scheme (OTMS) during the first quarter of 1999, an extra 18 BSE cases were confirmed. These have been included in the figures for confirmed cases for Week 30. These 18 OTMS survey cases are excluded from the column for reported cases as they were not reported and placed under restriction while alive.

The data for reported cases exclude 1 private submission which was included in data already supplied to the noble Lord, Lord Marlesford, by my predecessor, my noble friend Lord Donoughue, on

29 July 1999, Official Report, col. WA221. This private submission, which tested positive, remains recorded as a confirmed case.


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