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Badger Culling Trial

Lord Graham of Edmonton asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Hayman: The Government are committed to a wide-ranging research and control strategy to find a science-based solution to TB in cattle. The badger culling trial is an important element of that strategy. I am pleased to announce that the sixth set of trial areas will be located in west Cornwall and that work is progressing on identifying the remaining areas.

Medicines (Exemptions for Merchants in Veterinary Drugs) Order

Lord Hughes of Woodside asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Hayman: Yes. The schedule of fees for registration is given in the following table:


Application in respect of each premises fee Previous fee £New £
Agricultural Merchants
1. For registration under Article 5243197
2. For retention of registration under Article 5138122
3. For restoration of registration under Article 5209166
1. For registration under Article 5112123
2. For retention of registration under Article 5 65 73
3. For restoration of registration under Article 5 97107


Lord Hardy of Wath asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they can give details of all projects on the risks to agriculture from the release of GMOs funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and completed in the last six months.[HL453]

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Baroness Hayman: Three projects on the effects associated with GMOs have been completed in the last six months. These are an investigation of the interaction between genetically modified micro-organisms (GMMOs) living around sugar beet plants; a study of the chances of the creation of novel viruses from the release of GM virus-tolerant plants; and a desk study of the possible effects associated with the introduction of GM forage grasses and forage legumes. The results of these projects will inform policy on future releases of GMOs.

Details of all three projects are available from the MAFF library.

Beef on the Bone

Lord Hughes of Woodside asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will confirm that the retail ban on beef on the bone will be lifted on 17 December.[HL454]

Baroness Hayman: Consultation on the draft regulations to lift the retail ban on bone-in beef was completed on Wednesday 8 December and showed strong support for the proposal. A summary of consultation responses has been placed in the Library of the House. The regulations have been laid before the House today and will come into effect on Friday 17 December.

The remaining ban on the use of manufacturing of bones from beef deboned in Great Britain will continue to be kept under review. Meanwhile, manufacturers are being reminded of the continuing importance of compliance in the interest of public health and to help maintain consumer confidence in beef products. In addition, caterers are being asked to ensure that information is readily available to consumers about whether bone-in beef or beef bones have been used in the preparation of food for direct sale.

Secretary of State for Scotland: Residence

Lord Selkirk of Douglas asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the current position with respect to the completion of the Secretary of State's new official residence in Scotland; and[HL255]

    What funds have already been committed in relation to the Secretary of State's new official residence in Scotland; and what is the current estimate as to the total cost likely to be incurred; and[HL256]

    What is the estimated date of completion of the Secretary of State for Scotland's new official residence in Scotland.[HL257]

Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale: My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Scotland has no official residence.

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Peers: Provision of Official Papers

Lord Mason of Barnsley asked the Chairman of Committees:

    What are the rules governing the provision of papers, official reports, documents, the Stationery Office publications and papers on the Stationery Office daily list to Members of the House of Lords; what are the restrictions on numbers and cost; and whether they will list the organisations and government bodies who provide such services.[HL266]

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Boston of Faversham): The rules and practice of the House concerning the provision of printed papers to Lords are set out on pages 58 to 60 of the Companion to the Standing Orders. In general terms, Lords are entitled to draw free of charge from the Printed Paper Office (PPO) such current parliamentary papers and other publications as they clearly require in order to discharge their parliamentary duties. The guidance in the Companion may be summarised as follows.

Lords are entitled to one copy of parliamentary papers, which are described in the Companion as those papers presented to, or laid before, Parliament, together with the other working papers of the House, such as the Minute, Hansard and Committee reports. Many parliamentary papers can be ordered (via the PPO) to be sent to a Lord's home address on a regular basis.

Lords are also entitled to obtain non-parliamentary government papers up to a price limit, which now stands at £65. Government publications above the price limit, and privately published papers, are not supplied free of charge unless they are specifically referred to in a Motion or Unstarred Question entered on the Order Paper for a particular day. As a general rule, Lords are expected to consult such papers in the Library.

Restrictions on the number and cost of papers to which Lords are entitled are indicated above. A limited number of further copies of parliamentary papers can

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be made available if Lords can show that they are required for the discharge of their parliamentary duties; and Lords are entitled to up to six copies of the Lords' Hansard in which their speech is reported. Government publications which are not available free of charge may be ordered through the PPO; such papers are despatched to Lords, together with an invoice payable to the publisher.

The bodies responsible for the provision of parliamentary papers to Lords are the PPO and The Stationery Office. Papers are not, in general, made available to the House free of charge by government departments, other bodies or The Stationery Office, and they therefore have to be purchased by the PPO on behalf of the House. In addition to its role as printer and publisher of House papers, The Stationery Office is responsible for the dispatch to Lords of papers ordered on a regular basis.

House of Lords Staff Working on 31 December/1 January

Lord Cocks of Hartcliffe asked the Chairman of Committees:

    What recognition in terms of additional remuneration will be given to staff who are working in the Palace of Westminster on 31 December 1999 or 1 January 2000 or both.[HL413]

The Chairman of Committees: The only House of Lords staff working in the Palace of Westminster on the dates in question will be five Doorkeepers and six Housekeepers who have volunteered to assist at the Millennium Awards Ceremony to be held in the Royal Gallery on New Year's Eve. They will be on duty from 6 p.m. until 9.15 p.m. and will be paid £250 each. This payment, together with a sum to cover employer's national insurance contributions, is being recovered from the event organisers. Police, security and fire officers will observe normal shifts and standard double time arrangements will apply. Forty additional police officers will be on duty on New Year's Eve, also on double time.

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