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Foot and Mouth Disease: Field Operations

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Hayman: Plants and grains do not become contaminated if they grow on land which had previously been grazed by animals affected by the disease. Their surfaces can become contaminated if they have been in physical contact or close proximity with an infected animal.

General guidance for growers of crops and grass was posted on the MAFF website on 30 March. On foot and mouth infected farms, field operations can be undertaken subject to the advice of the divisional veterinary manager on the basis of a site-specific risk assessment.

Once restrictions have been lifted field operations will be able to resume as normal without the need for any additional delay subject to cleaning and disinfection procedures.

Foot and Mouth Disease: Species Susceptibility, Incubation and Infectivity

The Duke of Montrose asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Hayman: All domesticated and wild cloven-hoofed animals may be infected with the virus of foot and mouth disease. The severity of the disease differs with the serotype and strain of virus involved, and the species, sex and age of animal. Some strains are adapted to particular species.

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The clinical disease is typically very severe in cattle and pigs and mild or inapparent in sheep and goats, but exceptions can occur. Wild pigs show a similar type of disease to domestic pigs. Wild deer tend to show mild or inapparent disease, resembling the disease in sheep, although some species (for example, roe deer and muntjak deer in the UK) may be severely affected.

The age of the animal greatly affects the severity of the disease; young animals, especially lambs and piglets can die because of damage to the heart muscle, and mortality of 54 to 59 per cent has been recorded in some outbreaks. Mortality in adults is usually less than 5 per cent.

The incubation period for foot and mouth disease depends upon the infective dose. Animals exposed to a high amount of virus typically have an incubation period of 1.5 to 5 days while exposure to a low dose can result in an incubation period of 6 to 14 days.

Foot and Mouth Disease: MAFF's Letters to Farmers

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Why the recent letter about foot and mouth disease sent by the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to every farmer was undated; on what date the Minister signed it; who drafted the letter; and whether they are aware it contained four grammatical errors. [HL1885]

Baroness Hayman: My right honourable friend (the Minister) has written to farmers about the foot and mouth outbreak on two occasions. The first was despatched by our mailing house during the week beginning 5 March 2001 and the second during the week beginning 9 April 2001. Both letters were prepared by officials and approved by my right honourable Friend (the Minister) in the usual way. If any errors in grammar were made it is, of course, a matter of regret since we always strive to ensure high standards both of grammar and of clarity in ministerial correspondence. No other complaints have been received about the issues raised by the noble Lord. This possibly reflects a general recognition of the many other pressing priorities which have faced the agricultural industry and the ministry during the current foot and mouth disease outbreak.

Future of the Countryside and Farming

The Earl of Caithness asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What consideration they have given to the settng up of a Royal Commission to look into the future of the countryside and farming following the loss of income to the farming community in recent years which has been compounded by the foot and mouth epidemic. [HL1881]

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Baroness Hayman: The Government have made it clear that at the conclusion of the foot and mouth outbreak we will need to consider what lessons can be learned. The form that this exercise will take has not yet been decided. Our top priority is to focus on implementing the mechanisms to control and eradicate the disease.

MoD Meat Purchasing Safeguards

The Duke of Montrose asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean on 24 April (WA 213), what tonnage of the total meat purchased abroad by 3663 as the meat supply contractor for the Ministry of Defence was sourced in the months preceding 20 February 2001 from (a) South Africa (b) Argentina; and[HL1904]

    Further to the Written Answer by Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean on 24 April (WA 213), what mechanisms 3663 uses to determine whether--(a) meat bought under the label "South African" does not come from Swaziland; (b) meat bought from the Argentine does not come from the provinces recognised as being infected with foot and mouth disease; and (c) meat bought from other non-European Union countries with a foot and mouth outbreak has a sufficiently rigorous system of labelling to show that it does not come from infected areas.[HL1905]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: In the past year 3663 has sourced no meat from either (a) South Africa or (b) Argentina.

Meat from other non-European Union countries is subjected to export controls by those countries to ensure that only meat from foot and mouth disease free areas is exported. The process is further controlled by the European Union Veterinary Inspectorate to ensure that all meat complies with the relevant import legislation.

National Health Service Number

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will make a study of the possibility of using the National Health Service number as a unique reference for United Kingdom citizens.[HL1933]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): There are no plans for using the National Health Service number as a unique reference for United Kingdom citizens other than for healthcare purposes.

National Health Service Performance Fund

Baroness Noakes asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the whole of the £60 million National Health Service Performance Fund for 2000-01 has been paid to NHS bodies.[HL1544]

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Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The National Health Service Performance Fund for 2000-01 consisted of £60 million, of which £37 million was paid to the NHS bodies which met the criteria at the four payment dates.

All health authorities will receive their full share of the £60 million recurrently in 2001-02.

Baroness Noakes asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will publish the objectives agreed with health bodies for the National Health Service Performance Fund for 2000-01, and for each such body the extent to which the objectives were achieved.[HL1546]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: Health communities, led by health authorities, were set criteria to meet for each payment of the National Health Service Performance Fund. These criteria were set out to measure performance against three key areas:

    Waiting: performance against agreed health authority profiles for inpatient and outpatient waiting lists and the 18 month inpatient guarantee;

    Financial Position: performance against the planned in year Income & Expenditure (I&E) position for health authorities;

    Winter Planning: quality of winter planning and performance as measured by the latest monitoring, in particular for trolley waits.

The following table sets out the performance of each health authority at each payment date.

Health AuthorityDid the Health Authority meet all the criteria? Payment 1Payment 2Payment 3Payment 4
Barking and HaveringNoYesNoYes
Bexley and GreenwichNoYesNoNo
Brent and HarrowNoNoNoNo
Bury and RochdaleNoNoNoYes
Calderdale and KirkleesYesNoNoYes
Camden and IslingtonNoNoYesNo
Cornwall and Isles of ScillyNoNoYesYes
County DurhamYesYesNoNo
Ealing, Hammersmith and HounslowYesNoYesYes
East and North HertfordshireNoYesNoNo
East KentYesYesYesNo
East LancashireYesNoYesNo
East London and the CityYesNoNoNo
East RidingYesNoNoNo
East SurreyNoNoNoNo
East Sussex, Brighton and HoveYesNoNoNo
Enfield and HaringeyYesYesNoNo
Gateshead and South TynesideYesNoYesYes
Isle of WightYesNoNoNo
Kensington, Chelsea and WestminsterYesNoYesYes
Kingston and RichmondYesYesNoYes
Lambeth, Southwark and LewishamYesNoNoNo
Merton, Sutton and WandsworthNoNoNoNo
Morecambe BayYesNoNoYes
Newcastle and North TynesideYesNoNoNo
North and East DevonNoYesNoYes
North and Mid HampshireYesNoNoNo
North CheshireYesYesNoYes
North CumbriaNoNoNoYes
North DerbyshireYesYesNoYes
North EssexYesNoYesYes
North NottinghamshireYesNoYesYes
North StaffordshireNoNoYesYes
North West LancashireYesYesYesYes
North YorkshireYesYesNoNo
Portsmouth and South East HampshireNoNoNoNo
Redbridge and Waltham ForestNoNoYesYes
Salford and TraffordNoNoNoYes
South and West DevonNoNoYesYes
South CheshireYesYesYesYes
South DerbyshireYesYesYesYes
South EssexYesNoNoNo
South HumberYesNoNoYes
South LancashireYesYesNoYes
South StaffordshireNoYesNoYes
Southampton and South West HampshireYesNoNoNo
St. Helens and KnowsleyYesNoNoYes
West HertfordshireNoYesNoNo
West KentNoNoNoNo
West PennineYesNoNoNo
West SurreyYesNoNoNo
West SussexYesNoNoNo
Wigan and BoltonYesYesNoYes

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