|Previous Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|
Estimates of future requirements for intermediate care beds will form part of the whole system capacity planning now required by the NHS and councils. The need for intermediate care beds cannot be looked at in isolation, but will depend upon the availability of other services (for example, acute hospital beds, primary and community health services and social services). Future planning of intermediate care services will also need to take into account the outcome of the evaluation of intermediate care currently being commissioned by the Department of Health.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: While the Department of Health has no current plans to introduce a specific performance indicator relating to those with dementia or functional mental illness and intermediate care, the
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The Department of Health is in regular contact with the Medical Research Council (MRC) about progress with its review of the causes and epidemiology of autism. It has a well established approach to handling potential conflicts of interest in the development of scientific advice. We welcome the MRC's innovative approach to engaging a broad range of experts and lay people fully in its review. We have full confidence that the review process will ensure that its advice will be fair and balanced.
Whether they will seek European Union approval for private storage aid for sheepmeat; and[HL362]
What measures they will put in place to ensure that sheepmeat which has been in storage is marketable after it is released.[HL363]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, (Lord Whitty): The department has had intensive discussions with a wide range of industry interests and the European Commission about this, with a view to putting a strategy in place by the end of July, to apply from 1 September onwards. In the meantime, all possible action is being taken to eradicate the disease as soon as possible.
All concerned are clear that in considering autumn livestock movements, control of foot and mouth disease and safeguarding animal welfare must continue to be our primary concerns. We are proceeding on the basis of veterinary and scientific advice. Full details will be published as soon as possible, but the arrangements for the autumn will cover the following aspects; the possibility of holding livestock markets in counties which have been free of foot and mouth disease for three months or more and where testing has been completed; the possibility of some relaxation in the criteria covering livestock movements outside infected areas; the possibility of promoting the domestic consumption of lamb in particular, and of negotiating with the European Commission an early resumption of pigmeat and sheepmeat exports, while not distrupting the domestic food supply chain.
We are formally asking the European Commission to introduce a Private Storage Aid Scheme for sheepmeat in the autumn, including the provision for operators to store as vacuum packed primal cuts, which will assist with marketing when the meat comes out of store. We are also discussing with the Commission the possible adaptation of the Livestock Welfare Disposal Scheme to handle disposal of surplus lambs, and in the medium term the possible use of quota suspension or buy-out.
Lord Whitty: We have already taken the necessary action on this. As my right honourable friend the then Minister of State (Joyce Quin) told my honourable friend the Member for Don Valley (Caroline Flint) in another place on 13 February 2001 (Official Report, col 120-21W), the European Commission confirmed, at the UK's request earlier this year, a number of changes to the rules of the Arable Area Payments Scheme for 2001, including the one referred to by the noble Baroness.
Lord Whitty: Approximately 10,000 properties were flooded in the late 2000 floods divided approximately as follows: 18 per cent from watercourses for which the Environment Agency is not the relevant operating authority; 14 per cent from a variety of inadequate drainage problems, mainly from highway and surface water drainage systems; 40 per cent from watercourses managed and maintained by the Agency where there is currently no flood protection; and 28 per cent from watercourses managed and maintained by the Agency where there is currently flood protection.
The Environment Agency has a general duty to supervise all matters relating to flood defence. In November 1999 the agency published an elaboration of this duty including a commitment to investigate the causes of serious or repeated flood events on watercourses for which it is not responsible, and to identify potential solutions.
What process could be used to clean and sterilise vehicles used to move animals culled during the foot and mouth outbreak but to be used for transport of grain in future; and [HL234]
What tests for cleanliness and food safety are available or appropriate for vehicles used to move animals culled during the foot and mouth outbreak but used for transport of grain in future and [HL235]
Whether there is any need to identify which vehicles have been used to move culled animals; and whether they will make that infomation widely available. [HL236]
Lord Whitty: If a vehicle is properly cleansed and disinfected after it has been used to move culled animals, it should be safe to be used for the transport of grain. However, we understand that there are concerns and officials will be meeting with industry representatives to discuss the matter.
The Foot and Mouth Order (1983) (as amended) sets out the legal requirements for the cleansing and disinfection of vehicles used for the carriage of carcases. The order does not include a requirement that such vehicles are identified to show that they had previously carried carcases.
Annex 2 provides general guidance on cleansing and disinfection of vehicles. There is no commercial test for verifying the presence of the foot and mouth disease virus.
Back to Table of Contents
Lords Hansard Home Page