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Further to the Written Answer by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Marine, Landscape and Rural Affairs, Mr Jonathan Shaw, on 22 April (Official Report, Commons, col. 1911W), whether the package of measures to help farmers most affected by the outbreak of foot and mouth disease would have been subject to European Union controls had the Lisbon treaty been in force.[HL3825]
The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): The package of measures announced on 8 October 2007 aimed at helping farmers most affected by the outbreak of foot and mouth disease were subject to the European Union's state aid rules. The Lisbon treaty does not change these rules or the requirement for member states to comply with them.
What was the outcome of the meeting of Agricultural Ministers in Brussels on 19 May to consider European Union proposals on further regulation of the use of agricultural pesticides and herbicides. [HL3769]
The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): The Council of Ministers adopted a common position on a proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a framework for Community action to achieve a sustainable use of pesticides. The Council also took stock of progress on a proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market.
Lord Bassam of Brighton: There was a significant downward trend in annual mean concentrations of nitrous oxides (NOx) at the airfield perimeter in the period 1993 to 2004, and a small downward trend in nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Concentrations of particulates (PM10) remained broadly constant over the period
4 Jun 2008 : Column WA52
At which British airports the iris recognition entry system is in operation; how many persons have registered with the system; and on how many occasions passengers have made use of it in the past 12 months at each of the airports at which it is available. [HL3604 ]
|Port||Number of barrier crossings for the past 12 months (April 07-April 08)|
The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): My department will publish an impact assessment to accompany any statutory instrument that may amend Schedule 4.
What steps they have taken to ensure that captive populations of species that they intend to remove from Schedule 4 to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 are DNA-tested to check that they are of legitimate stock and to provide baseline data on any future parenting claims made for the species. [HL3764]
Lord Rooker: My department has no plans to carry out DNA testing on all birds that may be removed from Schedule 4. The department has no evidence to suggest that the population of birds currently listed in Schedule 4 is other than from primarily legitimate sources. The costs of DNA testing the whole captive population would be prohibitively expensive and would not be justified by any possible enforcement or conservation benefit. Any DNA testing to be carried out by Animal Health will be based on a risk and intelligence-led approach.
Modern breeding techniques use artificial insemination from a variety of possible male donors. The movement and death of many of the birds involved in this process means that any comprehensive testing scheme for all birds subject to registration would simply not be logistically possible.
Lord Rooker: The prohibition on the import of wild birds into the EU was extended in July 2007 and with this prohibition likely to remain in force for the foreseeable future the situation in the commercial trade of wild birds has changed. My department therefore revised the criteria for the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) assessment of species to be listed in Schedule 4. The list of species provided by the JNCC was considered in terms of the proportionality of the burden that registration of these species would place on keepers, balancing any conservation benefit that may arise from registration against the regulatory burden imposed by registration.
How individual birds issued with Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) transaction specific certificates, but removed from Schedule 4 to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, will be traced by the police for DNA testing if they are suspected of being taken from the wild. [HL3766]
Lord Rooker: The UK CITES Management Authority (UKMA) makes every effort to ascertain the legality of acquisition of a bird before issuing a transaction specific certificate. However, if information came to the attention of the UKMA after issuing a certificate which led it to doubt the veracity of the original application, it would trace the ownership via the name
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Which of the 11 non-European Union species proposed by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee for inclusion in Schedule 4 to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 already have captive populations in the United Kingdom; and whether this has any effects on the laundering of wild birds smuggled into the United Kingdom. [HL3768]
Lord Rooker: Of the 12 species originally proposed by the JNCC for listing in Schedule 4, nine are non-EU species. Animal Health has issued CITES permits for six species (red-browed amazon; red-tailed amazon; hyacinth macaw; blue-throated macaw; red vented/Philippine cockatoo; and Bali starling) in the past 10 years, indicating that these species have been kept in captivity in the UK.
The EU ban on wild bird imports has meant that, other than birds imported for conservation programmes, only captive-bred birds from approved breeding establishments have been permitted for import into the EU. Any import of wild non-EU birds would be contrary to the ban and CITES regulations. I consider that these regulations maintain a satisfactory level of control on any trade in the nine species, and there is no evidence to suggest that these controls do not work.
Whether the Ministerial Statement on the pay rise announced earlier this year for the Armed Forces, quoted by the Royal British Legion in its submission to the Ministry of Defence of 8 May, in recognition of their tremendous contribution at home and overseas, was drafted before or after they decided to abolish the 10p starting rate of income tax. [HL3595]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): The Government's acceptance of all the recommendations contained in the 2008 report of the Armed Forces' Pay Review Body was announced in a Written Ministerial Statement on 7 February 2008. The decision to abolish the 10p starting rate of income tax was first announced in the 2007 Budget speech on 21 March 2007.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (Baroness Vadera): BERR has regular contact with the UK aluminium industry's trade association, Aluminium Federation (ALFED) and UK aluminium companies such as Anglesey Aluminium. We have had insight through the data provided by the aluminium industry on the positive measures they are taking to reduce CO2 emissions.
We understand that the EU aluminium industry has reduced its total direct CO2 emissions from primary aluminium smelters by 49 per cent and its Perflouro carbon (PFC) emissions by 83 per cent between 1990 and 2005*. UK primary aluminium smelters are at or close to world leading CO2 efficiency for the technology employed. The sector as a whole is increasing international focus on the potential of industry sectoral agreements or approaches in delivering global reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
Whether the estimated £10 billion-worth of uranium and recovered plutonium stockpiled in the United Kingdom will be used for electrical generating purposes rather than being consigned to waste. [HL3628]
Lord Bach: The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform does not publish oil price projections. It publishes oil, gas and coal future price assumptions for the period till 2020, which are disseminated throughout Whitehall and where relevant are used by government departments in their analytical work.
The latest version of BERR's future fossil fuel price assumptions were published this month, following a consultation published in January. In order to capture some of the uncertainty around future oil prices, there are four illustrative scenarios: low, central, high and high-high. Further details are available at the following links at www.berr.gov.uk/energy/environment/projections /recent/page2639.html and www.berr.gov.uk/files/file46071.pdf.
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