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What were the conservation reasons which led to the choice of peregrine, merlin, saker falcon, gyr falcon, goshawk and golden eagle as the study species for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs research project on DNA sampling using fluorescent multiplexing, completed in 2006. [HL3767]
The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): The purpose of the project was to develop fluorescent multiplexes for the golden eagle, goshawk, gyr falcon, merlin, peregrine falcon and saker falcon. The development and implementation of a fluorescent multiplex system would allow the construction of databases and allow comparisons between any sampled individuals, avoiding the need to retest them. The system should facilitate compliance checking and assist enforcement efforts.
The species were chosen to ensure that they were the most appropriate for the project, based on previous research into DNA forensic techniques involving birds of prey. The conservation status of these species was only one of the factors taken into account when considering the selection criteria for this project. The factors taken into account were:conservation status and level of wild population within the UK and Europe;level of captive population within the UK, taking account of the project need to be able to obtain a significant number of samples;commercial value of individual specimens, coupled with the trend in demand for specimens;ease or otherwise of captive propagation of the species, including the project need to obtain a number of samples from family groups; andhistory of persecution and laundering of illegal birds into the captive system.
To which 20 countries outside the United Kingdom they send the largest numbers of (a) social security payments and (b) pensions; and in each case how many recipients are over 90 years of age. [HL3695]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton):The following data are of actual payments made. The information requested is not available in the format requested for the last full year because of a
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|State pension (SP)||Incapacity benefit (IB), severe disablement allowance (SDA), bereavement benefit (BB) and widows benefit (WB)||Number of customers aged 90 and above||Proportion of customers in each country aged 90 and above|
|Data Source: Scan of overseas customers taken from benefit systems or International Pension Centre.|
Lord McKenzie of Luton: The current measures used by the International Pension Centre (IPC) to detect unreported death on a customer base of 1.1 million are a programme of data matching, where available, and life certification where data matching is unavailable or impractical.
IPC is currently data matching with death indexes from the USA and New Zealand. These offer data on all the deaths in those countries but are the only two identified at this time. IPC is also starting to exchange data with equivalent authorities such as Centrelink in Australia and Sociale Verzekeringsbank (SVB) in the Netherlands. It is expected that IPC will exchange data with the Department for Social and Family Affairs in Ireland in the foreseeable future. Data matching with the authorities in a number of other countries where there are high numbers of UK beneficiaries is also being progressed.
Data matching with the equivalent authorities in other countries is not always possible or practical because of, for example, the absence of a suitably robust registration system. Therefore, life certificates are used to verify the life of customers who are not covered by data matching. Life certificates require customers to present themselves to the foreign authority, UK diplomatic or consular service, solicitor or barrister, magistrate or justice of the peace, or police to have their certificate signed. The customer must also present photographic evidencefor example, a passport.
Although life certificates have been in use in the IPC for some years, the programme has recently been expanded to include annual certification of all customers not covered by data matching aged 85 and above and annual certification of other customers in high-risk cohorts, which are currently being identified.
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