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No assessment has been made. However, mobile phones have clear potential benefits for rural communities, including farmers, by improving communications, particularly in isolated situations, and giving users greater freedom and flexibility in work and leisure.
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Ms Quin: There is no validated test for the detection of BSE in live cattle. Nor is there a validated post-mortem test for the detection of sub-clinical infection. Until such tests are available compulsory testing of cattle will be restricted to the testing of cattle notified to the Department in accordance with the BSE (No. 2) Order 1996.
Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what recent representations he has received on setting up a separate meat and livestock commission for Wales; and if he will make a statement. 
Under the terms of a Marketing Services Agreement signed in 1997, Agriculture Ministers have already consented to the delegation of certain Meat and Livestock Commission functions in Wales. This includes the promotion of Welsh livestock and livestock products by Welsh Lamb and Beef Promotions Ltd.
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Ms Quin: My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister announced on 30 March that £22 million would be paid this year only in agrimonetary compensation to the dairy sector. This represents all the agrimonetary compensation available to this sector, including the 50 per cent. UK contribution.
Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what provisions have been made to deal with the potential for zoonotic infections on import of primates carried on the Cap Afrique; and if the veterinary surgeon charged with checking the health and wellbeing of the primates was the purchaser of them. 
Ms Quin: The Department is responsible for licensing the import of primates into quarantine against rabies in premises authorised by the Department. Licence applications do not require the applicant to identify themselves as the purchaser or owner of the animals to be imported or as the purchaser's or owner's agent. Quarantine premises must employ a veterinary supervisor authorised by the Department to be responsible for the health of the imported animals. Employers of staff who work with simians must take account of their general duties under health and safety legislation and consider the risks from zoonoses that may affect staff and take suitable precautions to prevent or control exposure.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will set a target date for the introduction of the increase in the maximum weight per animal on which compensation is payable under the over-30-months scheme. 
Ms Quin: The Government have made a commitment to seek an increase in the maximum weight per animal on which compensation is payable under the Over- 30-Months Scheme. Implementation of such a change is dependent on the Commission's willingness to make an appropriate proposal and on support from other member states. We will be pressing for early action but the timing is not within our control.
Mr. Keetch: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will seek to amend the European Union's Common Agricultural Policy in respect of the measurement of field margins, in order to ensure that such rules take account of the character of Britain's hedgerows; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Gray: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what estimate he has made of the number of incinerators owned by hunts that are used for the disposal of fallen stock; and how many hunts (a) charge and (b) do not charge for this service. 
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Ms Quin [holding answer 6 April 2000]: No estimate has been made by the Department of the number of incinerators owned by hunts that are used for the disposal of fallen stock. However, if Specified Risk Material is to be incinerated, the incinerator must be approved by the appropriate Minister. There are 159 such incinerators at hunt kennels in Great Britain. Information on hunts' charging policy is not collected by the Department.
Mr. Letwin: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what measures he will employ to ensure that the independent verifiers of the new British farm standards apply appropriate tests to create consumer confidence in this label. 
Ms Quin [holding answer 11 April 2000]: The Government are not directly responsible for this, but are encouraging the NFU (National Farmers' Union) who are developing the new mark, "British Farm Standard". The NFU intend that the mark should only appear on food which meets the requirements of a qualifying farm assurance scheme. We understand that one requirement on the assurance schemes will be that they should have obtained UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) accreditation or have a plan in place to achieve it. UKAS accreditation can only be obtained if all participants are subject to independent verification. Through verification, participants are subject to regular inspection which will ensure that they meet the high standards of food safety, animal welfare and environmental responsibility as well as other conditions of production that are required by the assurance schemes. The NFU intend to explain to consumers these key values which will underpin the mark.
Mr. Ian McCartney: The triennial review of the Government Car and Despatch Agency (GCDA), the start of which I announced on 27 October 1999, has now been completed. The Cabinet Office, assisted by Lorien consultants, has considered the Agency's performance since 1 April 1997, when it was launched, and the options for the future of its functions.
The principal aim of the GCDA, which comprises the Government Car Service (GCS) and the Inter Despatch Service (IDS), is to provide secure, reliable, value for money services to its customers. The evaluation of GCDA's performance over its first three years concluded that it has performed well. It has met 14 of 15 key performance targets (including all of its financial and efficiency and productivity targets) set and completed during the period. The evaluation concluded that it had succeeded in meeting its principal aims and objectives, and made a number of recommendations for structural improvements allowing it greater freedom to pursue its commercial objectives. I have placed copies of the executive summary of the evaluation report in the Libraries of the Houses.
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The review of the standard options (continued agency status, market testing and contracting out, privatisation, abolition) considered each business separately. It concluded that the high security requirements of customers and the unique nature of the services provided by GCS meant that it was not suitable for private sector involvement. It went on to propose a programme of modernisation aimed at improving the efficiency, effectiveness and economy of its services. The review recommended that the IDS should establish and develop, through a Public Private Partnership, a secure, flexible, value for money, nationwide service to complement its existing London and dedicated networks.
I have considered both reports and I have decided that GCDA should continue as an executive agency for a period of five years. It will implement the programme of reform recommended by this review which will build upon its success over the past three years, and enable the Agency to deliver the high quality, value for money services its customers require. A revision to the Framework Document will now be prepared and published.
Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many times the Deputy to the United Kingdom Anti-Drugs Co-ordinator has met members and officials of the United States Government since 1 January 1999; on what date and where each meeting took place; and which members and officials of the United States Government attended each meeting. 
Mr. Ian McCartney: During the period 1 January 1999 to 31 March 2000, the Deputy UK Anti-Drugs Co-ordinator met General Barry McCaffrey, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, and his officials, during their visit to the United Kingdom in October 1999. In addition to meetings with General McCaffrey, he also sat in on several bilateral meetings between US and UK officials to discuss a wide range of drugs related issues, including Criminal justices intervention issues and drug treatment programmes.
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