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AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND FOOD

Agrimonetary Compensation

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how much agrimonetary compensation available in 1999-2000 has not yet been paid to UK farmers. [143841]

Ms Quin: A total of £643 million was available to the UK in 1999 and 2000. Of the £451 million in agrimonetary compensation announced for those years, £384 million has been paid, leaving £67 million to pay (mainly the latest packages to beef and arable farmers). The details are set out in the table:

£ million

AnnouncedPaidTo pay
Available 1999(2)
Beef61.661.60
Sheep31.231.20
Arable1701700
Available 2000(3)
Beef421230
Sheep3231.90.1
Arable9155.335.7
Dairy2221.90.1

(2) First tranche compulsory

(3) Second tranche compulsory plus optional


Agriculture (Gross Domestic Product)

Mr. Flynn: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what the net contribution is of agriculture to GDP in England in each of the past three years after the deduction of subsidies, concessions on diesel, reductions in council taxes on farm buildings and farmland and the relevant Civil Service costs. [144251]

Ms Quin [holding answer 8 January 2001]: Agriculture's contribution to national GDP for England for the three years to 1999 is shown in the table.

10 Jan 2001 : Column: 561W

Agriculture's share of gross domestic product in England

Percentage
199719981999(4)
Including subsidies1.10.90.9
Excluding directly paid subsidies0.80.70.6
Excluding all subsidies, tax concessions(5) and relevant Civil Service costs0.60.50.5

(4) Provisional

(5) Estimated


Animal Feed

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what representations he has received from farmers on a UK derogation from the EU ban on fishmeal in ruminant animal feed; and if he will make a statement. [144341]

Mr. Nick Brown [holding answer 8 January 2001]: Representations have now been received from farmers and others explaining that fishmeal does not bear a risk of transferring TSEs to ruminant or other animals and as such should not have been included in the extended feed ban agreed on 4 December. It was for this reason that the UK resisted this part of the proposal and was able, with other countries, to obtain an exemption from the ban for non-ruminant animal feeds. We will shortly be consulting all interests on the detailed implementation of the new EC feed measures.

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on the importing into Britain of ruminant animal feed products that contain meat and bonemeal. [144327]

Mr. Nick Brown [holding answer 8 January 2001]: There is no prohibition on the importing into Great Britain of ruminant meat and bonemeal. However, it is illegal in the UK to sell or supply such products for feeding to farmed livestock. Compliance with this prohibition is monitored by sampling at premises handling livestock feedstuffs.

Swine Fever

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on his plans to introduce an industry levy in order to part-fund compensation for pig farmers hit by swine fever, indicating whether proceeds from the levy can be used for other purposes. [144388]

Mr. Nick Brown [holding answer 8 January 2001]: I welcome the commitment made by the NFU and NPA in the summer to review with Government the longer-term implications for disease control in modern industry conditions. In addition, industry representatives proposed a top-up contribution be made by pig producers to the Government's unprecedented Pig Welfare (Disposal) Scheme. To bring this about, pig producers are currently being consulted on a proposed development scheme under the Agriculture Act 1967. The proposed development scheme would enable its trustees to use levy funds to benefit pig producers in planning for and dealing with the impact of outbreaks of pig diseases, as well as reducing the risks of such outbreaks occurring.

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GM Crops

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment the Government have made of the impact of GM agriculture on farmland values. [144339]

Mr. Nick Brown [holding answer 8 January 2001]: There is currently no commercial cultivation of GM crops in the UK.

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what factors underlie his policy concerning the level of Government funding for research into GM crops. [144394]

Mr. Nick Brown [holding answer 8 January 2001]: My Department's policy for funding research in relation to GM crops is published on the MAFF website www.maff.gov.uk.

Pesticides Tax

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on his policy regarding a pesticides tax. [144395]

Mr. Nick Brown [holding answer 8 January 2001]: Taxation is a matter for the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who set out the current position in relation to a pesticides tax in the pre-Budget Report on 8 November 2000.

Capital Modernisation Fund

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what proportion of the payments from the Capital Modernisation Fund has been made to (a) his Department, (b) statutory bodies overseen by his Department, (c) the Countryside Agency, (d) English Nature, (e) the Environment Agency and (f) rural local authorities. [144397]

Mr. Nick Brown [holding answer 8 January 2001]: Of the funding available from the first two rounds of the Capital Modernisation Fund the bodies named have received the following proportions:




Parts (c) through to (f) are for the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions.

Departmental Catering

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if all food served at his Department's official functions meets the standards of production required by domestic producers. [144331]

Mr. Nick Brown [holding answer 8 January 2001]: Catering at the Ministry's official functions is provided by external firms, who are required to discharge services with all due care and diligence and in accordance with the best professional or industry practice as well as conforming in all respects with the requirements of relevant statutes, orders, regulations, or byelaws in force.

Over-30-months Scheme

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many tonnes of over-30-month old meat products were (a) imported into the United Kingdom and

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(b) re-exported from the United Kingdom in each of the last three years, broken down by (i) country of origin, (ii) class of product and (iii) in the case of re-exported material, country of destination. [144256]

Mr. Nick Brown [holding answer 8 January 2001]: Statistics available do not separately identify meat products from animals slaughtered at over-30-months of age.

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what proportion of the items covered by the ban on the sale of over-30-month meat products are (a) domestically sourced and (b) imported. [144370]

Mr. Nick Brown [holding answer 8 January 2001]: The information requested is not available. The over-30- month rule prohibits the sale of meat for human consumption from cattle aged over-30-months at slaughter.

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made of the efficacy of controls designed to stop imported over-30-month beef from entering the British food chain. [144321]

Mr. Nick Brown [holding answer 8 January 2001]: The implementation of controls to prevent beef from animals over-30-months old entering the food chain is the responsibility of the Food Standards Agency.

BSE

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment the Government have made of the effectiveness of BSE controls in (a) France, (b) Denmark, (c) Finland, (d) Germany, (e) Greece, (f) Holland, (g) Austria, (h) Belgium, (i) Ireland, (j) Italy, (k) Luxembourg, (l) Portugal, (m) Spain and (n) Sweden. [144314]

Mr. Nick Brown [holding answer 8 January 2001]: Member states' BSE controls are inspected by the EU Food and Veterinary Office (FVO). As a result of the current situation, the FVO is currently carrying out a series of inspections of member states' controls.

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on research his Department has sponsored on the copper-manganese BSE theory. [144263]

Mr. Nick Brown [holding answer 8 January 2001]: My Department has not sponsored any research on the copper-manganese BSE theory. However, the TSE Research and Surveillance Unit follows the progress of research in this area which is supported by other funders.


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