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Bovine TB

Mr. Gill: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will invoke precautionary measures in respect of bovine TB to reduce the most commonly recognised causal factors. [150871]

Ms Quin [holding answer 26 February 2001]: The Government have a wide-ranging strategy in place to control cattle TB and find science-based solutions to the problem. This includes work on cattle testing, husbandry factors, TB vaccines and the role played by wildlife. Ministers are keeping under review the need to take additional measures pending results from the research in progress.

Pig Swill

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what penalties apply for the collection from ships and aircraft of swill derived from outside the UK. [152382]

Ms Quin: Controls on catering waste from aircraft and ships landed in the UK require that it be collected and sent for disposal in secure transport under the authorisation and approval of local Divisional Veterinary Officers. The material may not be used for swill feeding to pigs. Failure to observe these conditions may result in prosecution.

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what estimate he has made of the number of pigs fed with swill. [152832]

Ms Quin [holding answer 9 March 2001]: We estimate that, last year, around 82,000 pigs in Great Britain were fed on swill, around 1.4 per cent. of the total GB pig population.


Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made of the impact of rules regarding milk producer monopoly situations in (a) the UK and (b) the rest of the EU; and if he will make a statement. [152284]

Ms Quin [holding answer 5 March 2001]: The Government's view is that milk production is subject to the same competition rules on monopolies as other sectors of the economy. The hon. Member will be aware of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission's report on the supply in GB of raw cow's milk, which was published in July 1999. It concluded that Milk Marque was abusing its monopoly in the supply of milk.

No official assessment has been made by the Government of the situation in the rest of the EU.

Foot and Mouth

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what advice he is giving in relation to the foot and mouth epidemic (1) to agronomists about walking fields in order for them to recommend agricultural pesticide and fertiliser programmes; [152688]

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Ms Quin [holding answer 8 March 2001]: Visits to farms and across farmland could bring contact with livestock susceptible to foot and mouth disease. Advice and precautions to be exercised by people working in the countryside has been posted on MAFF's website

Central to this advice is that people should follow strict cleansing procedures which would include leaving vehicles outside the farm, disinfecting boots and wearing boots or clothing supplied by the farm. People working in the countryside should ensure that all mud, slurry and manure is washed off before they leave the premises.

It is essential that all visits to farms and possible contacts with animals are recorded. The records should include the date and time of the visit. Should disease occur on a farm then these records will be used to trace movements and possible spread of the disease.

Sugar Regime

Mr. Luff: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on recent developments in the sugar sector concerning reform of the regime and the Everything but Arms initiative. [151399]

Ms Quin: There have been no recent discussions on sugar reform pending the Opinion of the European Parliament and a decision on the Everything but Arms proposal. Now that the General Affairs Council has reached a decision on EBA, I would expect negotiations on sugar reform to resume shortly.

Under the General Affairs Council's decision on EBA there will be transitional arrangements for sensitive products, which in the case of sugar mean an increasing duty-free quota from this year, with general reductions in duty phased in from 2006.



Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the organisations and companies that have been sent, for consultation, a draft of the code of practice for retailers' behaviour in relationship with their suppliers, following the Competition Commission's report on the supply of groceries from multiple stores. [153541]

Dr. Howells: The following organisations and companies have been sent a draft of the code of practice for consultation:

Food and Drink Federation, AIM (International Brands Group), Dairy Industry Federation, British Independent Fruit Growers Association, British Printing Industry Federation, Brewers & Licensed Retailers Association, Periodical Publishers Association, Federation of Wholesale Distributors, GPMU, National Farmers Union, British Brands Group, Scottish Executive, Scottish Farmers Union, Farmers' Union of Wales, Tenant Farmers Association, Packaging and Industrial Films Association, Northern Ireland Bakery Council, Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association, Scottish Food and Drink Association,

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British Oat and Barley Miller's Association, Scottish Dairy Association, British Hardware & Housewares Manufacturers Association, British Giftware Association, Biscuit, Cake, Chocolate & Confectionery Alliance, British Frozen Food Federation, Pizza, Pasta & Italian Food Association, British Soft Drinks Association, Chilled Food Association, Cold Storage and Distribution Federation, Health Food Manufacturers' Association, National Association of British and Irish Millers, National Association of Master Bakers, National Dried Fruit Trade Association/British Food Importers and Distributors, Pre-Packed Flour Association, Snack, Nut and Crisp Manufacturers Association, UK Association of Frozen Food Producers, The Gin and Vodka Association of Great Britain, National Association of Cider Makers, The Association of Licensed and Multiple Retailers, The Society of Independent Brewers, Wine and Spirit Association, United Kingdom Vineyards Association, Fresh Produce Consortium, Asparagus Growers' Association, Blackcurrant Growers' Association, Brassica Growers' Association, British Food Importers and Distributors' Association, British Iceberg Growers' Association, British Onion Producers' Association, British Onion Growers' Association, British Apples and Pears Ltd., Federation of Agricultural Co-operatives Ltd., Tomato Growers' Association, British Potato Council, The British Trout Association, The Salmon and Trout Association, The Shellfish Association of Great Britain, British Starch Industry Association, British Rice Millers' Association, Grain and Feed Trade Association, Maize Growers' Association, Maltsters Association of Great Britain, National Association of British & Irish Millers, The Rice Association, United Kingdom Agricultural Supply Trade Association Ltd., UK Maize Millers' Association, Seed Crushers and Oil Processors' Association/National Edible Oils Distributors, Federation of Oils, Seeds and Fats Association, British Edible Pulse Association, British Egg Industry Council, British Poultry Meat Federation, British Free Range Egg Producers' Association, United Kingdom Egg Producers Association Ltd., The Council for Responsible Nutrition, The Proprietary Association of Great Britain, British Meat Manufacturers Association, British Meat Federation, International Meat Trade Association, Meat and Livestock Commission, National Pig Association, UK Association of Frozen Food Producers, National Federation of Fishermen's Organisations, Federation of British Wholesale Fish Merchants' Association, National Federation of Inland Wholesale Fish Merchants, Federation of Milk Groups, Specialist Cheesemakers Association, Quality Meat Scotland, Scottish Quality Trout, Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers, Scottish Agriculture Organisation Society, Scottish Quality Salmon, Scottish Association of Master Bakers, The Scotch Whisky Association, Seafood Scotland, Asda, Somerfield, Tesco, Sainsbury and Safeway.

Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he will publish a draft of the code of practice for retailer behaviour in relation to their suppliers, as recommended by the Competition Commission's report on the supply of groceries from multiple stores; and if he will place a copy in the Library. [153540]

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Dr. Howells: The Office of Fair Trading is currently consulting with the representatives of suppliers on the Code of Practice. A copy of the draft code was sent to these representatives on 14 February. A copy of the draft Code of Practice is available in the Library of the House.

PFI Projects

Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much money has been paid by his Department to (a) accountancy and (b) legal firms in each year since 1 May 1997 in relation to PFI projects. [153262]

Dr. Howells [holding answer 12 March 2001]: Over the period in question the Department has paid a total of £1.113 million for accountancy assistance and £1.731 million for legal advice in respect of its PFI projects. The annual amounts are listed in the table.


YearAccountancyLegal fees

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