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Dancing Schools

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the answer of 6 March 2001, Official Report, column 202W, on dancing schools, what is his estimate of the number of voluntary dance classes; how much financial assistance is provided for these classes; what his estimate is of the number of Irish dancing schools provided by the voluntary sector; and how much financial assistance is provided for these schools. [153580]

Mr. Alan Howarth: Dance classes are provided through a diverse range of public, privately-funded, and voluntary provision. Because of this diversity, an assessment of the number of voluntary dance classes would prove a significant undertaking. The Voluntary Arts Network advises that there is anecdotal information on provision of voluntary dance classes, but that a comprehensive and thorough assessment is not available based on current information. The Foundation for

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Community Dance, the national development agency for community dance, recently undertook a mapping exercise to establish the range of participation in dance provided by the funded sector across England. This excluded local private dance schools, organisations specifically catering for recreational dance forms (including Ceroc) and dance opportunities offered by the commercial sector. However, sources include: local authorities (significant), European funds, the Single Regeneration Budget, the Health Service, Regional Arts Boards, Lottery, trusts and foundations. Private, commercial and voluntary provision is also significant.

Foot and Mouth

Mr. Martlew: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will make a statement on the response of his Department and its tourism-sponsored bodies to the foot and mouth disease outbreak. [154224]

Mr. Chris Smith: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave the hon. Member for East Surrey (Mr. Ainsworth) on 14 March 2001, Official Report, columns 1021-36. My Department has, together with the British Tourist Authority and the English Tourist Council, issued guidance to the public, to prospective visitors from overseas and the tourism industry on the implications of the disease. The British Tourist Authority is rebutting misleading stories overseas which are confusing this outbreak with BSE. The English Tourism Council is consulting with the industry on how tourism businesses can best cope with and recover from the effects of the outbreak and local tourism information offices are giving out information on destinations that remain open, such as our wealth of museums and galleries and historic towns. My Department is keeping the consequential implications for tourism under close review and I shall be visiting Cumbria this weekend to see those implications for myself, following the visit of the Minister for Tourism, Film and Broadcasting to Devon on 14 March.


Foot and Mouth

Mr. William Ross: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what discussions he has had with his EU counterparts on recent outbreaks of foot and mouth disease in other member states; and if he will make a statement. [151994]

Ms Quin: The Ministry is in constant contact with other member states and the European Commission. Animal disease issues are discussed regularly at the Standing Veterinary Committee in Brussels. My right hon. Friend the Minister will be discussing the situation with EU counterparts at the Agriculture Council on 19 March.

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made of the effect of European Community law on the spread of foot and mouth disease. [152663]

Ms Quin: A detailed epidemiological investigation is being conducted into every confirmed outbreak of foot and mouth disease. The results of these investigations will be published. An assessment will be made of the lessons

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to be learned from the original cause of the outbreak and the factors that are contributing towards the spread of the disease in order to inform future policy.

Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he has carried out an assessment of the risk due to BSE infectivity from burning cattle during the present outbreak of foot and mouth disease. [154476]

Mr. Nick Brown: An independent risk assessment from DNV Consulting which I commissioned is today being published on the MAFF Foot and Mouth Disease internet site. Copies have also been placed in the Libraries of the House.

The model used by DNV estimates that a pyre of 100 dairy cattle aged over five years old could result in a total of 7 X 10h 4 infective units being ingested by those exposed. This would be spread over a fairly wide population and so the individual risk of exposure would be low. For example, if the infective units were spread over 1,000 people the individual risk would be 7 X 10h 7 infective units per person, in other words less than one in a million.

The recommendation of the Environment Agency is that there need not be any immediate change to carcase burning activities. The assessment will, however, be taken into account in guidance to Agency staff on factors to take into account if they are asked to permit sites for carcase burning.

This advice has come at a time when, in view mainly of practical considerations, I have decided to increase the disposal by rendering, in addition to on-farm burning, of carcases from FMD infected farms and dangerous contact premises.


Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how much beef was (a) produced in and (b) consumed by the UK in the last 12 months. [152287]

Ms Quin [holding answer 5 March 2001]: The following table provides details of the quantity of beef produced and consumed by the UK in 2000.

UK supply of beef in 2000

Thousand tonnes(29)
Home fed production706

(29) Dressed carcase weight equivalent

(30) Total domestic use; home fed production plus imports less exports net of stock change

Foot and Mouth (Livestock Movement)

Mr. Drew: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what help is available to cattle owners who seek to move animals on welfare grounds. [152771]

Mr. Luff: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made of the animal welfare implications for cattle, sheep and pigs that are not displaying symptoms of foot and mouth disease, of movement restrictions between adjacent areas of farm land owned or farmed by the same farmer; and if he will make a statement. [152806]

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Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what plans he has to ensure that cows within the exclusion zones can be moved to adequate facilities for calving. [153188]

Mr. Morley [holding answers 8 and 12 March 2001]: We are aware of serious and growing animal welfare problems as a consequence of movement restrictions imposed following the foot and mouth outbreak. Two schemes were therefore announced on 9 March in order to address these problems.

The occupational licence permits a farmer to make repeat movements of foot and mouth disease susceptible livestock for a distance of up to 0.5 km on land of which he is the sole occupant. Such licences are available in the controlled area and in the infected area. Movements are not permitted within 3 km of an infected place.

The local movement licence permits movements of up to 5 km as the crow flies (up to a journey of 10 km) but only in the controlled area.

Mr. Steen: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) if he will withdraw the Schedule D notice served on the Madron Meat Abattoir in Penzance and reinstate the grant of approval from the Meat Hygiene Service; [153173]

Ms Quin [holding answer 12 March 2001]: Restrictions were imposed on Madron Meat Abattoir while the State Veterinary Service investigated a suspected case of foot and mouth disease which occurred within 3 kilometres of the abattoir. The restrictions were removed on 11 March after it was revealed that the animals involved were not affected by foot and mouth.

Responsibility for licensing the movement of animals to slaughter lies with local authorities. Mr. Stockwell should therefore contact Devon County Council regarding the proposed movement of his pigs to slaughter.

Employment Statistics

Mr. Breed: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many people were employed directly in agriculture at the latest date for which figures are available. [153129]

Ms Quin: The estimate of the total workforce employed directly in agriculture in the United Kingdom in the year 2000 is 560,000. This is 2.0 per cent. of the total workforce in employment.

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