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AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND FOODFoot and Mouth

Mr. Webb: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what plans he has to compensate farmers who have cattle approaching the 30 month cut-off and who suffer financially from being unable to transport their cattle to market. [152017]

Mr. Baldry: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if compensation will be awarded to farmers who as a consequence of foot and mouth exclusion zones have been unable to move cattle and whose cattle have gone over the 30-month age limit. [155654]

Ms Quin [holding answers 5 and 27 March 2001]: The Government are continuing to look at ways in which the industry might be helped and recognise the concern of beef producers whose animals are subject to movement restrictions which push them over the 30-month age limit and so leave only the OTMS as an outlet for them. The Government's first priority is the eradication of the disease, but we are keeping the position of the producers affected in these ways under review. In the meantime, cattle of all ages may be entered into the livestock welfare disposal scheme if the circumstances are appropriate.

Mr. Gray: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if abattoirs will be compensated for the reduction in the value of hides following the outbreak of foot and mouth disease. [153851]

Ms Quin [holding answer 19 March 2001]: Compensation is payable for the market value of animals slaughtered to control foot and mouth disease. We have currently no plans to make consequential loss payments of this kind but the situation is being kept under review.

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what plans he has to vaccinate livestock in Lancashire. [158225]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 23 April 2001]: Although vaccination has not been ruled out in areas other than northern Cumbria and Devon, there are currently no plans to vaccinate livestock in Lancashire. Any such measure would require substantial farmer support.

Mr. Opik: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what plans he has made to protect new areas of low foot and mouth infection from exposure to stock originating from areas with higher levels of infection; and if he will make a statement. [154393]

Mr. Morley: The general ban on movement of animals susceptible to foot and mouth disease remains in place. Welfare movements are permitted only under licence from areas of low risk to areas of higher risk. This is based on a careful risk assessment, the principles of which we have set out on the MAFF FMD website http://www.maff.gov.uk/.

Mr. Fabricant: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what action will be taken to improve biosecurity to prevent the reintroduction of foot and mouth disease after the disease has been controlled. [156011]

Ms Quin [holding answer 2 April 2001]: The Ministry is already starting to look at what lessons can be learned from this outbreak to prevent foot and mouth disease recurring. We are currently consulting on a possible ban on swill feeding and on introducing movement restrictions

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on sheep, goats and cattle to require a 20-day standstill period. We are also reviewing the enforcement of legislation governing imports of animal products, both commercial and personal, and we will consider other issues surrounding the livestock sector, for example the operation of markets.

Mr. Paice: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in what circumstances foot and mouth-free status can be achieved without the slaughter of vaccinated animals. [156650]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 2 April 2001]: The recent European Commission decision (2001/257/EC) authorises the vaccination without slaughter of cattle in specific areas of the UK. Chapter 2.1.1 of the OIE International Animal Health Code contains guidelines on the steps to be taken to regain foot and mouth disease-free status in various circumstances.

Sir John Stanley: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what warnings were given to (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department of the risk of spreading foot and mouth prior to the present outbreak arising from the use of swill feeding. [156879]

Ms Quin [holding answer 4 April 2001]: It has long been recognised that infected meat products might pose a risk if they are not adequately processed in pig swill. The controls in the Animal By-Products Order 1999 are designed to prevent the introduction and spread of diseases such as foot and mouth and classical swine fever by ensuring appropriate treatment of any catering waste which might include meat products.

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what provision he has made for the vaccination of livestock against foot and mouth disease; and if he will make a statement. [153023]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 9 March 2001]: Vaccination has always been an option which we have constantly reviewed in the light of veterinary and epidemiological advice. We have developed contingency plans which would enable us to carry out a limited vaccination programme in certain circumstances. We also need to assess the views of the food and livestock sector.

Dr. Lynne Jones: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what vaccines are available against foot and mouth disease; and what his policy is on their use. [152471]

Mr. Morley: The vaccines are:




Vaccination has always been an option which we have constantly reviewed in the light of veterinary and epidemiological advice. We have developed contingency plans which would enable us to carry out a limited vaccination programme in certain circumstances. We also need to assess the views of the food and livestock sectors.

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Modern Biotechnology Information

Transfer Club

Mr. Alan Simpson: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the Transfer Club members for each of the years of his Department's funding, indicating which of the Transfer Club members also received public funding for biotechnology research during this period, specifying the project details, research partners and funding periods. [157801]

Ms Quin: Membership of Campden and Chorleywood Food Research Association (ca 1,000 members) automatically conferred membership of the club in its first phase of operation (January 1996 to July 1997). Membership by direct subscription applied in the second phase (October 1997 to March 1999). There were 130 registered members, distributed as follows: retail (7 per cent. manufacturing and wholesale (41 per cent.); agriculture (8 per cent.); biotechnology (15 per cent.); academic and R&D (17 per cent.), Associations and Government (12 per cent.)

There is no direct link between the activities of the club and public funding for research.

Mr. Alan Simpson: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what the role was of the Modern Biotechnology Information Transfer Club set up by his Department. [157799]

Ms Quin: The initiative to set up the Modern Biotechnology Information Transfer Club was taken by Campden and Chorleywood Food Research Association. The objective of the club was to stimulate the information of links between the food industry and the biotechnology sector. The main club activities were to disseminate information via bulletins (10); seminars (six); and visits to research laboratories (seven). MAFF's involvement was to provide partial financial support for the club as a technology awareness raising project, and to monitor the activities to ensure that agreed objectives were met.

Mr. Alan Simpson: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what financial and other public resources were put into the transfer club for each year until March 1999. [157800]

Ms Quin: Financial resources put into the Modern Biotechnology Information Transfer Club were as follows:

Year ending£
March 199715,000
March 19989,900
March 19997,500
Total32,400

Financial resources put in by industry through club membership fees were £57,412, representing 64 per cent. of total costs.

The only other public resources put into the club were for monitoring purposes to ensure that contractors were meeting objectives.

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Cod

Mr. Gill: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will publish the findings of the scientific investigation into the diet of cod. [157833]

Mr. Morley: Copies of final report executive summaries for completed MAFF-funded research projects can be requested by e-mailing [email protected], specifying which area of research or project information is being requested. The research project investigating the diet of cod will be completed in March 2004.


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