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Animal Exports

Mr. Baker: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what personnel resources are available within his Department to monitor compliance with United Kingdom legislation in respect of animal exports. [154665]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 20 March 2001]: All export consignments of farm livestock and most other animals may only be exported with an export health certificate. The drafting and issuing of such certificates is carried out by staff in MAFF's Animal Health International Trade Unit and Veterinary International Trade Team, and issuing is carried out by all Animal Health Divisional Offices (AHDOs). Local veterinary inspectors certify on behalf of MAFF whether the animals meet the animal health requirements in the certificate, and are fit to travel, after inspecting animals destined for export. Staff from the MAFF portal office also check every export consignment of sheep through the Port of Dover.

Where exporters are required to draw up route plans under Welfare of Animals (Transport) Order 1997 (WATO), applications are submitted to AHDOs. If satisfactory, the plans are then stamped and sent to the local veterinary inspectors for issue with the linked export health certificate.

The operations team within the London based Animal Welfare Divisions advises AHDOs whether any new routes comply with statutory journey time limits. They also maintain and monitor a database of transporter authorisations and reported infringements of WATO and arrange non-discriminatory checks on animals in

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co-operation with other member states. Primary responsibility for enforcement of the transport rules rests with local authorities with whom AWD liaise on a regular basis.

Farming Subsidy

Mr. Watts: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will publish the amounts paid to the top 20 recipients of farming subsidy in Britain for each year from 1997 to 2001 inclusive. [158455]

Ms Quin: The Ministry is responsible for making CAP subsidy payments in England. The devolved Administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are responsible for making subsidy payments in those parts of the United Kingdom.

The amounts paid to the top 20 recipients of farming subsidy in England in the years 1997-98 to 2000-01 were as follows:

Amounts in pound sterling (£)


Meat Imports (South Africa)

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) when the European Union converted its temporary suspension on South African livestock imports into a formal import ban following the outbreak of swine fever in KwaZulu-Natal; and how the terms of the ban differed from those of the suspension; [153244]

Mr. Nick Brown: EU rules do not allow imports of livestock into the Community from South Africa. EU measures introduced last year in relation to KwaZulu-Natal related only to imports of fresh meat.

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what information his Department provided to

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(a) staff at third country border inspection posts and (b) importers in response to the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in KwaZulu-Natal last year. [153365]

Mr. Nick Brown: Letters explaining the situation were sent to border inspection posts and traders after a Declaration was issued on 5 January 2001 suspending imports of fresh meat and certain products of animal origin from South Africa and Swaziland. Prior to that, on 22 September, the South African authorities suspended issue of export health certificates for live animals, animal products and genetic material from the affected areas, thereby effectively preventing exports.


Mr. Yeo: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many vets were employed at each third country border inspection post in the United Kingdom in each year since 1997. [153243]

Mr. Nick Brown: Each third country Border Inspection Post (BIP) is under the authority of an official veterinarian who is responsible for carrying out veterinary checks on imports of live animals and animal products. One or more veterinary staff work at BIPs at any one time, according to workload. Checks at live animal BIPs are carried out by State Veterinary Service veterinary staff, assisted by technical and administrative staff from the local Animal Health Divisional Office. Checks at product BIPs are the responsibility of local authorities who employ the necessary veterinarians and support staff.

Departmental Consultants

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what has been the total gross running costs to his Department of fees and disbursements paid to consultants in the last 12 months. [149148]

Ms Quin: From information held centrally, the gross running costs to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food of fees and disbursements paid to consultants in the last 12 months, up to 31 January 2001, was £12,851,425.

Ministerial Meetings

Mr. Randall: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many ministerial meetings with hon. Members have been cancelled by Ministers since 1 January. [155245]

Mr. Nick Brown: My right hon. Friend the Minister of State has postponed three meetings with hon. Members since 1 January, while my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary has postponed one.

Classical Swine Fever

Mrs. Shephard: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when farmers affected by last summer's outbreak of classical swine fever will receive their producer levy payments. [158883]

Ms Quin [holding answer 26 April 2001]: On 19 April the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food announced an interest-free loan of £4 million to the MLC to enable the immediate payment of the industry top-up to the Pig Welfare Disposal Scheme payments. The

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Intervention Board began processing payments that day and estimate that they are now about halfway through making the payments.


Vision 2020

Mr. Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if her Department has given (a) practical and (b) financial backing of the World Bank loan for the Vision 2020 proposals. [159760]

Clare Short: The enforcement of import policy is a matter for the Department of Trade and Industry and Her Majesty's Customs and Excise.

In developing countries my Department provides capacity-building assistance to Governments and institutions to help them monitor logging and enforce forestry laws. For example, last year we initiated a £25 million project in Indonesia which will, among other things, help civil society groups and reformers in the Government tackle the illegal logging problem in their country. We are also co-sponsoring, with the World Bank and other donors, a ministerial-level East Asia Forest Law Enforcement Conference later this year.

The UK has also taken a lead in the G8 in promoting action to tackle illegal logging. Following the Okinawa Summit last July, central Government Departments are now required actively to seek to purchase timber and timber products from legal and sustainable sources. DFID is funding research into options for intergovernmental action to address illegal logging, including the possible creation of an international legal framework.


Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment she has made of the size of the food deficit in (a) The Upper Nile, (b) the Southern Blue Nile, (c) Twitch County, (d) The Nuba Mountains and (e) Eastern Equatoria regions of Sudan. [158773]

Clare Short: There are indications that there may be food deficits in some parts of Sudan this year. We are monitoring the situation closely, both from London and through our DFID representative at the British Embassy in Khartoum. In terms of the specific areas mentioned, UN assessments have suggested that there may be food deficits emerging as a result of variable agro-climatic conditions, compounded by security related to disruptions to production.

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much the 2001 UN World Food Programme Appeal for Sudan has requested; how much her Department has provided for the 2001 appeal; how much the EU has provided; and how much the US has provided. [158772]

Clare Short: The funding required for the World Food Programme (WFP) under the 2001 United Nations Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal for Sudan is $145,844,286. DFID is considering a contribution towards the WFP's food aid operations. To date, the US has promised 41,870 metric tonnes of food aid to Sudan, at

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least 15,000 of which will go through WFP. The EU have announced they will be contributing 13,000 metric tonnes of food aid: this will be made direct to their implementing INGO's, rather than through WFP.

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