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David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what assessment the Government have made of psychological trauma caused by foot and mouth disease to rural communities; and what provision they have made to counter this problem; 
The Department is working closely with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in support of the Rural Stress Action Plan (RSAP) which offers support to help alleviate stress in rural areas. Through the RSAP, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has already made available £500,000 to support farmers as part of my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister's action plan for farming. The second RSAP is focused on the need to respond to the problems facing rural people as a consequence of the foot and mouth disease outbreaks which commenced in February 2001. The Department has also provided the rural stress information service and MIND with funding through the section 64 General Scheme under the Health Services and Public Health Act 1968 for projects developing support networks and access to information, care and support for people in rural areas.
In addition, local primary care services will be able to provide appropriate support to children and families suffering any adverse psychological problems resulting from measures taken on farms to eradicate foot and mouth disease. The Department for Education and Skills has also issued information on the implications of foot and mouth for schools, in order to help minimise the impact on pupils' schooling. This includes guidance on making arrangements for attendance recording, educational trips games fixtures and national tests. The Department for Education and Skills also worked closely with the GCSE/ A-level awarding bodies to allow special considerations to apply where students' participation in exams or completing coursework was affected.
Mr. Hurst: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the consequences for agriculture of the foot and mouth outbreak in Essex; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: Foot and mouth disease is having a considerable impact on farming and a range of industries throughout the UK. The duration of the outbreak and associated restrictions remains uncertain. At present it is not possible to make a reliable estimate of the overall effect.
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those farms and holdings that lost stock due to the contiguous cull under foot and mouth provisions will be published. 
5 Jul 2001 : Column: 276W
mouth disease website www.defra.gov.uk. Work is in hand to add the number of affected premises per county to this report.
|25 February 2001||799||370||1,741||0||2,910|
|4 March 2001||6,262||38,156||189||9||44,616|
|11 March 2001||16,578||60,621||1,304||12||78,515|
|18 March 2001||32,979||104,596||11,086||43||148,704|
|25 March 2001||46,852||197,468||28,405||236||272,961|
|1 April 2001||78,307||364,484||20,864||145||463,800|
|8 April 2001||85,751||489,509||20,744||777||596,781|
|15 April 2001||88,435||473,844||25,389||243||587,911|
|22 April 2001||59,742||357,839||6,418||141||424,140|
|29 April 2001||24,075||198,866||7,529||89||230,559|
|6 May 2001||17,582||90,619||419||389||109,009|
|13 May 2001||10,445||47,652||2,313||15||60,425|
|20 May 2001||8,651||54,440||78||3||63,172|
|27 May 2001||15,693||80,256||276||12||96,237|
|3 June 2001||13,046||50,813||98||7||63,964|
|10 June 2001||12,533||47,371||56||43||60,003|
|17 June 2001||10,972||56,072||957||55||68,056|
|24 June 2001||7,833||42,023||0||1||49,857|
DEFRA Disease Control System Databaselatest figures subject to revision, as more data become available
Mr. Morley [holding answer 4 July 2001]: There will be an inquiry, when the disease is finally over. We have always said we are keen to learn the lessons from this outbreak. The precise nature and scope of the inquiry will, as such, be a matter for the Prime Minister.
Mr. Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what instructions have been issued to veterinary surgeons in respect of wild animals brought to them for treatment during the course of the current foot and mouth outbreak. 
Mr. Morley: No instructions have been issued at a national level to veterinary surgeons in respect of wild animals brought to them for treatment during the course of the current foot and mouth outbreak.
Mr. Morley [holding answer 2 July 2001]: All cloven-hoofed animals, including deer, are susceptible to foot and mouth disease. Wild deer tend to show mild or unapparent disease, resembling the disease in sheep, although some species (eg roe deer and muntjak deer in the UK) may be severely affected.
Deer can be carriers of the foot and mouth virus, and could transmit foot and mouth disease to susceptible livestock during the clinical stages of the disease. However, the Department's current veterinary risk assessment indicates that the risk of wild deer playing any significant part in the spread of foot and mouth disease is very low. There are therefore no plans at this stage to control wild deer populations, although as more information becomes available about the epidemiology of the disease in areas where there are wild deer, the risk assessment will be updated.
As of 2 July more than 60 samples have been submitted to the Institute of Animal Health for testing from various parts of England and Scotland. All have tested negative for evidence of the foot and mouth virus, antigens or antibodies.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what circumstances she has contingency plans to authorise a programme of vaccination against foot and mouth. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 2 July 2001]: The Government would be prepared to authorise a programme of vaccination based on the advice of the Chief Scientific Adviser and Chief Veterinary Officer. At an earlier stage of the outbreak, their advice was to vaccinate cattle in Cumbria and Devon provided the campaign had the substantial support of farmers, consumers, veterinarians, and the food trade. That level of support was simply not
5 Jul 2001 : Column: 277W
there and, as the number of new cases fell, the signs were that it would not be achieved. Vaccination remains an option, however, and is kept under continuous review.
David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment the Government have made of the implementation of animal welfare standards during the culling of livestock during the foot and mouth disease outbreak. 
Mr. Morley: All animals culled during the current foot and mouth disease outbreak were required to be killed in accordance with the Welfare of Animals (Slaughter or Killing) Regulations 1995 (WASK). These regulations are enforced outside slaughterhouses by veterinary officers of the State Veterinary Service. To the best of our knowledge the vast majority of animals were dealt with humanely and in compliance with WASK. The few cases brought to our attention where it was alleged that animals had not been dealt with humanely have been investigated and appropriate action taken.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the extent to which the current foot and mouth virus type is spread by (a) air and (b) movements of people and vehicles. 
Mr. Morley: Analyses have been completed for the first 1,706 infected farms, and epidemiological investigations are continuing on the most recent cases to determine the source of infection and method of spread. Seven farms are considered to have been infected as a result of windborne spread over several kilometres. This low number is thought to be because only 10 pig herds have become infected during the epidemic.
Short distance aerosol spread cannot be distinguished from other causes of local spread within 3 km of infected premises, which accounts for 81 per cent. of cases. In these cases there are often a number of possible means of spread such as using common facilities, contaminated roadways and movement of people and farm vehicles. In addition, however, 83 cases have been specifically associated with lorry movements or movements of people.
|Windborne (not local)||7|
|Other inanimate object||9|
(8) Source of infection within 3 km; exact source unclear
5 Jul 2001 : Column: 278W
and mouth disease were negative after 24 hours, but were subsequently found to be positive. 
Mr. Morley: It is correct that a laboratory test which is negative or inconclusive at 48 hours may give a positive result at 96 hours. This is because some samples may contain a very small amount of virus and it can take a second passage of 48 hours in inoculated cell cultures for the virus to be amplified to a level where it will give a clear result. Each cell passage takes 48 hoursie 96 hours in total.
Of a total of 1,551 tissue samples which have tested positive for foot and mouth disease virus, 1,310 were confirmed in less than 24 hours and 241 were found to be positive after 24 hours. It is not possible to provide similar data for blood samples submitted together with tissue samples because when tissue samples were found positive the testing of the blood samples ceased.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many farms in Worcestershire are still on form D restrictions around farms now known not to have foot and mouth disease as a result of laboratory tests. 
Mr. Morley: Information is only available for Hereford and Worcester. As at 2 July, 119 farms are under form D restrictions, contiguous to 66 infected premises. Of those 66, 43 were tested, of which 30 returned negative laboratory results. These 30 cases remain designated as infected premises.
An infected premises is one where foot and mouth disease has either been diagnosed by a vet on the farm, supported by convincing clinical evidence, or where disease is found after testing. However, a negative laboratory result does not necessarily mean that the disease was not present and does not change the status of an infected premises confirmed on clinical diagnosis.
Information on the number of farms under form D restrictions within the protection zone around infected premises where negative laboratory results have been found is available only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate she has made of the number of premises infected with foot and mouth disease as a result of allowing animals to enter the West Midlands via Penrith, Longtown, Welshpool and Ross markets. 
Mr. Morley: The relatively widespread distribution of infected premises has been due to the movement of infected sheep through markets and the subsequent mixing and further sales through dealers and markets before 23 February. Without this widespread dissemination the number of infected premises would have been considerably smaller.
No firm estimates have been made of the number of infected premises that would have occurred if certain markets had not been held during mid-February. However, from analysis of the first 112 infected farms in the area, the
5 Jul 2001 : Column: 279W
breakdown of source of infection in the Hereford epidemiological group, comprising Herefordshire, the Severn Valley and the Forest of Dean is as follows:
|Other inanimate object||2|
(9) Source of infection within 3 km; exact source unclear
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many rural tourism businesses have (a) applied for and (b) been granted relief from business rates in connection with the impact of foot and mouth disease. 
Alun Michael: The data provided by the local authorities which administer the rate relief scheme do not distinguish between different classes of business, so the question cannot be answered in precisely the terms of the question. The background is that local authorities have powers to grant rate relief to businesses suffering financial hardship. Normally, the Government meet 75 per cent. of the cost of this and authorities the remaining 25 per cent., but in order to alleviate the problems of foot and mouth disease, central Government agreed to pay 95 per cent. of the cost: to 151 rural authorities; for the three months AprilJune; and for the properties with a rateable value (RV) of £12,000 or less.
The Local Government Association has provided us with the results of the most recent survey, which showed that 46 worst affected local authorities, have received 4,832 applications for rate relief. 41 authorities have so far approved 1,589 cases; in many cases local authorities are still considering applications. Many are also deferring ratepayers' payments. In conjunction with colleagues in other Government Departments, I shall be monitoring the take-up of this scheme.
David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what progress she has made in publishing the location of each foot and mouth disease pyre and burial site in the UK; 
Mr. Morley: Information on pyre and burial sites is in the process of being collated, cross-checked and validated. In the meantime, arrangements are being made for the safe removal and disposal of ash from those sites where it has not been possible to bury it on site. Information on the number of pyre sites restored is not available.
David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) cattle and (b) sheep, on how many farms, in each county of England have been slaughtered because they were contiguous to infected premises but where the infected premises later tested negative. 
5 Jul 2001 : Column: 280W
Mr. Morley: The following table shows the numbers of cattle and sheep slaughtered on premises which are contiguous to infected premises in counties in England and where the infected premises have had negative sample results.
|County||Cattle||Sheep||Premises with cattle and/or sheep|
|Hereford and Worcester||4,415||31,338||114|
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