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Mr. Morley [holding answer 28 June 2001]: As a result of representation from the UK fishmeal has not been banned from feeding to non-ruminant livestock. The UK has raised the possibility of a relaxation of the ban on feeding fishmeal to ruminants in the Standing Veterinary Committee and the Council. In the Agricultural Council of 19 June the Commission promised to review this ban once a test has been validated capable of differentiating between animal and fish protein in feed. The UK uses an ELISA to test compound animal feedingstuffs for the presence of mammalian protein, but this test has not yet been validated. Until this problem can be resolved we have no option but to implement the Community ban.
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the estimated administrative cost is of the recent changes to the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions and Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. 
Mr. Morley: The Government expect no overall increase in public spending to result from any machinery of Government changes, most of which were designed to increase efficiency and improve service delivery.
David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs upon what scientific evidence the Government based their decision to implement a 3km cull strategy around infected premises. 
Mr. Morley: On the advice of the Chief Veterinary Officer, the Government decided to implement a 3km cull strategy around infected premises in certain areas (Dumfries and Galloway and Cumbria). In giving this advice, the CVO took into account the following factors among others:
The speed of spread of the virus;
The species of animals involved;
The manner of disease spread for those species;
Generally, where the animals were kept;
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David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many animals are awaiting slaughter on British farms under the over-30- months scheme due to foot and mouth restrictions. 
Mr. Morley: It is not possible to make an accurate assessment of the number of animals which producers may be waiting to enter into the over-30-months scheme. Taking account of the normal pattern of activity on the scheme and the slaughtering which has taken place due to foot and mouth disease it is thought likely that the number of animals is between 100,000 and 200,000.
David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the availability of vaccine as the basis for an eradication policy of foot and mouth disease. 
Mr. Morley: Vaccination remains an option under continuous review, to be used in conjunction with the culling policy. We have placed a reserve on 125,000 doses of antigen held in the European Vaccine Bank. We are also establishing a bank of commercial antigen, which currently holds 1.9 million doses.
At the start of the outbreak we had access to 500,000 doses of the relevant antigen held for the UK in the International Vaccine Bank at Pirbright. However, this antigen was used to produce vaccine in readiness for possible use in Cumbria and Devon, the shelf life of which has now expired.
David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what information she has collated on the possibility of foot and mouth disease false negatives arising from slaughtered animals because of contamination from disinfectant. 
Mr. Morley: It is not possible to identify which negative results may be caused by contamination by disinfectant. However, it is well known that disinfectant, by killing off the virus, can contaminate samples taken from slaughtered animals and therefore all those working within the State Veterinary Service have access to specific instructions relating to the taking and handling of samples. These instructions can be seen at the Department's library at Whitehall Place, London SW1A 2HH.
David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment the Government have made of the total cost of the disinfecting operation in relation to foot and mouth disease as a result of (a) infected premises culls and (b) contiguous premises culls. 
Mr. Morley: The estimated total cost (as at 17 July) of cleansing and disinfection is around £877 million. It is not possible to provide a breakdown of the total estimated cost between infected and contiguous premises, as estimates for the cleansing and disinfection of all individual premises are not available. However, of the 8,777 affected premises (all of which will require cleansing and disinfection), 21 per cent. are infected premises and 33 per cent. are contiguous premises.
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David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment the Government have made of the level of infection of foot and mouth disease in the national flock of sheep. 
Mr. Morley: The assessment of the level of infection of foot and mouth disease in the national sheep flock is an on-going process, and is influenced by the number of cases that occur, their geographical distribution and the time scale within which they occur. In addition serological surveillance is now under way in the 3 km radius protection zones around infected premises, and other epidemiological inquiries are resulting in serological sampling in many areas of the country. Concerns now are centred mainly on Cumbria and north and west Yorkshire which were predicted to contribute to the tail of the epidemic. Confidence is growing cautiously in other parts of the country through the results of sampling in protection zones prior to the lifting of restrictions.
David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) sheep and (b) cattle have been slaughtered for foot and mouth disease control on welfare reasons, broken down into (i) breeding stock and (ii) prime/fat stock. 
David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many people on her Department's controlled or contracted premises since 26 February (a) have been illegally killed, (b) committed suicide and (c) died as a result of an accident. 
Mr. Morley: The Department is aware of two deaths on such premises since 26 February: a young man died after falling from a roof on a farm in Warwickshire and another man died following a shooting incident on a farm in Gt. Orton. It is not for DEFRA to determine the nature of these deaths. DEFRA does not hold data on suicides.
David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make available for inspection by the farmers concerned or representatives of them all paperwork relating to the valuation, counting, collection and disposal of sheep taken in the voluntary cull in Cumbria. 
Mr. Morley: Under the Data Protection Act, farmers are entitled to request personal information that the Department holds about them. All such requests will be considered in accordance with the legislation.
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to farms and businesses in Wales suffering lost revenue as a result of the foot and mouth crisis; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: Statutory compensation is payable only for livestock slaughtered because they were infected or suspected of being infected with foot and mouth disease, or for items such as animal feed which are seized to prevent the spread of disease. Compensation should now be paid within three weeks of receipt of correct documents. However, at the peak of the outbreak payments may have taken some weeks longer due to the large volume of claims handled.
David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the ranks, position and qualifications of her Department's officials were who supervised the loading/unloading and counting of sheep taken in the voluntary cull in Cumbria. 
Mr. Morley: The haulage contractors counted the sheep as they were loaded. Unloading was under the supervision of a Temporary Veterinary Inspector (TVI), while the counting of the animals coming off the wagons was performed by drovers employed by the DEFRA Contractors responsible for the collection and delivery of animals.
David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what research she has commissioned on the possible link between United Kingdom animal welfare practices and the spread of foot and mouth disease; 
Mr. Morley: No specific research has been commissioned so far, beyond the epidemiological investigations that follow every confirmed outbreak of foot and mouth disease. The effect of different farming practices on disease spread is an issue that can be considered in more detail once the current outbreak has been eradicated.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will permit vaccination to save (a) rare breeds and (b) pigs through which foot and mouth infection could spread. 
Mr. Morley: The Government would be prepared to authorise vaccination against foot and mouth disease on the advice of the Chief Veterinary Officer and the Chief Scientific Adviser. In the spring their advice was to vaccinate cattle in north Cumbria, provided the campaign had the substantial support of farmers, consumers, veterinarians and the food trade. That level of support was not there, and, as the numbers of new cases fell, the signs were that it would not be achieved. Our advisers have not made any further recommendations for a vaccination campaign in the current situation. Vaccination remains an option, and is continually reassessed in the light of changing circumstances and knowledge of the disease.
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Mr. Morley: The key priority remains to eradicate foot and mouth disease as quickly as possible and all the necessary resources are being deployed to do that. Based on scientific and veterinary advice, the chief mechanisms for bringing the outbreak under control are:
We also continue to place great emphasis on the need for strict high standards of bio-security and my Department has recently announced details of a public information campaign to re-emphasise this message.
David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what representations she has received on the effects of early stock valuations; and what plans she has to change them to standard valuations; 
Mr. Morley: My Department has received representations from 212 farmers (as at 16 July) relating to valuations carried out before 22 March (when standard values were introduced). A number of other letters have been received from farmers which, after investigation, may also relate to pre-22 March valuations. My Department has also received representations from farming organisations.
Officials have conducted only very preliminary considerations of the potential cost of converting all pre-22 March valuations to standard value rates. However, initial indications are that such a move could cost around £25 million.
David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in how many cases in (a) Cumbria and (b) the rest of the UK animals have been slaughtered during the current foot and mouth outbreak by means of a marksman with a rifle. 
Mr. Morley: The use of rifles and trained marksmen is not a routine part of foot and mouth disease slaughter procedures. Suitably qualified and licensed marksmen are used only in exceptional and carefully controlled circumstances under direct veterinary supervision, and only after the approval of the Divisional Veterinary Manager.
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Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the scope of the environmental monitoring programme established to oversee burial pits and pyres built to dispose of slaughtered animals as part of the foot and mouth mitigation programme. 
Mr. Morley: In addition to the monitoring of individual burial and pyre sites being undertaken by DEFRA and the Environment Agency, the Government published an overall monitoring strategy for the protection of public health in the light of issues arising from carcase disposal. This programme focuses upon the key issues of human health, air quality, water supplies and the food chain and involves all the relevant Government Departments and Agencies.
The Public Health Laboratory Service Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre (CDSC) has co-ordinated a nation-wide search for cases of diseases that might affect people as a result of activities associated with the handling and culling of animals and the disposal of carcases.
DEFRA, the Department of Health, the Environment Agency, the Drinking Water Inspectorate, the Ministry of Defence, the Food Standards Agency, the Health and Safety Executive and local authorities have carried out monitoring of air pollution from pyres and incinerators, foods, soil and herbage, public and private water supplies, rivers and streams and occupational health.
Monthly reports of results of monitoring are to be published on the Department of Health's website and other Departments will be publishing details of their results on their own websites. The first report of the results of the monitoring is available on the website at: www.doh.gov.uk/fmdguidance/monitoring1.htm.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if pigs caught under the 10km restriction zone from infected premises will be eligible for the animal welfare scheme. 
Mr. Morley: Animals suffering welfare problems due to foot and mouth disease restrictions which cannot be resolved in any other way remain eligible for entry to the Livestock Welfare (Disposal) Scheme. In most cases healthy livestock within 10km of an infected premise may still be marketed for food.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what compensation will be payable to farmers who are unable to move their (a) pigs, (b) lambs too big for sale and (c) cattle over 30 months which are caught in an infected premises zone. 
Mr. Morley: There is no statutory provision for compensation to be paid to farmers who are unable to move their stock. There are no plans to make such payments but the matter will be kept under review.
Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress her Department is making in repealing the limit on the number of people able to participate in shooting and stalking activities on land outside foot and mouth disease-infected sites. 
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Alun Michael: Discussions on these issues are being made on the basis of veterinary assessments of risk. Grouse shooting will be able to go ahead in most parts of England from August 12 under a licensing scheme which we announced earlier this week.
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