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Dr. Howells [holding answer 23 October 2001]: During the summer recess my Department released: (a) 43 press notices, and (b) two consultation papers: Review of the Museum on London/Geffrye Museum/ Horniman Museum; Review of the National Museum of Science and Industry. These are available on the DCMS website www.culture.gov.uk
Dr. Howells [holding answer 23 October 2001]: The role of the English Tourism Council is set out in its three-year funding agreement with this Department, as signed on 4 June 2001 and deposited in the Library of this House. The impact of foot and mouth disease and the terrorist attacks of 11 September have necessitated a review of short-term tourism policy and, in the light of recent discussions with key players in the industry, efforts will be concentrated on data collection, improving quality and skills and domestic marketing. The English Tourism Council, other tourism bodies and the industry all have important roles to play in this strategy.
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Hugh Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will implement the recommendations of the Fourth report of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, HC 200001, 430. 
Dr. Howells [holding answer 23 October 2001]: The Government response to the Fourth report was sent to the Committee as a Memorandum in August and presented to Parliament on 17 October as Command Paper 5279.
Brian Cotter: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) if her Department will respond to the Rural Task Force report, "Tackling the Impact of the Foot and Mouth Disease on the Rural Economy"; 
Mr. Morley: The Government take very seriously the need to have effective controls on imports of animal products, be they in personal baggage or commercial consignments. We in DEFRA are co-ordinating action across Government to ensure that the rules are enforced as effectively as possible at ports and airports.
New arrangements have been introduced across all enforcement agencies involved to improve the sharing and analysis of information about known or suspected illegal imports. This is being used to target enforcement action and to make best use of available resources. Our national regulations have also been amended to assist local authorities in seizing suspected illegal imports when they are found at point of sale. The Food Standards Agency is also encouraging local authorities to ensure that checking for illegal imports is part of their routine inspection of food premises.
Alongside this we have introduced improved publicity to ensure that travellers are aware of the restrictions on what may be imported. Posters have been placed at main airports and information is being provided to travellers by the travel industry and by British embassies abroad.
We are keeping these measures under review and will make improvements as necessary. In addition, we will be looking at further options to ensure the rules on imports are enforced effectively and efficiently.
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from animals which have been subjected to an ante- mortem inspection during the 24 hours prior to slaughter at which the animal showed no signs of foot and mouth disease.
If there is an outbreak of disease likely to present a risk to human or animal health such as foot and mouth disease, Community legislation allows us to take appropriate safeguard action, which may include a ban on imports of meat from all, or parts, of that country. Recent examples include Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, Swaziland, Uruguay and Zimbabwe, and within the EU, France, the Netherlands and the Republic of Ireland.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much meat was imported into the United Kingdom from countries (a) in which foot and mouth disease is endemic and (b) where there has been an outbreak in the preceding 12 months in (i) 1999, (ii) 2000 and (iii) 2001 to date. 
Community legislation permits the importation of meat from certain countries where foot and mouth disease is present but only where the disease is restricted to specific areas. Imports are permitted only from parts of the country that are free of disease or under strict conditions that ensure the meat does not come from any animal that may have come in contact with foot and mouth disease before, during and after slaughter. These provisions are in line with the guidelines set out in the Office International des Epizooties International Animal Health Code 2001.
If there is an outbreak of disease likely to present a risk to human or animal health such as foot and mouth disease, Community legislation allows us to take appropriate safeguard action, which may include a ban on imports of meat from all, or parts, of that country. In the last 12 months this includes Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, Swaziland, Uruguay and Zimbabwe, and within the EU, France, the Netherlands and the Republic of Ireland.
(9) Cattle, sheep, pigs, goats and reindeer. There were no imports of reindeer meat in 200001.
(10) Countries where FMD is endemic.
(11) Countries where there have been outbreaks.
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Mr. Morley: We are aware that movement restrictions increase the costs of many livestock producers and others in the food chain. However, the restrictions were imposed to prevent the spread of disease and to speed its eradication. We have commissioned research to consider the costs to the agricultural industry of maintaining movement restrictions as a means of preventing disease spread in the future.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the value of financial assistance from Government to the farming industry in England has been since the start of the foot and mouth crisis. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 15 October 2001]: Since the first case of foot and mouth disease was confirmed on 20 February 2001, the Government have announced financial assistance worth £164.4 million to the farming industry (see table for cost breakdown). This supplements payments to date of £1,016 million 1 in compensation for compulsory slaughter of stock, £26.2 million 1 in compensation for seized or destroyed items, and a further £185 million 2 paid to date to farmers in respect of the
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livestock welfare disposal scheme. UK farmers are also expected to receive around £3 billion in support under the Common Agricultural Policy in 200001.
In addition, some farmers will be benefiting from the range of other measures we have put in place to help enterprises affected by foot and mouth, such as targeted trade development and marketing activities and the Countryside Agency's scheme to provide matched funding to voluntary organisations for the relief of distress. The hon. Member will also be aware that the revenue departments have been asked to take a sympathetic view, on a case-by-case basis, of businesses affected by the foot and mouth outbreak. They have so far helped over 18,000 businesses by agreeing to defer tax, national insurance contributions and VAT for periods of mainly between three and 12 months.
|Rural stress action plan||England||0.4|
|Farm business advisory service||England||(15)6|
|Agriculture development scheme||England||2|
(12) As at 9 October 2001.
(13) As at 3 October 2001.
(14) Information is not held on a regional basis for all schemes, so it is not possible to provide figures for England alone.
(15) Supplemented by £4.4 million in unspent provision from 200001, carried forward.
Paddy Tipping: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate she has made of the total amount of compensation that will be paid as a result of the foot and mouth outbreak. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 15 October 2001]: Our current estimate of the cost of compensation that will be paid because of the foot and mouth disease outbreak is £1.216 billion. This figure includes £1.152 billion compensation for compulsory slaughter of affected livestock and £0.064 billion compensation for items seized and destroyed such as hay, feed, fodder and semen straws.
Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what criteria the Government used to decide the method used for lifting the D notice restrictions in Herefordshire. 
Mr. Morley: The criteria for lifting Form D notices are governed by EU rules for the control of foot and mouth disease (FMD). This requires a clinical inspection of all stock on premises within three kilometres of an infected premise, commencing at least 21 days after preliminary cleansing and disinfection of the premise.
There is also a requirement for serological testing of all premises with sheep and goats for evidence of FMD infection. This may commence 21 days after slaughter of the animals and preliminary disinfection. If all the inspections and blood tests prove negative for FMD and more than 30 days have elapsed since slaughter and preliminary disinfection, the Infected Area restrictions may be lifted.
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Mr. Morley [holding answer 16 October 2001]: Contingency plans are held and regularly reviewed by the Regional Operations Directors who have been put in place to deal with the current foot and mouth disease outbreak. The plans are kept under review and updated as necessary in the light of the latest disease situation. They are based on the continued adherence to and rigorous enforcement of the existing control strategies, including tight biosecurity, and take the form of working documents that have to be refined in the light of any new developments including up to date epidemiological advice.
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