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Mr. Ingram: Gurkha Reinforcement Companies are currently serving with the 2nd Battalion, Parachute Regiment in Colchester, 1 Royal Irish based in Canterbury and 1 Highlanders in Edinburgh. In addition, there are formed Gurkha units serving with 10 Transport Regiment, 30 Signal Regiment, 36 Engineer Regiment and in training establishments at Sandhurst and Brecon.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to introduce a medal for the Suez campaign; and if he will make a statement on how veterans of that conflict may be recognised for their contribution. 
Dr. Moonie: Service in the Suez Campaign, the Anglo/French Landings which took place in late 1956 as Operation Musketeer, was recognised by the institution of the Naval General Service Medal for Royal Navy personnel and the General Service Medal for Army and Royal Air Force personnel, with clasp Near East. There are no plans to institute a medal for service in the Canal Zone during the early 1950s.
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Mr. Ingram [holding answer 2 November 2001]: Although the Army's Initial Training function based at Glencorse Barracks will transfer to Catterick during 2002, the Recruit Selection Centre will remain at Glencorse and will be funded to maintain its activity.
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 2 November 2001]: The Army's Initial Training function based at Glencorse Barracks will transfer to the School of Infantry at Catterick during 2002. The Recruit Selection Centre will, however, remain at Glencorse and it is the intention to retain a further Army presence there, although the extent of this has not yet been established.
Dr. Moonie: At the present time the Ministry of Defence has made no plans to celebrate the 300th Anniversary of British rule in Gibraltar and has not received any requests for participation in any events which are being organised.
Mr. Hoon: The eight Chinook helicopters deployed on Exercise Saif Sareea 2 performed well in very testing environmental conditions. Their availability varied throughout the exercise. This was in part affected by engineering instructions issued from the UK that required non-exercise related maintenance on a number of air frames.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on what basis she was convinced that the information concerning tests to establish the presence of BSE in sheep, presented to her Department by the Laboratory of the Government Chemist on 17 October would leak; who she was convinced would leak the information; and if she will make a statement. 
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Margaret Beckett [holding answer 26 October 2001]: The theoretical possibility of BSE in sheep is an issue of great sensitivity, generating widespread public interest. In light of the information a scheduled meeting of SEAC wasby the decision of its chairmancancelled at short notice. This in itself was likely to stimulate further interest. In such circumstances, it is reasonable to assume that the possibility of leaks will be much higher and their impact more serious.
A press release was issued on 17 October about what we knew for certain. This was done to avoid the risk of information on a serious issue being presented incorrectly and piecemeal. Nor did we want to exacerbate public concernin a situation of uncertaintyby giving the impression that the Government were withholding important information.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if the results of the inquiries into the errors made by the Institute of Animal Health in relation to BSE in sheep will be made public. 
Margaret Beckett: Urgent and independent scientific inquiries have been established already. We will not know the full facts until they have reported. We will continue to keep the House and the public informed of developments.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to conduct further research into whether BSE is present in the national sheep flock; and if she will made a statement. 
Margaret Beckett: We will carry out a thorough review of the full range of scientific studies currently being undertaken in this area. In doing so we will take account of work that is being conducted elsewhere in Europe and the views of the Food Standards Agency and the Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee. Findings will be made available to the House.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what inquiries have been commissioned into the results of the Institute of Animal Health in relation to BSE in sheep; and if she will made a statement; 
Margaret Beckett: Following the receipt of the results of DNA testing by the Laboratory of the Government Chemist on Wednesday 17 October, an independent risk assessment company was immediately commissioned to perform a detailed audit of the Institute of Animal Health research into BSE and sheep; including how the relevant samples were stored and handled.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will give details of all work commissioned or undertaken by (a) the Government and (b) its agencies into BSE in sheep since
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May 1997, stating, in each case (i) which organisations have been involved in which tasks and (ii) what costs or payments have been incurred. 
Margaret Beckett [holding answer 26 October 2001]: A list of all research projects on TSEs, funded by UK funding bodies, is available on the MRC website at http://www.mrc/ac.uk/tse2c.htm. This includes details of duration and cost of projects and the research organisations involved, as well as abstracts of the research projects.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measures she is taking to achieve faster results from tests to establish whether sheep have been infected with BSE. 
Margaret Beckett [holding answer 26 October 2001]: Work is being undertaken to develop molecular profiling techniques so that a rapid, initial indication of whether BSE is likely to be present can be obtained. This will allow screening of the material that is to be tested using conventional strain typing in mice. The latter method, which is the test that has been used to date to distinguish between scrapie and BSE is very slow, taking up to two years to complete.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she intends to publish a Bill to enable the Government to take powers to ensure the removal, from the national sheep flock, of genotypes of sheep susceptible to scrapie; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measures she is taking to eliminate scrapie from the national sheep flock; and if she will make a statement. 
The plan has initially been targeted at producers of purebred, pedigree breeding sheep registered with a recognised breed society. We are currently consulting about rapid extension of the plan to the remainder of the pure breeding flock, including special action for scrapie-infected flocks. We are considering other ways of speeding up implementation of the plan and we recently announced our intention to introduce a Bill that would allow the Government to take powers to remove from the breeding flock, on a compulsory basis, sheep with genotypes that make them susceptible to scrapie.
We are also consulting on ways to encourage the reporting of scrapie when it occurs, and next year we will be undertaking a survey to gain more knowledge of the incidence of scrapie, using rapid testing methods.
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