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21 Nov 2001 : Column: 332W
identify the problems that the FMD outbreak is causing for the wider rural economy;
draw up specific guidance for the public and businesses in accordance with veterinary advice;
identify any initiativeseg from the Rural White Paperwhose implementation might be brought forward to help those caught up in the crises;
identify potential new actions which would help to kick-start the rural economy again once the outbreak had been eradicated."
Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to her answer of 7 November 2001, Official Report, column 306W, if she will make it her policy to send a copy of the Code of Practice on relationships between supermarkets and suppliers to all farmers and growers in Worcestershire after the agreement of the four major retailers to the code has been obtained. 
Mr. Morley: As I noted in my reply to the hon. Gentleman on 7 November 2001, Official Report, column 306W, the Code of Practice is available on the DTI website. Copies may also be obtained from the Department of Trade and Industry, 1 Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0ET. We have no plans to send copies to all farmers and growers in Worcestershire, relatively few of whom are likely to sell their produce directly to the supermarkets who will be bound by it.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what recent guidance she has issued to local authorities in respect of their powers and duties under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976; 
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Mr. Meacher [holding answer 19 November 2001]: No recent guidance has been issued to local authorities in respect of their powers under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976. However, my Department recently commissioned an independent review of the Act.
A copy of the review report is on the Department's website and comments on it have been invited by 31 January 2002. Once this consultation exercise has been completed, we will publish a paper setting out how we intend to take forward the report's recommendations, which include proposals that additional guidance should be provided for local authorities, and that it should be an offence to sell, give or otherwise transfer responsibility for a dangerous wild animal to an unlicensed keeper.
Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans the Government have to provide door-to-door public transport services for those unable to walk to rural bus stops. 
The Government are specifically supporting the development of demand responsive, door-to-door transport services in rural areas, especially through DTLR's Rural Bus Challenge and the Countryside Agency's Rural Transport Partnership programme. The Rural White Paper published last year announced £92 million would be made available over the next three years to fund these two initiatives. Many of these services will also benefit as a result of the Government's intention to extend eligibility to receive fuel duty rebate to a wide range of community transport services. Following consultation earlier this year, regulations implementing this change will be introduced later this financial year.
Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of households in rural areas lived within 10 minutes walk of at least hourly bus services in (a) 1996, (b) 1997, (c) 1998, (d) 1999, (e) 2000 and (f) 2001. 
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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many letters he has received from residents of the Buckingham constituency (a) supporting and (b) opposing military action in Afghanistan. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Since 11 September the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has received over 6,000 letters about the terrorist attacks against the US and the subsequent situation in Afghanistan. Of these some 400 letters were addressed to the Foreign Secretary. The letters have addressed a wide range of different themes related to the current crisis. Each letter has received a reply.
Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on his policy towards the establishment of a pan-Union referendum following the next Intergovernmental Conference. 
Peter Hain: Treaty change is a matter for member states to decide by unanimity in accordance with their own constitutional requirements. In the United Kingdom, this involves a ratification procedure requiring legislation. It is right that Parliament should decide on the results the Government achieve at Intergovernmental Conferences.
Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received from the European Women's Lobby concerning (a) its campaign and (b) receiving EU funding. 
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European Parliament which could review the EU's work and provide democratic oversight at a European level of the Common Foreign and Security Policy.
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on what date his Department established a working group of officials to prepare his Department for the implementation of the Freedom of Information Act 2000; and on what dates this committee has met since it was set up. 
Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs under what powers individuals can be (a) prosecuted and (b) extradited for activities involving biological weapons. 
Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 14 November 2001]: Individuals can be prosecuted under Section 1 of the Biological Weapons Act 1974. It is an offence for any person to develop, produce, stockpile, acquire or retain any biological agent or toxin where there is no justification for prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes. A person in possession of a biological weapon for terrorist purposes would also commit an offence under section 57 of the Terrorism Act 2000. The United Kingdom has extradition arrangements with well over 100 countries. In most cases, a crime is extraditable if the available prison sentence in the United Kingdom and in the requesting jurisdiction is 12 months or more.
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