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Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will seek a revision of the definition of agriculture within tenancy legislation to include rural development and agri- environment activities. 
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Mr. Morley [holding answer 24 January 2002]: Many tenant farmers are already successfully taking part in rural development and agri-environment scheme. Further, over the last few years roughly the same proportion of tenant farmers and owner occupier farmers have joined the agri-environment schemes. However we are aware that some tenant farmers are concerned about their ability to take part in these schemes. This is something we will consider in the light of the ongoing review of the Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995 and the recommendations made by the Policy Commission on Food and Farming.
Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will move funds from agricultural price support towards environmentally sustainable agricultural and non-agricultural activities; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 24 January 2002]: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has stated that our policy for the CAP mid-term review is to see a switch from production support under the first pillar to support for agri-environment and sustainable rural development schemes under the second pillar, and we will be pressing for this in the negotiations.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what assessment her Department has made of (a) public awareness relating to potential disease risks between humans and animals in locations defined under the Zoo Licensing Act 1981 and (b) the effective enforcement of relevant health and safety standards; and if she will make a statement; 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 21 January 2002]: The enforcement of zoo licensing, and of health and safety standards in zoos, are matters for the relevant local authorities, taking account of advice issued by the Department and the Health and Safety Executive.
In terms of zoo licensing, local authorities must ensure that the zoos in their area have a licence to operate or are exempt from the provisions of the Zoo Licensing Act 1981. All licensed zoos are also subject to regular inspection to ensure that the Secretary of State's Standards on Modern Zoo Practice, which include provisions relating to animal welfare and public safety are being met. The Department has issued guidance to local authorities on the implementation of the 1981 Act and a new circular will be issued shortly to take account of the changes introduced by Council Directive 1999/22/EC on the keeping of wild animals in zoos, which is due to come into force in April.
Guidance on the management of public interaction with zoo animals is also set out in the Secretary of State's Standards of Modern Zoo Practice. This requires that risk assessments be carried out on a case-by-case basis, taking advice from the Health and Safety Executive, where necessary. For example, hand-washing facilities must be provided, together with signage reminding the public of hygiene requirements.
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The prevention of transmission of zoonotic disease between zoo animals and employees is addressed by inspections carried out under health and safety legislation. In addition, inspections carried out under the Zoo Licensing Act 1981 will check whether zoos have measures in place to alert employees to the potential risk of zoonotic disease transmission.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to improve the welfare of egg laying hens before battery cages are prohibited in 2012; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 24 January 2002]: We have a number of initiatives to improve laying hen welfare. These include: a draft new Welfare Code; an extensive DEFRA on farm poultry welfare R&D programme; and ADAS run advisory programmes for farmers to encourage good welfare. In addition, the State Veterinary Service visit poultry units to assess all aspects of welfare.
Mr. Morley [holding answer 24 January 2002]: As part of its inspection programme the State Veterinary Service visits broiler units to assess all aspects of welfare. The normal programme of visits is now resuming following the FMD outbreak.
Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many cases of BSE have been confirmed in (a) Scotland and (b) the UK in each of the last three years. 
|Presented as clinical suspects||Confirmed by active surveillance|
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Mr. Morley: The reform of the sheepmeat regime agreed by the Agriculture Council in December will simplify the regime and make it more flexible. The ewe premium will in future be paid on a flat rate basis, and the introduction of national envelopes provides a valuable mechanism for targeting extra support for the sheep sector and for encouraging environmentally beneficial farming practices.
More generally we expect the Commission to come forward with the mid-term review for the Common Agricultural Policy in the early summer and for negotiations to take place thereafter. We are working hard through informal discussions with the Commission and other member states to prepare the ground for these important negotiations.
Mr. Morley: None. The Government have asked the Policy Commission for Food and Farming to look at its overall objectives in this area and we will review future policy in the light of the report which is expected on 29 January.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what is the most recent estimate of the value of agricultural producer support for (a) the EU and (b) each country thereof. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 11 January 2001]: The OECD produces annual estimates of agricultural producer support in OECD countries, called producer support estimate (PSE). This includes estimates of the value of support to producers through market support mechanisms as well as through national and EU budgets. Their most recent provisional estimate of PSE for the EU is 98 billion euro for 2000. The OECD does not provide estimates of agricultural producer support for individual countries within the EU, however the following table shows the payments from the EU budget under the Common Agricultural Policy to each member state. These payments include costs that are not directly received by farmers (eg costs of intervention storage), but they do not include payments by national Governments or the value of market price support.
Court of Auditors annual report concerning the financial year 2000.
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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his estimate is of the cost of buildings refurbishment carried out by his Department in each of the last four years. 
199899: £4.7 million
19992000: £22.5 million
200001: £31.2 million.
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