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Fisheries

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what budget has been employed by her Department to manage the fisheries enforcement operation in England for each year for the past five years. [37874]

Mr. Morley: Information about the financial resources devoted to fisheries control and enforcement by this Department is set out in the following table:

million
1996–9712.6
1997–9812.6
1998–9911.8
1999–200011.1
2000–0111.8

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how much of the fines paid by fishing owners and skippers following their prosecution is paid to her Department; and who else receives income from these fines; [37947]

Mr. Morley: Responsibility for collecting fines imposed following a successful prosecution rests with the Courts concerned. No fines are paid to this Department.

IACS Payments

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of farmers who were under Form D restrictions qualify for IACS payments; and if she will make a statement. [39279]

Mr. Morley: This information is not readily available and could be collected only at disproportionate cost. However, it is likely that most of the farmers concerned would have been claimants under schemes covered by IACS.

Badgers

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many badgers there were in (a) Gloucestershire and (b) the UK in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available. [39269]

Mr. Morley: No annual data on the number of badgers exist either at county or national level.

Based upon two surveys the number of badgers in Great Britain is estimated to be between 300,000 and 400,000. The latest survey which was conducted in the mid-1990s revealed an increase in badger numbers of around seventy per cent compared with the first survey which was undertaken in the mid-1980s. These surveys indicated that the badger population in the south-west region as a whole increased approximately in line with the national trend.

28 Feb 2002 : Column 1510W

Bovine TB

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what action she is taking on the preliminary results of the trials being conducted on tuberculosis in cattle; and if she will make a statement. [39267]

Mr. Morley: On the basis of advice from the Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB, results from the badger field trial, which is part of the Government's wide ranging strategy to tackle TB in cattle, are expected by the end of 2004. The Government liaise closely with the group and any preliminary findings that may emerge in the interim will be considered in the light of advice from the group.

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on recent changes in the rate of tuberculosis in cattle in (a) Gloucestershire and (b) the UK. [39270]

Mr. Morley: TB in cattle is continuing to give considerable concern particularly in counties such as Gloucestershire which has persistently had a higher incidence of the disease than most other areas of the country. Incidence of bovine TB is increasing in England and Wales, and the Government have in place an extensive research programme so that control strategies can be developed on the basis of sound science, and on the basis of advice from independent scientific and veterinary experts.

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many herds have been tested for tuberculosis and how many were found positive in (a) Gloucestershire and (b) England in the last 12 months; and if she will make a statement. [39266]

Mr. Morley: Provisional data indicate that in the 12 months to December 2001 8,211 tuberculin tests on cattle herds were undertaken in England of which 523 were in Gloucestershire. From these tests a total of 337 new confirmed bovine tuberculosis incidents were recorded for England of which 35 were in Gloucestershire.

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many herds are under restriction through tuberculosis (a) in England and (b) in Gloucestershire; and if she will make a statement. [39265]

Mr. Morley: Provisional data as at 31 January 2002 indicate that there were 767 herds under movement restrictions in England as a result of tuberculosis breakdown, of which 113 were in Gloucestershire. On the same data and on the basis of veterinary risk assessment further control measures were introduced, resulting in an additional 631 herds being placed under restriction in England of which 120 were in Gloucestershire.

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what investigations she has made of the experience in the Republic of Ireland of tuberculosis in cattle; and if she will make a statement. [39268]

28 Feb 2002 : Column 1511W

Mr. Morley: In implementing its wide ranging research and control strategy the Department is advised by the Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB. It also has a TB animal vaccine programme adviser. The group, the Vaccine Programme adviser and Departmental officials visited Ireland last autumn to investigate the work being undertaken in that country.

Plastic Recycling

Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what she estimates the cost will be of starting a scheme for plastic sheet recycling for farmers; [37988]

Mr. Meacher: An estimated 43,000 tonnes a year of non-packaging plastic waste is produced on farms. In addition, it is estimated that there is about 45,000 tonnes a year of plastic packaging waste on farms. Currently, there are only a small number of local voluntary schemes in operation to collect farm plastics for recycling.

We are at present developing a Regulatory Impact Assessment to assess the various costs and benefits of the options for introducing a scheme to collect and recycle farm plastics. This RIA will be included in the forthcoming consultation document on the application to agricultural waste of the Waste Framework Directive.

Refrigerators

Mr. Jack: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what receipts there have been for (a) each county and (b) other waste disposal authorities of the additional moneys made available for the disposal of old refrigerators and freezers. [38865]

Mr. Meacher: In early December 2001, I announced a payment of 6 million to cover local authority costs from January to March 2002. This payment will be made through the Revenue Support Grant for 2002–2003 and will be distributed to waste disposal authorities according to the Standard Spending Assessment Formula. We are monitoring the impact of the Regulation to assess what further action is required.

Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) when she will reply to question 3689; and if she will make a statement.[38342]

Mr. Morley: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to him on 11 February 2002, Official Report, column 88W.

28 Feb 2002 : Column 1512W

Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) when she will reply to question 3534; and if she will make a statement.[38343]

Mr. Morley: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to him on 25 January 2002, Official Report, columns 1169-70W.

Hunting With Dogs

Mr. Cawsey: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the government's policy on hunting with dogs. [40339]

Alun Michael: The Government intend to provide an opportunity for each House to debate a motion which will allow Members to vote for and against each of the three options which were presented to the House during the last Parliament. This will fulfil the first part of our promise by giving the House an early opportunity to express its view. We will then consider, in the light of the votes and the views expressed during the debates in both Houses, how to deliver the second part of that commitment, to



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