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Foot and Mouth

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she received (a) the report of the Rural Task Force and (b) Lord Haskins' report on rural recovery after foot and mouth disease. [9919]

Margaret Beckett: I saw the report of the Rural Task Force which was chaired by my right hon. Friend, the Minister of State for Rural Affairs on 15 October immediately after the report had been completed. My noble Friend, the Lord Haskins, sent me a near-final draft of his report on 2 October, but he made some subsequent amendments; the report as printed was also completed on 15 October. The earliest mutually acceptable date for publication was 18 October.


Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measures have been taken to improve bio-security at ports to ensure that foot and mouth disease cannot enter the UK. [43458]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 15 March 2002]: Since April last year initiatives on illegal imports have been co-ordinated by officials in DEFRA, working closely with other Departments such as HM Customs and Excise and Food Standards Agency, as well as the local authorities and port health authorities who are responsible for controls at ports and airports. This joint approach had led to more effective information sharing and improved targeting of activity at ports and airports.

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DEFRA is also holding a high level forum on 21 March 2002 involving all stakeholders, to consider the next steps for intensifying our efforts and to agree further priorities and action.

Responsibility for checks on imports of meat and meat products (which might be coming from countries with FMD) are the responsibility of the local or port health authority and it is for the appropriate local authority to deploy staff according to the volume and nature of products imported.

Herd Size

Mrs. Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will estimate the size of the national (a) dairy herd, (b) beef herd, (c) pig breeding herd, (d) fattening pig herd, (e) sheep flock and (f) lamb flock under one year old for the year ending 2001; and what the figures were for 2000. [44102]

Mr. Morley: The December 2001 Survey of Agriculture Results for England were published on 7 March 2002 in Statistics News Release 11/02 and are available on the DEFRA website at Estimates for the dairy and beef herd, the pig breeding and fattening herds and the sheep and lamb flocks are detailed in the table with comparable figures for 2000.

Thousand head

Herd(7) December 2000December 2001Percentage change(8) December 2001/ December 2000
Dairy herd1,5811,439-9.0
Beef herd753666-11.5
Pig breeding herd475440-7.4
Fattening pig herd4,3984,129-6.1
Sheep breeding flock8,1886,698-18.2
Lamb flock under 1 year(9)3,7903,241-14.5

(7) Includes estimates for minor holdings.

(8) Based on unrounded figures.

(9) Excludes ewe lambs already put to the lamb which are already included in the figures for the breeding flock.

Agricultural Shows

Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she and her Ministers have to visit agricultural shows in 2002. [34109]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 7 February 2002]: My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State and the DEFRA ministerial team will be visiting a range of agricultural shows during 2002 and a programme of visits is being drawn up.

Common Land

Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she will implement regulations governing rights of vehicular access over common land and limiting the amount a common land freeholder can charge for access rights. [43881]

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Alun Michael: The Government are currently considering the many responses made during the public consultation exercise on the regulations undertaken last year. We hope to be in a position to lay draft regulations for England before Parliament soon.

Right of Access Maps

Mr. Pickthall: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will publish the draft Right of Access maps for the lower north-west and the south-east of England as they are completed. [43462]

Alun Michael: Draft maps of open country and registered common land for land in the south-east and lower-north west mapping regions were issued by the Countryside Agency in November 2001, with a deadline for comments of 11 February 2002. The Agency will consider the representations which it has received about the draft maps before publishing provisional maps later this year. When the provisional maps are published, anyone with an interest in land may appeal to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State against its inclusion on a provisional map. When any appeals have been dealt with the Countryside Agency will issue a conclusive map. I have indicated that we will consider the case for bringing the right of access into force on a regional basis in the light of progress in the first two regions. I shall make an announcement soon.

Rural Affairs

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the total cost is of the "Your Countryside, You're Welcome" (a) launch and (b) campaign. [43082]

Alun Michael: Rather than a Government advertising campaign, the "Your Countryside, You're Welcome" campaign was owned by some 50 organisations who worked as partners with DEFRA, DCMS, the Countryside Agency and the English Tourism Council. Over 100 other organisations were supportive or involved in a variety of ways. No costs can be ascribed to their time and effort, nor to the high level of activity at local and regional level around the country which has helped to re-engage urban and rural interest in a positive way.

The total cost for the PR activity to support the "Your Countryside, You're Welcome" campaign was £209,000 plus VAT.

This covered all fees and expenses incurred on the campaign including the launch event on 28 January, the public event in Leicester Square on 10 March, and the Daily Mirror promotion in the week commencing 11 March.


Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the Government's definition of sustainability. [43575]

Mr. Meacher [holding answer 19 March 2002]: There are a number of definitions of sustainable development. The Government's sustainable development strategy—"A

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better quality of life" (Cm 4345)—defines it as "ensuring a better quality of life for everyone, now and for generations to come".

Like other definitions of sustainable development, the Government's approach emphasises the need to try to reconcile economic, social and environmental objectives and look for the best alternative that achieves this.

The Government's latest report on sustainable development—"Achieving a better quality of life 2001"—was published on 13 March 2002, and can be found via

Stolen Equipment

Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the answer of 23 January 2002, Official Report, column 926–27W, on stolen equipment, whether the computer equipment stolen from her Department was (a) new and unused and (b) used; and what was the nature of the data stored on such items in each case. [42645]

Mr. Morley: Further to the details I gave the right hon. Member on 23 January 2002, the Department's records show details of the following items of stolen computer equipment that were either new and unused or used.

Data stored on the stolen computer equipment relates to MAFF/DEFRA's business. It is not possible to be more precise.

Thefts of IT equipment since 1 May 1997

TheftsNumberItems stolenCategory
3 May 20PCUsed
6 May 1PCUsed
9 June 1LaptopUsed
1 August 2PCNew and unused
11 August 1LaptopNew and unused
9 September 1PCNew and unused
30 September 1PCUsed
2 October 1LaptopUsed
12 January 2LaptopsUsed
21 June 1LaptopUsed
5 September 1LaptopUsed
21 September 2LaptopsUsed
1 February 1Laptop, zip and mouseUsed
23 February 2Central processing unitsUsed
26 March 2PCs, 8 copies of software and 2 ethernet cardsUsed
14 April 1LaptopUsed
19 April 1Psion organiserUsed
18 August 1LaptopNew and unused
20 September 1LaptopUsed
28 October 1PC and printerUsed
15 November 1LaptopUsed
22 November 1LaptopUsed
20 December 1LaptopUsed
28 January 1LaptopUsed
13 February 1PC and printerUsed
27 February 1Laptop and floppy disk driveUsed
21 March 1Psion organiserNew and unused
28 March 1Psion 5 MXUsed
05 April 1Laptop and mobile printerUsed
16 May 29Processors (microchips) and 1 LaptopUsed
24 May 1LaptopUsed
26 May 1Laptop, Printer and AccessoriesUsed
7 July 32 PCs and 1 laptopUsed
19 July 4Processors (microchips)Used
20 July 1PC and modemUsed
2 August 1Laptop, 1 printer and 1 printer leadUsed
7 August 3PCsUsed
17 August 1Processor (microchips)Used
11 September 1Laptop, mouse and connectionsUsed
12 October 1Modem cardUsed
30 October 1LaptopUsed
20 November 1Laptop, 1 floppy disc and CD driveUsed
29 November 3Processors (microchips)Used
1 February 1LaptopUsed
6 February 2LaptopsUsed
8 February 1LaptopUsed
12 February2LaptopsNew and unused
12 March 2PC and printerUsed
21 March 1LaptopUsed
2 April 1LaptopUsed
9 May 2DIM chipsNew and unused
20 May 1KeyboardUsed
2 July 1PCUsed
2 August 1Chips (microchips)Used
16 August 1Laptop plus 1 modem and carry caseUsed
14 September 1LaptopUsed
28 September 1LaptopUsed
1 October 1LaptopUsed
5 October 1LaptopUsed
21 November 1Laptop and 1 ProjectorUsed
19 December 2PrintersUsed
8 January 12PCsUsed

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