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Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans the Government have to remove the 20 day restriction on the movement of cattle. [45445]

Mr. Morley: The interim rules for livestock movements, which we announced on 5 February, allow greater flexibility for farmers to move their animals. The 20 day standstill rule has been waived for some types of movement, subject to conditions and we will continue to keep these arrangements under review. However, veterinary advice is that the 20 day standstill needs to remain in place for the time being as a disease control measure. A copy of a document explaining the Veterinary basis for the Interim movement rules has been placed in the Library of the House and is available on the DEFRA website.

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to review the import regulations pertaining to livestock; and if she will make a statement. [45839]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 25 March 2002]: Movements of farmed livestock within the European Community are subject to harmonised animal health rules which are implemented into national legislation.

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These rules set down the animal health conditions that must be met before such animals can be certified for export and they provide for checks to be made on the animals at their premises of destination. The Commission's Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health keeps the rules under constant review and introduces safeguard measures as necessary to address animal health problems across the Community. Imports into Great Britain of animals susceptible to foot and mouth disease resumed in November 2001 and since then we have been carrying out 100 per cent. post import checks on all such consignments.

Imports of livestock from non-EU countries are also covered by EU rules. Imports are prohibited from countries where there is a known animal health risk. Imports from approved countries must enter the Community via an approved border inspection post where the consignments are subjected to physical, identity and documentary checks.

Parrett Catchment Project

Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what salary is paid to the Chairman of the Parrett catchment project; and what his total package is. [45275]

Mr. Morley: I understand that the Steering Group for the Parrett Catchment Project agreed that the Chairman should receive payment up to #3,000 per annum from project funds. The major contributors are Somerset County Council and the Environment Agency.

Hunting with Dogs

Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make it her policy to consult Lord Burns over interpretation of his report on hunting with dogs before drafting legislation on the subject, with particular reference to the issues of cruelty and utility. [46360]

Alun Michael: I have emphasised the importance of the Burns Report and met Lord Burns to discuss his report after taking up my present responsibilities. I shall welcome comments from all those who have constructive comments to make following my statement on 21 March.

Farm Tenancies

Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the availability of farm tenancies for young farmers; and what plans she has to facilitate more opportunities for new entrants to farming. [45314]

Mr. Morley: A policy evaluation review of the Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995 is currently being carried out by the University of Plymouth. This includes an assessment of the impact the Act has had on the availability of tenancies to new entrants. The Policy Commission on Food and Farming has also made a number of recommendations which are intended to make farming more attractive and accessible to new entrants.

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The University of Plymouth review is nearing completion and the final report is expected shortly. We will be considering the recommendations made by the research team in detail over the coming months and at the same time will consider the Policy Commission recommendations on tenancy and new entrant issues.


Dr. Pugh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to the Government's Waste Strategy 2000 documents, how many tonnes of incineration capacity he estimates will be needed by (a) 2005–06, (b) 2010 and (c) 2015; and on what assumptions these figures are based. [44307]

Mr. Meacher: The Government's strategy, as set out in Waste Strategy 2000, is based on minimising the production of waste and maximising the levels of re-use, recycling and composting of the waste that is produced.

The Regulatory Impact Assessment in Annex C of Part 2 of Waste Strategy 2000 (Cm 4693–2) outlines a wide variety of different waste management scenarios. Variables include different mixes of waste management facilities, different levels of participation in kerbside recycling schemes, and different projections for the increase in municipal waste arisings. There are therefore no single estimates for the level of incineration in these years.

UN Millennium Declaration

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps her Department (a) has taken and (b) plans to take to meet the commitments of the United Nations Millennium Declaration. [44351]

Clare Short: I have been asked to reply. The Millennium Declaration endorsed the Millennium Development Goals, a set of 2015 targets for poverty reduction. We worked hard to get UN agreement to these goals and all of the work of my Department is aimed at reaching these Goals. The Millennium Declaration also called on industrialised countries to reduce trade barriers for least developed countries, debt relief for heavily indebted poor countries, and increased development assistance, particularly for countries with large numbers of people in poverty and effective pro-poor policies.

My Department has also worked hard with others in the Government to achieve agreement at Doha to a trade round which creates significant opportunities for developing countries and poor people. The Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative has led to over $50 billion in debt relief being granted to qualifying countries. This Government has increased UK Official Development Assistance by a third in real terms since 1997. We are committed to making substantial further progress towards the UN 0.7 per cent. target in the next spending round. At the UN conference on Financing for Development in Mexico last week, the European Union announced a commitment to increase average Official Development Assistance as a proportion of gross national income to 0.39 per cent. by 2006, an increase of $7 billion.

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My Department will continue to focus its efforts on achieving the Goals set out in the Millennium Declaration. Details of how we have contributed during 2001–02 to achieving the Millennium Development Goals will be published next month in our Departmental Report.

Waste Minimisation and Recycling Fund

Mr. Michael Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how she intends to distribute the waste minimisation and recycling fund. [47162]

Mr. Meacher: Following the recent consultation, we shall very shortly announce how we intend to distribute the Fund. Guidance will be sent to all local authorities and will be available on the DEFRA website. Copies of the guidance and results of the consultation will be placed in the Library of the House.

Scientific and Regulatory Agencies

Dr. Stoate: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to conduct a review of her Department's scientific and regulatory agencies. [47164]

Margaret Beckett: I am today announcing a Review of the three science laboratories; the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA), the Central Science Laboratory (CSL) and the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research (CEFAS); and the two regulatory agencies, the Pesticides Safety Directorate (PSD) and the Veterinary Medicines Agency (VMD).

The Review will be conducted by a team attached to DEFRA's Corporate and Service Delivery Directorate General, working in consultation with other Government Departments with an interest. The Review Team will be advised by a Steering Group of a majority of non-Departmental members.

The terms of reference for the Review are:

The Review is to be conducted in two parallel processes:

In so doing, the Review will:

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The Review Team will consult customers, stakeholders, scientific opinion and other interests and will take into account relevant reviews and studies, in particular the SR2002 Science and Research cross-cutting review and DEFRA's prioritisation of science programmes exercise; the work on the development of science in DEFRA, including a new Science and Innovation Strategy; and the Cabinet Office Review of Agency Policy.

In light of the findings of the consultation exercise, the Review will examine the most appropriate freedoms, controls, financial regimes, governance arrangements and performance management to ensure the optimum delivery of a high quality service, providing good value for money.

The Review Team will report with recommendations to Ministers through the Management Board by the end of October 2002.

Interested parties are invited to submit their views to the Review Team by 30 May 2002. Details of how to contact them are contained in DEFRA's news release, issued today.

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