|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. McLoughlin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) when she will reply to the letter of the hon. Member for West Derbyshire, dated 18 July, concerning dormant quarries in the Peak District National Park; 
Mr. Morley: The Department transferred the hon. Member's correspondence to the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions in December, as they have responsibility for the issue of dormant quarries. I understand that a response was sent on 14 January.
10 Apr 2002 : Column 267W
Mr. Whittingdale: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she expects a reply to be sent to the letters to the Minister for the Environment dated 31 October 2001 and 8 August 2001 concerning Mr. James Bourne of Maldon. 
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the conclusions of Professor Mercer's report on foot and mouth in Devon in respect of (a) the handling of the outbreak and (b) the lessons of the 1967 outbreak; 
Margaret Beckett [holding answer 1 November 2001]: The report of a committee of Devon County Counsellors chaired by Professor Mercer clearly provides a local perspective and reflects local views and conclusions. I am afraid I do not accept those conclusions. The recommendations of the Northumberland Committee were taken into account as appropriate during the 2001 outbreak. Inevitably, conditions have changed here and in Europe since the Northumberland Committee's report, and the 2001 outbreak was clearly different in nature and extent to the 196768 outbreak.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what reports she has received from (a) the Army and (b) the Ministry of Defence, regarding their role during the foot and mouth outbreak. 
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimates she has made of the total cost to public funds of the three inquiries following the foot and mouth epidemic. 
Margaret Beckett: The estimated cost of the Policy Commission into the Future of Farming and Food is £176,000 (including gross salary costs of secretariat members). The estimated likely cost of the Royal Society study is £320,000. £620,000 has been set aside for the Lessons Learned Inquiry, which expects to complete its work within its budget.
Mrs. Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what advice on re-stocking is issued by her Department to farms culled out as part of the foot and mouth disease control measures in 2001. 
10 Apr 2002 : Column 268W
of farmers' organisations and representatives and can be found on the Department's website at www.defra.gov.uk/ footandmouth/farmers/index.htm.
We have explained the procedure that must be followed when restocking which includes arrangements for the cleansing and disinfection of the premises, the testing of flocks of origin and inspection of animals once restocking has commenced. We have also sent out information on biosecurity and herd and flock health including a video on "Biosecurity" and leaflets on "Golden rules for a healthy herd: advice on restocking cattle herds", "Golden rules for a healthy flock: advice on restocking sheep flocks", "TB in cattle; reducing the risk" and "Brucellosis: a reminder for all cattle farmers". These include the recommendation that farmers consult their veterinary surgeon and develop an overall health plan for their herd or flock. This would not only be used for evaluating prospective purchases but could be incorporated into the farm management system.
To cover the wider issues associated with restocking, the Farm Business Advice Service offer up to five days of free business advice for farmers whose livestock have been slaughtered under FMD control measures. Seminars have also been run covering advice on both business and farming operational issues.
Laura Moffatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to increase levels of inspection of food contained in luggage from countries infected with foot and mouth disease. 
Mr. Morley: The Government announced on 26 March a programme of work the aim of which is to reduce exotic animal and plant disease entering the country and then threatening our public health and livestock, agriculture and horticulture industries.
The programme includes assessing the disease risks posed by personal imports; work to achieve effective inter-agency enforcement co-operation on the ground, and looking at new, more effective ways of working. We will review, in the light of the risk assessment, the appropriate level and type of resources committed to inspection of luggage.
Mr. Levitt: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the cost of the recent foot and mouth disease outbreak to the (a) cattle, (b) pig and (c) sheep sectors. 
Mr. Morley: The recent foot and mouth outbreak is estimated to have resulted in losses of some £3.1 billion to agriculture and the food chain. However, some £2.6 billion has been paid by the Government in compensation for slaughtered livestock and payments for disposal and clean up costs. Separate estimates for the different sectors are not available.
10 Apr 2002 : Column 269W
Mr. Meacher: I am not aware of any formal study carried out in 1997 on dioxin levels in ash from the Edmonton incinerator. However, under section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, operators of such plant must provide sufficient information to those managing waste ash to ensure appropriate disposal. From analyses carried out for the operators, there is data showing dioxin levels in electrostatic precipitator ash from the Edmonton incinerator.
Industry figures for dioxins in ash entering the construction market in 2000 (2050 ng/Kg I-TEQ) indicated levels close to those found in normal urban soils, which 1999 AEAT figures show to be 4.987 ng/Kg I-TEQ, with a mean of 28 ng/Kg I-TEQ. Analysis for the industry is carried out by independent laboratories.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations her Department has received on the impact on local authorities of the regulations on the recycling of fridges which come into force on 1 January 2002. 
Mr. Meacher: The Department has received a number of representations from English local authorities concerning EC Regulation 2037/2000 and the collection and disposal of domestic fridges and freezers. We have received representations through stakeholder meetings, individual meetings, letters, e-mail and telephone calls.
Mrs. Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will estimate the number of farm women engaged in employment off-farm in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available; and what recent representations she has received from the Women's Food and Farming Union in respect of the trend in the level of farm incomes. 
Mr. Morley: Information on farm women with employment off-farm is not available. Although the Department maintains regular contact with the Women's Food and Farming Union, we have no record of any detailed representations on off-farm employment of farm women.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|