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Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) farmyard and (b) feral (i) cats and (ii) dogs have been tested in TB endemic areas by constituency in the last 30 years; and what proportion of these turned out to be TB reactors. 
Mr. Morley: The information is not available in the format requested. However since 1970 a total of 150 cats and 96 dogs have been tested for TB. Of those, 16 cats and one dog tested positive. The statistics gathered do not differentiate between feral and household cats.
Mr. Morley: In addition to cattle, DEFRA will undertake testing of goat herds co-located with a cattle herd that has had confirmed TB reactors. Testing of any co-located farmed deer in the same circumstances is strongly advised but is not carried out as a routine.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what law enforcement agencies and prosecuting authorities designated with legislation there are within the responsibility of her Department; and what complaints procedure is available for each. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 16 May 2002]: The Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), which was created on the 8 June 2001, is responsible for prosecuting offences in relation to the core Departmental functions administered by various Inspectorates or Services including; the Sea Fisheries Inspectorate, the Veterinary Field Service, the Egg Marketing Inspectorate, the Horticulture Marketing Inspectorate, the Plant Health Safety Inspectorate and the British Cattle Movement Service. It is also responsible for prosecuting offences alleged by the Forestry Commission. Each of the bodies has an established procedure for
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dealing with complaints.The procedure generally has three stages. Firstly the complaint is considered by managers within the Inspectorate or Service; secondly, if the complaint is not resolved it may be referred to the Departmental Complaints Adjudicator for investigation; and thirdly, if the complaint still remains unresolved the complainant may then write to their Member of Parliament and ask for the matter to be referred to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration.
DEFRA is also responsible for prosecuting offences in relation to six executive agencies; the Rural Payments Agency (RPA), the Central Science Laboratory (CSL), the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), the Pesticides Safety Directorate (PSD), the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA) and the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD). Complaints about the agencies referred to above are initially considered by managers within each agency and ultimately by the Chief Executive of the Agency. If the complaint remains unresolved the complainant may then write to their Member of Parliament and ask for the matter to be referred to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to offer assistance to small businesses in rural areas to enable them to access broadband communications as they become available. 
Alun Michael: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my hon. Friend the Minister for e-Commerce and Competitiveness, the hon. Member for Paisley, South (Mr. Alexander), on 24 May 2002, Official Report, column 631W. Ministers at the Department of Trade and Industry and DEFRA with Regional Development Agencies and others are keen to assist in meeting the needs of rural economies.
Mr. Gareth R. Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what reason the Angling and Canoeing Liaison Group of the Environment Agency's meeting on Wednesday 8 May to discuss access for canoeists was cancelled; and if she will make a statement. 
Given that Government will respond shortly to the University of Brighton research, "Water-based sport and recreation: the facts", the meeting is being rescheduled to allow consideration of this important research.
Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions her Department has had with the European Commission regarding changing rural development regulations to allow (a) member states and (b) regions within them, to vary the application of voluntary
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modulation; and what analysis her Department has carried out to ascertain the impact of regionalisation of modulation. 
Mr. Morley: Discussions have taken place between my Department and the European Commission in preparation for the Mid-term Review of CAP. They have included possible changes to the Rural Development Regulation and horizontal measures legislation in relation to modulation and the potential for different rates of modulation in different areas. We will consider carefully the impact of possible different rates of modulation together with other potential changes to the legislation. We will, of course, consult stakeholders on any new options that emerge from the MTR before taking any decisions on implementation.
Mr. Beggs: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will list the (a) meat and poultry products imported into the United Kingdom and (b) country of origin of products subsequently found to be unsuitable for human consumption in the United Kingdom in the last three years. 
Mr. Morley: Tables detailing the list of meat and poultry products imported into the United Kingdom and the countries from which consignments have been rejected have been placed in the Library of the House. The table of rejected consignments covering all rejections made by UK Border Inspection Posts from 1999 to 2001 has also been placed in the Library of the House; however, details of the reason for rejection are not held centrally.
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many prosecutions there have been under the Noxious Weeds Act 1959 since 1972; and what assessment she has made of the Act's effectiveness. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 11 June 2002]: Records of enforcement activity under the Weeds Act 1959 going back to 1972 are not readily available. However, it is rarely necessary to invoke the formal powers of the Act and I can confirm that there have been no prosecutions in the last five years.
The fact that there have not been prosecutions does not mean the Act has been ineffective. The Act puts the onus on landowners to control the spread of injurious weeds from their land. DEFRA investigates each complaint about injurious weeds on its merits, but gives priority to complaints where there is a threat to farmland, farming activities and on farm diversified equine activities. Once DEFRA officials have made the occupier of land aware of the presence of injurious weeds, the matter can usually be resolved satisfactorily through co-operation and advice, without taking statutory action.
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In response to this recommendation and in conjunction with the Corporation of London, which owns three of the four major wholesale markets in central London, we have commissioned Mr. Nicholas Saphir to undertake a review. Mr. Saphir is an adviser to several large food and farming companies in the United States, South America and Europe and has wide experience of the operation of the food chain in England. We have asked him to produce an initial report by the end of September.
3034 Albert Embankment
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