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Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much was spent by her Department on stationery in (a) 199596, (b) 199697, (c) 199798, (d) 199899, (e) 19992000, (f) 200001 and (g) 200102; what suppliers were used in each of those years, and how much was spent per supplier, what tender processes were undertaken, and what the frequency was of the processes; and if she will make a statement. 
Mrs. Helen Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress has been made in implementing the recommendations of the Policy Commission on Food and Farming. 
Mr. Morley: At the Prime Minister's seminar on 26 March, we announced a number of early actions being taken, by both industry and Government to deliver the Policy Commission's recommendations. We also launched a wide ranging programme to explore with stakeholders how best to give effect to the Commission's recommendations.
We have held the first meeting of the contact group of key organisations. The outcomes of regional and sectoral meetings, and the responses to the discussion document 'Sustainable food and farming: working together' are being analysed. All of these will help inform the development of a new strategy for sustainable food, which will include a response to all of the Commission's recommendations. We plan to launch this in the autumn, following the outcome of the spending review.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which Ministers and officials had meetings with representatives of (a) the Confederation of British Industry, (b) the Engineering Employees Federation, and (c) the Engineering Marine Training Authority during the last year; who they met; and what the subjects and outcomes of their discussions were. 
As with previous administrations it is not this Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings. All such contacts are conducted in accordance with the Ministerial Code, the Civil Service Code and Guidance for Civil Servants: Contacts with Lobbyists.
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Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent representations she has received from the Scottish Executive in respect of measures to control the spread of the bovine TB virus. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 17 June 2002]: I have received no representations from the Scottish Executive about bovine TB, but our officials are in regular contact. Officials and stakeholders will be meeting to discuss policy in the near future.
Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent research her Department has undertaken into possible causes of tuberculosis in cattle other than through badgers. 
Mr. Morley: The Government are funding a wide-ranging research programme following advice from the Independent Scientific Group on Cattle Tuberculosis (ISG). The programme extends well beyond the badger culling trial to encompass:
Improved diagnostic techniques;
Developing vaccine candidates;
The risk to cattle from wildlife other than badgers; and
A restocking study making the most of the unique research opportunities following foot and mouth disease and looking at TB in newly formed herds.
Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will suspend the badger cull until it has been established that badgers are the cause of bovine tuberculosis. 
Mr. Morley: Since 1997 there has been a moratorium on the use of badger culling as a bovine tuberculosis control mechanism in GB, except for the culling that takes place under the badger culling trial.
The Government have no plans to suspend the badger culling trial which is an essential element of the Government's wide ranging research and control strategy for dealing with bovine tuberculosis (TB). The role of the badger in the epidemiology of cattle TB is unresolved and emotive. The purpose of the trial is to evaluate, once and for all, the extent to which badgers contribute to bovine TB and the effects of badger culling on the disease. It will also provide epidemiological data on the occurrence and prevalence of TB in badgers, its relationship to population density and the spatial relationship between TB-infected badgers and TB breakdowns in cattle herds.
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Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the countries from which meat may be legally imported into the United Kingdom which have endemic foot and mouth disease. 
Mr. Morley: The importation of meat is permitted from a limited number of third countries where foot and mouth disease is present and where the veterinary authorities have contained the disease in specified regions. Community rules permit imports from those regions of the relevant countries that are not considered to pose a risk to human or animal health. Fully matured boneless beef, which does not pose an FMD risk may be imported from other regions subject to strict controls and veterinary certification. Countries to which these controls currently apply are Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. UK domestic rules currently prohibit the import of meat from Zimbabwe where FMD outbreaks have been recently confirmed. The UK regulations governing the imports of these products are the Products of Animal Origin (Third Country Imports) (England) Regulation 2002.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs at which ports amnesty bins have been installed in line with the Government's action plan on illegal animal and plant imports. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 13 June 2002]: We are currently in discussion with HM Customs and Excise and the relevant ports and airports, on the issues surrounding the provision of amnesty bins or equivalent measures to encourage the surrender of unintended illegal personal imports. We hope to be able to pilot measures later this year.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what period she has set for the pilot use of detector dogs to trace illegal meat imports; at which ports the pilot is to take place; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 13 June 2002]: There will be an initial six months pilot using detector dogs at Heathrow. This is scheduled to begin late summer subject to the successful completion of the training of both handlers and dogs.
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Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she intends to publish a guide on the roles, responsibilities and powers of the agencies responsible for preventing and detecting illegal imports of animal products. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 13 June 2002]: The production of an information guide on roles, responsibilities and powers of relevant agencies for preventing and detecting illegal imports is currently under way. We are aiming to publish this in the next few weeks. A copy of the guide will be deposited in the House Libraries and will be sent to stakeholder groups and placed on the DEFRA website:http://defraweb/animalh/ int-trde/default.htm.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many targeted sample checks on meat imports have been carried out since the publication of the Government's action plan 200203. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 13 June 2002]: DEFRA have been notified of three checks by enforcement authorities undertaken on illegal meat imports at airports since the implementation of the action plan, at Gatwick on 30 March and at Heathrow on 9 and 15 April. A programme of further targeted checks at airports and seaports designed to provide additional data in support of the risk assessment has been agreed with port health authorities and will be implemented over the summer.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what studies her Department has commissioned since February 2001 into technologies which might help to detect illegal imports. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 13 June 2002]: No specific studies have been commissioned. We are currently seeking to better understand the capability, operational and cost issues of using different technologies, and investigating measures taken by other countries and the rationale behind the choice. This will inform the timing and methodology of any future research.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the (a) titles, (b) membership and (c) terms of reference are of the external stakeholder groups that she has established or plans to establish to assist the Government in strengthening intelligence gathering and sharing of information concerning illegal meat imports. 
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on (a) the objectives and (b) progress so far achieved in her work with European authorities to clarify and tighten the enforcement of rules against illegal meat imports. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 13 June 2002]: Over the last 18 months, we have taken a number of opportunities to stress to the commission that EU rules on personal imports of animal products were inadequate and have been pressing for significant revision. Our objective has been to encourage the introduction of rules which are clear and
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enforceable and which provide effective protection against introduction of disease. The commission tabled a proposal for a new commission regulation on 5 June which will be discussed by all member states shortly. In its current form, the proposal would not meet the UK's objective and we shall be arguing for significant improvements in the discussion.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many enforcement officers are in post at each relevant port with powers to search baggage for illegal imports of meat. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 13 June 2002]: Searches on baggage are carried out by a number of enforcement authorities including HMCE, local and port health officers and DEFRA officials, and current total numbers are not held centrally.
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