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Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the threat to (a) alders and (b) willows by phytophthora infections; how that assessment is influencing her policy; and if she will make a statement. 
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Mr. Morley [holding answer 19 June 2002]: Phytophthoras are a group of microscopic fungal pathogens responsible for plant diseases in many parts of the world. While some cause severe damage, including death of trees, others are of little consequence.
The Phytophthora disease of alder is present in England, Scotland and Wales and is most active in the south-west and south-east of England. Surveys of the disease in 2000 and 2001 established that an estimated 600,000 trees were affected: around 12 to 14 per cent. of the alder population. Researchers at the Forestry Commission Research Agency (FCRA) have established that the cause of the disease is a new hybrid pathogen which is very damaging to alder. The putative parents cause little or no damage to alder but can be aggressive pathogens of other woody hosts.
In addition to the UK, the disease is present in 10 other European countries. Movement of infected plants has probably facilitated its rapid dissemination and infected stock may start new foci of infection when planted out. Research is continuing to further improve methods of managing the disease and diagnosing the pathogen. As with most Phytophthoras, control is difficult and eradication from already infected riparian habitats would be impossible. As this particular disease is so widespread, quarantine controls would be ineffective.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on how her Department intends to overcome difficulties in the manner in which the 20-day standstill is being interpreted for sheep movement in (a) Scotland and (b) England and Wales. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 19 June 2002]: DEFRA officials are in regular contact with their counterparts in the National Assembly for Wales Agriculture Department and the Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department and together they seek to find a solution to any practical difficulties arising from the differences in the livestock movements controls.
The Government will not make decisions about possible changes to the current standstill rules until Ministers have seen the recommendations of the Royal Society and lessons learned inquiries. Those decisions will be taken in discussion with the devolved Administrations and with stakeholders.
Lawrie Quinn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the total percentage of salmon caught by (a) the Scottish Nets, (b) Northumbrian Nets, (c) Yorkshire Nets, (d) Scottish Rods and (e) Northumbrian Rods was in each year since 1990; and what the total number of salmon caught in the United Kingdom was in each of those years. 
|Scottish nets||Northumbrian nets||Yorkshire nets||Scottish rods(3)||Northumbrian rods(3)||Total UK|
(3) Includes data on catch and release.
(4) Excludes any NI rod catch for which no details are available.
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Lawrie Quinn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the stocking programme for salmon and trout on the River Esk has been over the last 20 years; when it was last stocked; and who provided the finance. 
Mr. Morley: Details of salmon stocking on the River Esk are shown in the table. The Esk was last stocked with salmon in 2002 in mitigation for a pollution accidentcompensation was obtained from the polluter. No sea trout have been stocked but between 700 and 1,200 brown trout have been stocked annually by angling clubs or fishery owners.
|Unfed fry||0+ parr||1+ parr||smolts||Total|
(5) Joint: River Esk Action Committee/Environment Agency or predecessor
(6) River Esk Regeneration Programme (including European funds through Objective 5b)
Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if representatives of the Government will attend the Countryside, Liberty and Livelihood march on 22 September. 
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Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much tallow produced under the over-thirty-months scheme has been sold in each year since the scheme began (a) in the United Kingdom and (b) when exported overseas; and for what purpose it has been sold. 
A total of 170,897 tonnes has been incinerated to date. This equates to a total of 13,271 tonnes for 1996, 29,711 tonnes for 1997, 15,896 tonnes for 1998, 28,188 tonnes for 1999, 37,409 tonnes for 2000, 27,274 tonnes for 2001 and 21,315 tonnes to date for 2002.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much revenue has been raised from the sale of tallow produced under the over-thirty-months scheme in each year since the scheme started in (a) the United Kingdom and (b) overseas. 
(7) Income for tallow sales not separately identifiable, included under general receipts.
(8) Invoice payments are outstanding.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what reason the notification and results of tenders to dispose of tallow produced under the over-thirty-months scheme are not published in the Official Journal. 
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Mr. Morley [holding answer 21 June 2002]: The RPA is currently evaluating the bids received in connection with the OTMS tallow disposal tender. Following contract award, details of the successful tenderers will be published in the Official Journal of the European Communities. The original contract award date was spring 2001 but the tender was suspended due to the foot and mouth crisis. The disposal was readvertised with a planned contract start date of spring 2002. The RPA expects contract award in mid July 2002.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what restrictions apply to the sale of tallow produced in the United Kingdom under the over-thirty-months scheme (a) in the UK and (b) when being exported overseas. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 21 June 2002]: Over-thirty-month slaughter scheme (OTMS) tallow produced is currently incinerated (with energy recovery) at plants in the UK only. No tallow has been exported.
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