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Standstill Rule (Cumbria)

Mr. Collins: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent representations she has received on the 20-day standstill rule in Cumbria. [64879]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 27 June 2002]: Industry organisations and individual farmers have made a number of representations on the impact of the 20-day standstill both in Cumbria and elsewhere. Ministers and officials are in dialogue with industry representatives about the veterinary justification for the rule and its economic impact.

Mr. Collins: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the practical implications of the 20-day standstill order on agricultural shows in Cumbria. [64878]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 27 June 2002]: There is firm veterinary and scientific advice in support of a 20-day standstill, both to improve the prospect of detecting disease on infected premises before animals move off, and to slow the rate of spread of any undetected disease.

Animals moving to a show are subject to a 20-day standstill prior to their first move to a show. Animals trigger a 20-day standstill on the whole farm when they return from a show, unless they are kept in approved isolation premises for 20 days. I am aware that a number of show organisers across the country have taken steps to adjust their schedules so as to work with the standstill rules.

Mains Water

Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of domestic residences in England and Wales have no connection to mains water. [62415]

Mr. Meacher: The 1996 English House Condition Survey showed that 1.1 per cent. of dwellings were not connected to a main water supply. Information from the Welsh Assembly Government is that the 1998 Welsh House Condition Survey showed that 1.3 per cent. of homes were without access to mains water.


Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what restrictions exist on the movement of camels. [64803]

Alun Michael: Camelids are susceptible to foot and mouth disease (FMD), although less so than some other species. Based on veterinary advice, movements of camelids have therefore been subject to conditions set out in a general licence under the interim livestock movement controls. Details were set out in leaflets sent to all livestock farmers in February 2002 and placed in the Library of the House. They are also on the Department's website. They reflect discussions with organisations representing the owners of camelids.

Special arrangements apply to llama trekking, which can currently take place under a separate licence issued by the DEFRA Divisional Veterinary Manager. Again,

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details were discussed with the relevant organisations in March 2002 and can be found on the Department's website.

Veterinary advice has now been revised reflecting the passage of time since the end of the lambing season with no re-emergence of FMD, and it is our intention to remove all restrictions on camelid movements, including llama trekking, assuming there is no change to the current disease situation. This will require amendments to the legal instrument which sets out the animal movement controls, and the changes are expected to come into force at the end of July. Controls over camelid movements would be reimposed if a further outbreak of FMD occurred.


Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will oppose proposals from the European Commission for the phased introduction of vessel monitoring by satellite to all vessels down to 10 metres; and if she will request EU financing for mandatory fitting of VMS to UK vessels. [64509]

Mr. Morley: As yet there are no firm proposals to extend satellite monitoring to all vessels over 10 metres, although this is suggested in the Commission's road map to the reform of the CFP. Satellite monitoring has applied to vessels over 24 metres since 1 January 2000 and has made a significant contribution to the effectiveness of enforcement operations across the Community. There are obvious advantages in extending satellite monitoring and we shall need to consider carefully its impact on smaller vessels. It is too early to make any commitments on the issue of funding.

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the (a) quantity and (b) value of fish quota purchased by the Shetland Fish Producers' Organisation in 1998 to 2002 for (i) cod, (ii) haddock, (iii) monk, (iv) coley and (v) hake. [63954]

Mr. Morley: Producer organisations have been able to acquire access to quota on behalf of their members by a number of means including buying up and cancelling fishing vessel licences but retaining the track record and FQA units, taking track record and FQA units from decommissioned fishing vessels and through agreements with their members and fishermen in other organisations. It is not he practice of the fisheries departments in the UK to disclose details of such transactions whether on an individual or collective basis. Moreover, the departments do not maintain records of the value of such transactions.

Fisheries Inspectorate

Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her policy is on proposals for an EU-wide fisheries inspectorate. [64505]

Mr. Morley: The Commission has said that, following a feasibility study to be undertaken in co-operation with member states, it intends to propose the establishment before mid-2004, of a joint inspection structure at Community level, which will pool national means of inspection and surveillance in relation to fisheries or other areas and manage them within a Community framework. Pooling of means will include the operation of

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multinational inspection teams in both Community and international waters. The Commission has also said that the establishment of a joint inspection structure will not change the distribution of responsibilities for fisheries control and enforcement between the Commission and member states, in which the member states are primarily responsible for the control and enforcement of CFP rules and the Commission is responsible for monitoring and enforcing the correct application of Community law by the member states. Effective and consistent standards of enforcement are key priorities for the UK and we shall be examining the Commission's proposals carefully to ensure that they achieve these objectives.

Bilateral Ministerial Meetings

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when Ministers in her Department have held meetings with Ministers and officials of the Irish Government since 1 June 2000; when and where each meeting took place; which Ministers were involved in each meeting; which Irish Government Departments were involved in each meeting; and which Ministers and officials from the Irish Government attended each meeting. [63074]

Mr. Morley: DEFRA Ministers meet fairly regularly with Irish Ministers in the margins of Agriculture, Fisheries and Environment Councils and in other international meetings.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State met with Joe Walsh last November. He was accompanied by John Malone (Secretary General of AFRD); Bart Brady (Assistant Secretary General); Mr. Seamus Healey (Assistant Secretary General); Mr. Colm Gaynor (CVO) and Pat Lynch (Agriculture Counsellor at the Irish embassy).

In February the Minister for the Environment, my right hon. Friend the Member for Oldham, West and Royton (Mr. Meacher), chaired a BIC (E) meeting in Edinburgh. Sue Essex, Noel Dempsey (Environment) and Joe Jacob (Public Enterprise RoI) were in attendance.

I met with Mr. Frank Fahey at DEFRA offices in December. Ammon Confrey (Private Secretary), Sarah White (Deputy Secretary General) and Cecil Beamish (Principal Official) were in attendance.

Statutory Instruments

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many statutory instruments have been (a) introduced, (b) removed and (c) amended by her Department since 1 January; and what the (i) cost and (ii) saving has been in each case. [64625]

Mr. Morley: As at 1 July, DEFRA had made 70 statutory instruments since 1 January 2002. All published statutory instruments are available on the HMSO website at

Detailed information regarding costings, revocations and amendments on these instruments could be provided only at disproportionate cost, but details of regulatory impact assessments (RIAs) relating to statutory instruments can be found at the Cabinet Office website at: http://

4 Jul 2002 : Column 589W Copies are also placed in the Libraries of the House on the day the instrument is laid.


Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what reason Herefordshire is dealt with by the Welsh Environment Agency. [65169]

Mr. Morley: The Environment Agency is a corporate body covering England and Wales. DEFRA sponsors all of the Environment Agency's work in England and the National Assembly for Wales sponsors the Environment Agency's work in Wales.

The agency has eight regions, seven in England and one in Wales. The operational boundaries of regions are defined by the confines of river catchments. A catchment is an area of land from which the water drains into a particular river. This continues a long-standing policy that originated with the water authorities and was subsequently adopted by one of the agency's predecessor bodies, the National Rivers Authority.

Herefordshire is located in the Wye River catchment. The River Wye crosses the boundary between England and Wales, but application of the catchment principle requires that the whole river is managed by a single agency operational unit, in this case Environment Agency Wales.

This means that the whole of the Wye catchment, including a large part of Herefordshire, is managed on a day-to-day operational basis by staff working for Environment Agency Wales. However, the first and main point of contact with the agency for those living anywhere in Herefordshire is the Upper Severn Area of the agency's midlands region.

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