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Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will commission a study of the potential effect of a consumer reward card scheme to influence people's behaviour and its impact on the environment; and what studies she has received of the NU card scheme in the Netherlands. 
Mr. Morley: The Department is aware of the scheme which is being tried out in the Netherlands, as the National Consumer Council and the New Economics Foundation have recently had discussions with stakeholders in this country about the scheme's potential. We have not received any studies as such, nor at this stage do we have any plans to commission one; but this is an interesting approach and we will keep in touch with developments.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on new measures in place to deal with disease breakdown following foot and mouth disease. 
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Mr. Bradshaw: A new EU directive on measures to control foot and mouth disease was adopted in Agriculture Council on 29 September 2003 and is due to be transposed into domestic legislation by 30 June 2004.
Under the terms of this directive, the slaughter of infected animals and known "dangerous contacts" remains the principal tool in tackling an FMD outbreak. The main area of change in the new directive is the emphasis it places on emergency vaccination, which has now moved to the forefront of disease control strategies and has to be considered immediately the first case of FMD is confirmed.
The policies and operational arrangements that would be implemented in an outbreak are captured in the Foot and Mouth Disease Contingency Plan which is reviewed, updated and laid before Parliament annually.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research her Department undertook on the environmental reporting of FTSE 350 companies prior to the Prime Minister's challenge in October 2000 to produce more corporate environmental reports; when her Department will next report progress made by UK companies in voluntary reporting of environmental performance; and what information her Department collates on the response of UK companies to the Prime Minister's challenge. 
Mr. Morley: Prior to the challenge in 2000, the Department drew on published sources to establish trends in environmental reporting by business. Last year the Department conducted its own survey of reporting by FTSE 350 companies and an account of this was placed in the Library of the House in July 2002. That exercise has not been repeated, but several surveys by other organisations are now publicly available. One recent survey indicates that over half of FTSE 250 companies now report publicly on their environmental performance.
Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she will reply to the invitation from the Country Landowners Association to speak at their November conference. 
Margaret Beckett [holding answer 3 November 2003]: My Diary Secretary sent an interim response to the invitation, by e-mail, to Richard Jarman, Head of CLA Public Affairs, on 29 August 2003. After further contact by telephone, a final response was sent, again by e-mail, on 29 October 2003, confirming that I was, regrettably, unable to attend, but that Alun Michael would be delighted to speak at the CLA Conference in my stead.
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Alun Michael: There will be a continued need for the functions which the Countryside Agency performs. I refer my hon. friend to the written ministerial statement of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State on 11 November, in which she announced the intention to create an integrated agency incorporating some elements of work currently undertaken by the Countryside Agency, and to focus delivery on others in partnerships with regional development agencies, local government and the voluntary sector in order to provide the best services to rural communities.
Alun Michael: No decisions have been taken yet on the future structure of the Countryside Agency beyond what the Secretary of State announced on 11 November. We will work closely with the Countryside Agency as we develop more detailed proposals, and intend to give more details in the spring.
Alun Michael: Grants for repairing dry stone walls have been given under the Environmentally Sensitive Area Scheme since 1987 and the Countryside Stewardship Scheme since 1991. On the latest information available, the total length of wall repaired under these schemes since those dates is approximately 1,100 kilometres, at a current cost of between £12 and £28 per metre.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions she has had with (a) representatives of the UK's egg industry and (b) the European Union about possible changes in the EU intervention price of feed grain; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The question of whether to change the cereals intervention price was considered as part of the CAP reform discussions earlier this year. As announced in conjunction with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State's statement to the House on 26 June 2003, Official Report, column 122021, in the final compromise deal the Agriculture Council decided not to implement the 5 per cent. reduction proposed by the European Commission, although monthly increments will be reduced by 50 per cent. from the 200405 marketing year. I have had no specific discussions with the egg industry on this issue.
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she has made of the daily energy consumption resulting from the use of standby units on televisions; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: The Government's Market Transformation Programme estimates that the 61.5 million televisions in the UK consume approximately 38 million KWh of electricity per day. Of this approximately 3.3 million Kwh (8.5 per cent.) per day is consumed by these televisions while they are in stand-by mode.
The Government is aware of the potential for many types of appliance to consume significant amounts of energy while left in stand-by mode. It is therefore already working via the Market Transformation Programme (www.mtprog.com) to encourage manufacturers to reduce both the "on" and "stand-by" power consumption of household appliances, including televisions, through the adoption of design improvements, voluntary codes of conduct, and the establishment of best practice guidelines and targets. To date this approach has been fairly successful and we expect that the majority of new televisions sold in the UK should soon consume around 1 watt of power in stand-by mode rather than the 38 watts consumed by older models.
In addition, the Government's recently announced commitment to purchase goods and services that meet higher environmental standards ("Quick Wins") requires any government department which purchases televisions to specify a stand-by power requirement of no more that 1 watt.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the dates of meetings of (a) the EU Committee for the adaptation to scientific and technical progress of the directive on water intended for human consumption, (b) the EU Management Committee of the common organisations of agricultural markets for sheep and goats and (c) the EU Committee on the Directive on packaging and packaging waste during the Danish and Greek presidencies; what items were on each agenda for each meeting; what representative of the Scottish Executive was present; what preparatory meetings were held for each meeting, including the officials present; and if she will make a statement. 
The Drinking Water Directive management committee met during the Danish presidency on 26 November 2002 and during the Greek presidency on 8 May 2003. Issues discussed included sampling and monitoring for radioactivity, lead, copper and nickel, and studies on drinking water.
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Regulation concerning the community scale for the classification of Ovine animals. The Committee did not meet during the Greek presidency.
The EU Committee on the Directive on packaging and packaging waste met during the Danish presidency on 25 July 2002 and during the Greek presidency on 29 January 2003. Issues discussed included data reporting on recycling and recovery of packaging waste, development of the CEN standards on packaging, and notification of Belgium concerning Article 6(6) of Directive 94/62/EC.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the dates of meetings of (a) the EU Committee for the adaptation to scientific and technical progress of the Directive on protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources and (b) the EU Committee on the conservations of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (habitat) during the Danish and Greek Presidencies; what items were on each agenda for each meeting; what representative of the Scottish Executive was present; what preparatory meetings were held for each meeting, including the officials present; and if she will make a statement. 
The EU Committee for the adaptation to scientific and technical progress of the Directive on protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources did not meet during the Danish Presidency. It met on one occasion during the Greek presidency on 27 March 2003. Issues discussed at the Committee included grassland fertilisation and nitrates, tracing nitrate origin, and updated monitoring guidelines for groundwater and surface waters.
The Habitats Committee (the Committee on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora) met during the Danish Presidency on 20 November 2002 and during the Greek Presidency on 10 March 2003. Issues discussed included the Natura 2000 Network and conservation projects.
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