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26 Mar 2004 : Column 1092Wcontinued
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the implications of the Common Agricultural Policy mid-term review for the development of a TB strategy. 
Mr. Morley: The Department is in regular contact with Treasury Ministers to discuss a whole range of matters related to energy and environmental policy. In addition, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State, meets regularly with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on a wide range of matters that affect the business of the Department. As with all tax matters, decisions on tax incentives rest with the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 23 March 2004]: The cow which gave rise to confirmation of the brucellosis outbreak had been immediately subject to movement restrictions following her abortion on 9 March. No movements of cattle onto or off the premises of the infected herd were permitted from the time that indications of possible Brucella infection were first reported on 12 March. The four cows and one bull which tested seropositive for brucellosis during investigations were slaughtered on 18 March following confirmation of brucellosis that day; the remainder of the herd was slaughtered on 19 March. Precautionary movement restrictions have also been placed on seven neighbouring herds which are currently undergoing further tests and on the herd which supplied two bulls to the farm during the preceding 12 months; no other cattle apart from seven calves from a neighbouring premises have been brought onto the farm during that time. In the last year there have been only a small number of movements off the farm, other than movements direct to slaughter. These animals are being traced and will be tested. Cattle not born in Great Britain and imported into Cornwall and Devon are also being traced.
Alun Michael: The use of chlorpyrifos has been under review since 1998 as part of the UK review of anticholinesterase compounds. The human health aspects were completed in June 2003 and the review of environmental effects is on-going.
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Alun Michael: The Advisory Committee on Pesticides (ACP) has assessed the effect of chlorpyrifos on birds as a part of an ongoing review of this active substance. The ACP concluded that there is a negligible risk of chlorpyrifos accumulating in fish, and that as a result the risk to birds that eat fish is acceptable.
Risk assessments were also made for other potential routes of bird exposure. Further data have been requested to confirm that chlorpyrifos used on grass and cereals does not pose an acute or short term risk to grazing birds, or to birds eating small insects in orchards. Information has also been requested on granular forms of chlorpyrifos to address any acute and short-term risk to birds consuming chlorpyrifos in this form. These data must be submitted by August 2006.
However the Advisory Committee on Pesticides (ACP) is assessing the effect of chlorpyrifos on aquatic life (including fish) as a part of an on-going review of this active substance. At the ACP's request, approval holders have submitted a strategy (including a timetable for the provision of further data) to help complete this assessment. The ACP is currently awaiting further detailed study protocols for agreement.
Alun Michael: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State regularly meets her counterparts from the other member states to discuss CAP reform, most recently she met with the Italian and Dutch Agriculture Ministers. Aspects of the CAP reform package agreed in June 2003 were discussed at the Council meeting on 24 February. At its meeting on 23 March the council discussed reforms of sectors that were not included in last year's reforms: olive oil, table olives, tobacco, cotton and hops. My right hon. Friend also recently had various discussions with Commissioner Fischler on CAP reform issues, both bilaterally and as part of meetings of the Agriculture Council. CAP reform is very important domestically and internationally and we continue to press our case with the Commission and other member states at Ministerial bilateral and Council meetings, as well as at official level meetings.
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Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the average cod by-catch recorded from Scottish vessels fishing in ICES (a) IVa and (b) IVb areas was during 2003. 
Mr. Bradshaw: There is no significant by-catch of cod known in the trawl fisheries targeting pelagic species like herring in the North Sea, but between 3.5 per cent. and 7 per cent. of all UK cod landings from the North Sea are taken from the Fladen fishing grounds, where the fishery predominantly targets Nephrops (prawns).
However, the by-catch of cod varies between different fisheries: there is no meaningful fleet or area average. A further complication is that catch composition may differ from recorded landings because of discarding at sea for example: catch composition is only observed in a sample of fishing trips.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many rod fishing licence applications have been made since the introduction of the online facility; and how many of these were made online. 
|Rod Licence Sales||200102||200203||200304|
|Total rod licence sales||1,137,478||1,188,400||1,227,680|
|Internet sales of rod licences||12,531||31,501||49,461|
Mr. Morley: The Environment Agency is required to arrange for its flood defence functions, except for certain financial ones, to be carried out by Regional Flood Defence Committees (RFDCs). The RFDC may arrange for all or any of these functions to be carried out by Local Flood Defence Committees (LFDCs) under a scheme approved by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State.
I understand from the Agency that the total of Defra grant and levies on local authorities for the three local flood defence committees under the Wessex RFDC was £23.2 million in 200203 and is estimated to be £25.5 million in 200304.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs under which powers the Environment Agency is charging for maps of flood risk areas; and if she will make a statement. 
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Mr. Morley: Where charges are made to certain businesses for specific requirements, the Environment Agency's power to charge derives from the Environmental Information Regulations 1992 (as amended) and from sections 37 and 43 of the Environment Act 1995.
Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many businesses in (a) Devon and (b) Cornwall are owed money by the Department for carrying out work during the foot and mouth outbreak in 2001; how much is owed for (i) Devon and (ii) Cornwall; and what the largest amount owing to each business is. 
The Department is in dispute with one contractor in Devon over charges arising, or which are claimed to have arisen, from the 2001 foot and mouth disease outbreak. It would be inappropriate to comment on a case that is the subject of alternative disputes resolution procedures and, possibly, litigation in due course.
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