|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what funding her Department has provided for the Environmental Business Growth Action Programme in 200405; 
(2) what the (a) objectives, (b) aims and (c) targeted outputs are of the Environmental Business Growth Action Programme; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: The Environmental Business Growth Action Plan aims to help the West Midlands to develop its potential to be a leading region in the area of environmental technologies, products and services. Its primary focus is support for SMEs and for the expansion of growth sector industries in this field. The business plan estimates that the programme will help to modernise and diversify the region's economy by assisting 2,600 SMEs across the region, creating an estimated 700 new jobs and safeguarding a further 2,000 jobs.
The plan provides funding for a range of initiatives supporting business growth in environmental technologies and improving environmental management practice in all businesses. It is operated by the Environment Agency, and draws on funding support from Advantage West Midlands and from European Structural Funds via Government Office West Midlands. It acts on behalf of a partnership comprising Advantage West Midlands, Government Office West Midlands, together with other regional organisations, with the Environment Agency acting as accountable body. Advantage West Midlands also participates in the management board of the plan together with other regional partner organisations.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to ensure that the UK Bycatch Response Strategy takes steps to protect harbour porpoises in coastal waters where vessels under 12 metres operate. 
Agreement was reached at the March Agriculture and Fisheries Council on Community legislation to address this issue. The legislation makes the use of acoustic deterrent devices ("pingers")
1 Sept 2004 : Column 808W
mandatory for vessels of 12 metres and over involved in specified fixed gear fisheries in the Celtic Sea, Channel and North Sea. Alongside this, on 22 July I announced my intention to request the European Commission to close the pair trawl fishery for bass for the forthcoming season, using the provisions for emergency measures under Article 7 of Council Regulation (EC) No. 2371/2002 in the light of research results showing significant dolphin bycatch in this fishery. We are considering whether further measures are required to protect porpoises and other cetaceans in the context of the implementation of the UK Small Cetacean Bycatch Response Strategy.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate she has made of the external costs associated with agricultural activities, with particular reference to the environmental costs. 
Alun Michael: Defra and the devolved administrations commissioned a project to develop a framework for valuing the external costs associated with the positive and negative impacts of agriculture on the environment. Eftec, who carried out the research, are in the process of finalising their report on the "Framework for Environmental Accounts for Agriculture", which will be published on the Defra website soon.
Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent estimate she has made of the costs which might be incurred by (a) intensive livestock farmers and (b) extensive livestock farmers in the collection of fallen stock in the event of a ban on hunting. 
Alun Michael: No estimate has been made with regard to the impact on intensive livestock farmers. However, the effect of a ban on hunting is likely to be small as hunt kennels generally do not collect fallen stock from intensive pig and poultry farms.
In relation to extensive livestock farmers, I refer the hon. Member to the estimate of extra costs given in the Report of the Committee of Inquiry into Hunting with Dogs in England and Wales, the Burns Report, dated June 2000.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what security standards are expected from operators and receivers of fallen stock; what checks are made on such operators; how many prosecutions there have been since the beginning of the scheme; and if she will make a statement. 
The fallen stock scheme is due to start in the autumn. A set of detailed terms and conditions, including strict bio security conditions, will apply to all those wishing to collect fallen stock under the scheme. Operators' premises are already subject to approval and inspection by the State Veterinary Service under the Animal By-Products Regulations, but for those
1 Sept 2004 : Column 809W
premises which join the scheme additional checks on compliance with scheme rules will also apply. The scheme has no legislative basis so the question of prosecutions does not arise. However, operators found not to be in compliance with scheme rules will be subject to exclusion from the scheme.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many farm
1 Sept 2004 : Column 810W
animals, by species, were exported from the UK for each year, from 1994 to date; and if she will make a statement. 
|Poultry||Ovines (sheep)||Porcines (pig)||Bovines (beef)||Other live animals (horse)||Caprines (goat)|
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many farm animals, by species, were imported live to the UK for each year from 1994 to date; and if she will make a statement. 
|Poultry||Porcines (pig)||Ovines (sheep||Bovines (beef)||Other live animals (horse)||Caprines (goat)|
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|