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Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what monitoring of (a) fish stocks and (b) other marine wildlife occurs in parts of UK waters where harmful cargoes are known to have been lost overboard. 
Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 7 March 2005]: The need for monitoring in relation to incidents where harmful cargoes are lost overboard is determined on a case-by-case basis taking into account the physical and chemical characteristics of the cargoes, and the characteristics of the local environment and resources that are under threat. This may involve monitoring of fish stocks and other marine wildlife. Such monitoring is usually focused on the substances contained in the cargoes and is limited to the duration of the incidents and shortly thereafter, although periodic monitoring over a longer period is done when it is justified.
CEFAS, FRS, EA, SEPA and the statutory nature conservation agencies conduct general monitoring of the marine environment. CEFAS and FRS are involved in monitoring fish stocks while the statutory nature conservation agencies are involved in monitoring the condition of a range of habitats and species.
Mr. Edward Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate she has made of the effect of the introduction of horse passports on the number of equines exported live from the UK; and if she will make a statement. 
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what enquiries she has made into payments made to the right hon. Member for Sheffield, Brightside (Mr. Blunkett) by a company involved in major commercial dealings with her Department; and if she will make a statement. 
Alun Michael: The Register of Members' Interests records that the right hon. Member for Sheffield, Brightside (Mr. Blunkett) is an adviser to Indepen Consulting Ltd. From information held centrally, the Department has no record of commercial dealings with this company.
Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what market data her Department (a) collects and (b) plans to collect on progress towards the Government's targets for peat-free materials. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (and previously those Government Departments responsible) collected data on the use of peat and alternative products for growing media and soil improvers in the UK between 1993 and 2001 at various intervals. The use of peat and alternative products by all market sectors was not monitored by this survey until 1999. The results of the last survey were published in 2003. A more recent Defra report studying the use of peat and peat alternatives by the commercial horticulture sector in 2003 was published in 2004.
A new survey will monitor the use of peat and alternative products between 2005 and 2010. This will measure the use of these products by all market sectors. Further surveys may be commissioned as part of the work of a growing media forum that we plan to convene shortly to inform the development of an action plan to reduce the use of peat in the UK.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what regional (a) bodies, (b) institutions, (c) taskforces, (d) panels, (e) offices and (f) organisations the Government has established since May 1997 which are the responsibility of her Department. 
The Regional Rural Affairs Forums were set up in 2001. Members give their time voluntarily and they are asked to be objective and independent in their work. They are asked to advise both Defra and the Government Office in the region, of her views.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State forEnvironment, Food and Rural Affairs which (a) non-departmental public bodies and (b) executive agencies within the remit of her Department have regional offices based on the Government Offices for the Regions' regional structure; and when the regional offices were established in each case. 
2. English Nature has a sub-regional structure. It does not have regional offices as such but does have Regional Directors who have an overview of the local teams in areas which appear to be based on the GO Regions. There is no internal information as to when these Directors were established.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress is being made in adopting private sewers; and when a framework will be available to explain how this will occur. 
Mr. Morley: The Government published a response to its consultationReview of Existing Private Sewers and Drains in England and Walesin October 2004. Eighty one per cent. of respondents favoured a change of ownership, and of these, 90 per cent. held the view that sewerage undertakers should take over responsibility. The Government acknowledged the strength of support for this solution and undertook to look into it in more depth.
The Department chairs a Steering Group, of which WaterVoice, Ofwat and Water UK are members, which is currently considering sustainable options for the way forward on private sewers and lateral drains. The Department also recently held a seminar with stakeholders to examine these options. Further information on the seminar is available on the Department's website at www.Defra.gov.uk
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions her Department has had with officials in (a) the Department of Health and (b) the Food Standards Agency regarding the addition of Sudan 1 to food for human consumption. 
Alun Michael: Defra officials have participated in a number of recent FSA-led meetings with the food industry and other stakeholders on Sudan I. This was also discussed when my noble Friend, the Lord Whitty, met Sir John Krebs, Chair of the Food Standards Agency, on 23 February.
Mr. Stringer: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate she has made of the number of birds which have been killed by wind farms in the UK in each of the last three years; and what estimate she has made of likely future numbers. 
Mr. Bradshaw: No systematic collection of bird mortality caused by wind farms has been undertaken in the UK in the last three years or is planned in the immediate future. Collision mortality is very difficult to assess comprehensively due to the problems experienced in carcase recovery at inaccessible sites i.e. at sea offshore or over hilly terrain.
In the UK ornithological assessments are conducted for proposed wind farm sites as part of the Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA). The EIA forms part of the environmental statement submitted by wind farm developers in support of a planning application.
The Government's renewable energy initiatives form part of it's response to the threat of climate change, including the acknowledged likelihood that climate change is likely to lead to irreversible and accelerated losses of biodiversity.
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