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In 2005, there were 225 confirmed cases of BSE and 299 confirmed cases of scrapie for sheep and goats in the UK. The figure for confirmed scrapie cases includes 28 atypical results.
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Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what (a) regulatory and (b) statutory quality guidelines local authorities are required to comply with in their management of cemeteries and burial grounds relating to (i) avoidance of land pollution from decontaminated land and (ii) flooding of ground. 
Mr. Morley: The principal means of control to protect the water environment are the Environment Agency's powers and duties under the Water Resources Act 1991, the Environment Act 1995 and the Groundwater Regulations 1998. The Environment Agency's booklet Assessing the Groundwater Pollution Potential of Cemetery Development" gives advice to operators on assessing the risk to groundwater from existing and planned cemeteries. The booklet also addresses such factors as the soil nature and type, and the depth to the water table.
In the case of a new cemetery, or a change of use of an existing cemetery, planning permission would be required from the Local Planning Authority under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and the Planning and Compensation Act 1991. The Local Planning Authority would consult with the Environment Agency before giving permission and would use refusal refuse permission, or impose conditions in a Decision Notice, to control a cemetery development and ensure that human health and the environment are protected.
There are no statutory water quality guidelines relating to burial grounds. A site specific approach would apply based on any risks to human health or the environment at any particular location. Good practice requires that cemeteries are, where possible, located in well drained areas with a reasonable depth of unsaturated ground between the base of the grave and the water table so that flooding of the ground should not normally be an issue.
Where redevelopment is taking place on any land which may be affected by contamination due to the presence of substances in, on, or under the land, decontamination may be required. This should be carried out in line with the guidance in the publication Contaminated Land Report 11: Model procedures for the management of land contamination" (DEFRA and Environment Agency, 2004).
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to meet (a) the European Commission, (b) France and (c) other EU member states regarding actions necessary to reduce cetacean by-catch. 
We have significantly raised the profile of cetacean deaths within the Commission, such that Commissioner Borg wrote to all Fisheries Ministers back in September 2005 on the subject of dolphin by-catch in fisheries and
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expressing his view on the importance of this issue. We will continue to build on this and take every opportunity to urge a European solution to this problem.
Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when the Minister of State will reply to the letter from the hon. Member for West Worcestershire of 3 March 2006. 
Mr. Bradshaw: I apologise for the delay in replying to the hon. Member's letter. My officials are currently liaising with the Environment Agency in order to draft a response, which we will issue shortly.
The regulatory impact assessment (RIA) will set out the available evidence and our assessment of the costs and benefits of the proposed measures, on which my decision will be based. Once this analysis has been completed I will make an announcement on next steps, at which stage the RIA will also be published.
Scientific advice suggests that the state of the stock and levels of exploitation are such that there is no pressing reason to introduce urgently measures to protect the 2002 year class in particular.
Robert Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will place in the Library a copy of the responses to her consultation on proposals to increase the minimum landing size for bass. 
The letter accompanying the consultation documents outlined my intention to make publicly available a copy of the responses to the consultation, provided the respondent had not asked for their response to be treated confidentially. In line with normal practice a copy of the responses will be placed in DEFRA's information resource centre when our analysis is complete. A summary will be available on the DEFRA website.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether her definition of the local population of Western Sahara for the purposes of the EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement includes illegal Moroccan settlers. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Western Sahara is defined by the United Nations as a non-self governing territory. Morocco is the de facto administering power. For all purposes, including revenue from the EU/Morocco fisheries agreement, Morocco is obliged under international law to ensure that economic activities under their administration do not adversely affect the interests of the people of the Western Sahara.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the views of the local Saharawi population on the EU-Morocco fisheries partnership agreement; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The Frente Polisario, recognised in United Nations resolutions as the representatives of the Saharawi people, have written to the Government setting out their opposition to the EU/Morocco fisheries partnership agreement. In deciding the UK's position on the agreement, we have taken their position into account. Morocco is obliged under international law to ensure that economic activities under their administration do not adversely affect the interests of the people of the Western Sahara.
Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many incidents of fly-tipping have (a) been reported and (b) led to prosecution in (i) Ribble Valley and (ii) Lancashire in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 24 April 2006]: Defra has worked with the Environment Agency to establish Flycapture, the national database on fly-tipping incidents, which has been operational since April 2004. No national data were previously available on illegal waste disposal or fly-tipping. Flycapture collects data at local authority level only.
Ribble Valley borough council reported 506 incidents of fly-tipping between April 2004 and March 2005 (an average of 46 per month) and 490 between April 2005 and February 2006 (an average 44.5 per month). During
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the same time periods all Lancashire waste collection authorities reported 32,724 incidents (an average of 2,878.6 per month) and 40,705 incidents (an average of 3,728.2 per month) respectively.
Prosecution data are only available from April 2005 to February 2006. During this period no prosecutions were reported by Ribble Valley borough council or the Environment Agency. The local authorities of Lancashire took forward 79 prosecutions, the Environment Agency took forward no prosecutions within Lancashire.
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