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Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions he has held with greyhound racing authorities in order to ensure all retiring greyhounds are properly cared for; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The Department set up the Greyhound Welfare Working Group to examine the welfare aspects of greyhound racing, including arrangements for the dogs retirement. The group includes representatives from animal welfare organisations and the greyhound racing industry.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will publish a copy of the noise map covering junctions 3 to 7 of the M40, drawn up to comply with European Directive 2002/49/EC. 
The MNR arrangements are, in common with the other site safeguard provisions of the 1981 Act, based on the "voluntary approach" and are thus dependent on securing the co-operation of all the local interests concernedfor example, fishermen, divers, local authorities,to agree the detailed provisions for protecting each site.
The development of marine nature conservation is more likely to make progress through the implementation of the Habitats and Birds Directives. The EC Habitats Directive aims to contribute to the maintenance of biodiversity by establishing a network of Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) which, together with the sites designated under the EC Birds Directive (Special Protection Areas) are known as Natura 2000. These include marine sites as well as terrestrial sites. Some 36 marine sites were included in the initial list of possible SACs by the Government.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with (a) the Department for Transport, (b) local authorities, (c) the Scottish Executive and (d) the Scottish Environment Protection Agency regarding the ship-to-ship oil transfer planning application by Melbourne Marine Services in the Firth of Forth. 
Ian Pearson: The Department has taken part in discussions with the Department for Transport and the Scottish Executive in relation to obligations under the habitats directive and the ship-to-ship oil transfer planning application by Melbourne Marine services in the Firth of Forth.
The Department has not had contact with any local authorities or contact with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency in relation to the ship-to-ship oil transfer planning application by Melbourne Marine services in the Firth of Forth.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the potential impact on biodiversity of trends in the numbers of common species of moths. 
Moths are an important element of many ecosystems. They pollinate plants and, together with their caterpillars, provide food for many other species including birds, bats and small mammals. The decline in the number of common moths over the past 30 years, shown by the Rothamsted Insects Survey, is likely to affect other species.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how much was originally budgeted for the transition of English Nature, the Rural Development Service and the Countryside Agency into Natural England; and if he will make a statement; 
Barry Gardiner: This Department's original cost estimates for establishing Natural England were set out in the Regulatory Impact Assessment, published in May 2005, to accompany the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill. The costs were forecast to be between £25.4 million and £36.8 million.
|Annual costs (£ million)|
A final decision on the budget for Natural England in the 2006-07 financial year will be made soon. As not all the responsibilities of the Countryside Agency and Rural Development Service will transfer to Natural England, Natural England will not inherit all of those bodies' resources.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the measures in place to prevent farmers labelling their meat as organic without complying with UK and EU regulations; how many farmers were found to be doing so in each year since 1997; what action was taken against them; what recent discussions the Government have had with the certification bodies for the organic sector on preventing such action; and if he will make a statement. 
Anyone who produces an organic agricultural product, or processes or imports an agricultural product for human consumption or animal feed, must be certified by an approved organic certification body. These bodies can sanction against breaches of the organic standards. However, they do not enforce action against uncertified production that
claims to be organic. The enforcement of the Organic Product Regulations rests with the relevant local authority.
The Department has regular contact with Local Authorities Co-ordinators of Regulatory Services (LACORS) in order to ensure that the regulations are effectively implemented. The Department does not keep statistics on the enforcement of the labelling part of the UK and EU Organic Regulations. Anyone who suspects the provenance of an organic product are encouraged to report the matter to their local trading standards office to investigate.
Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of Government research establishments funded by his Department are located in (a) Wales, (b) England, (c) Scotland and (d) Northern Ireland. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The three DEFRA laboratory agencies, the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), the Central Science Laboratory (CSL) and the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA) each have their headquarters and main laboratory facilities in England. The VLA also has 15 regional laboratories, of which one is in Scotland, two in Wales and 12 in England.
Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) office management and services staff and (b) scientific staff are employed at each public sector research establishment funded by his Department. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The information for the three DEFRA laboratory agencies, the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), the Central Science Laboratory (CSL) and the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA) is as follows:
|Agency||Scientists (including veterinarians)||Management and administration||Total staff|
Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he plans to implement the recommendations of the Final Report of the Research Council Institute and Public Sector Research Establishment Sustainability Study Steering Group. 
DEFRA is in discussions with the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council on a Memorandum of Understanding to agree a framework for putting the principles of the Research Council Institute and Public Sector Research Establishment Sustainability Study (RIPSS) into practice. Issues around capital investment and risk in the context of DEFRAs ownership of its three laboratory agencies are being taken forward through
the Departments Laboratory Strategy Programme. The other RIPSS recommendations, insofar as they apply to DEFRA, have been implemented or reflect existing practice.
James Duddridge: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when meetings were held between Ministers from her Department and (a) the chief executive of the Rural Payments Agency, (b) members of the senior management team of the Rural Payments Agency and (c) Accenture since January 2003; and which Ministers were present. 
Ian Pearson [holding answer 27 April 2006]: DEFRA Ministers have met with the RPA chief executive, members of his senior management team and Accenture on a regular basis, including at single payment scheme stakeholder meetings. The Minister for Sustainable Farming and Food, and on occasion the Secretary of State, met with the RPA chief executive and/or his senior management team to specifically discuss matters related to the SPS on the following dates:
17 May 2005
30 June 2005
19 July 2005
27 July 2005
13 September 2005
29 September 2005
4 October 2005
5 October 2005
13 October 2005
20 October 2005
8 November 2005
11 November 2005
1 December 2005
16 December 2005
10 January 2006
30 January 2006
6 February 2006
14 March 2006
22 March 2006
28 March 2006
29 March 2006
5 April 2006
11 April 2006
12 April 2006
18 April 2006
19 April 2006
25 April 2006
4 May 2006
8 May 2006
10 May 2006
17 May 2006
24 May 2006
31 May 2006
7 June 2006
20 June 2006
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