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Mr. Binley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the cost to his Department of validation of invoices was by (a) (i) Mr. De Kock and (ii) Davis Langdon Everest before the Invoicing Panel was established and (b) the Invoicing Panel. 
Mr. Binley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what costs were incurred by his Department in the validation of invoices submitted by Ruttle Plant Hire Limited relating to the foot and mouth outbreak before the formation of the Invoicing Panel in September 2001. 
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much his Department's central media and communication unit spent on public surveys in each of the last three years. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: Estimated total expenditure for financial years 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08 for public surveys (qualitative and quantitative research) commissioned by the Communications Directorate in DEFRA is as follows:
Costs exclude COI management fees and VAT.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which external organisations his Department has engaged to provide training for fast stream civil service staff in the last three years; and how many civil servants in his Department have participated in provision of training for external organisations in that period. 
Industry and Parliament Trust
London School of Economics
Management Development Partnership
Middleton Burgess LTD
National School for Government
Queen Mary and Westfield College
University of London
University of Warwick
Victoria Language Club
Jane Kennedy: The number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts and found guilty at all courts under the Animal Welfare Act for the offence Removing or causing or permitting or failing to prevent removal of dog's tail other than for medical treatment in England and Wales in 2007 are as follows:
|Proceeded against||Found guilty|
Office for Criminal Justice reform - Evidence and Analysis Unit
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent progress has been made on the research commissioned by his Department into the use of electronic pet training aids for dogs; when he expects the research to be completed; and if he will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: The research into electronic training aids funded by DEFRA is progressing well and in accordance with the agreed milestones. There are no results available for dissemination at this time as the research is still under way. The project is due to be completed in 2010.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will consider the merits of the effects of imposing restrictions on the advertising of electric shock training devices. 
Jane Kennedy: The Government have no plans at present to restrict or ban the advertising, sale or use of electronic training aids for animals. We are waiting for the results of DEFRA-funded research before making any decision as to whether to restrict or ban the use of such devices.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to the answer of 14 July 2008, Official Report, columns 29-30W, on floods, whether the Environment Agency's new flood vulnerability database is accessible to the public. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The Environment Agency's Receptors Vulnerable to Flooding database is not accessible to the public. The database contains information which is sensitive and as such is classified as Restricted under the Government's protective marking scheme. Some of the information is also owned by third parties.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many times officials from his Department have met representatives from the National Farmers Union to discuss food security in the last 24 months. 
Jane Kennedy [holding answer 27 January 2009]: Officials meet representatives from the National Farmers Union frequently, both individually and in the context of discussions with other stakeholders, and at national and local levels. These discussions sometimes focus specifically on food security, such as the workshops held in September and November 2008, based on the discussion paper Ensuring the UKs Food Security in a Changing World, published in July last year. However, the issue of food security is also addressed in the context of broader discussions about the Departments strategic objectives, such as achieving a sustainable, secure and healthy food supply and a thriving farming and food sector. It is therefore not possible to provide a specific number of occasions when the topic has been discussed.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the Government Carbon Offsetting Fund provides support for schemes which protect forests or peat lands from deforestation or destruction. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The Government Carbon Offsetting Fund (GCOF) will take delivery of carbon credits sourced from a variety of projects accredited under the UN supervised Clean Development Mechanism. However, none of the projects drawn upon by the current GCOF scheme relate to the conservation of forests or peat lands.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many accidents involving members of the public foraging for wood from forests under the regulation of the Forestry Commission have been recorded in the last 36 months. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The Forestry Commission in England records and investigates all serious accidents on the public forest estate that are reported to them by members of the public. There have been a number of accidents as a result of slips and trips and these are given in the following table. None of these are recorded as having been in connection with the collection of firewood.
|Slip/trip a ccidents|
Mr. Meacher: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 17 December 2008, Official Report, column 804W, on genetically-modified organisms, what information he has received concerning animal deaths in connection with the consumption of the foliage of genetically-modified Bt cotton plants (a) in the UK and (b) elsewhere; and if he will make a statement. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: DEFRA officials have read a number of published articles about the claim that animal deaths in India have arisen from the consumption of GM cotton plants, as part of its general monitoring of GM crop-related issues.
Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 15 January 2009, Official Report, column 886W, on horse passports, what his latest estimate is of the number of equidae in England; and what assessment he has made of the efficacy of horse passports against the objectives set for the scheme. 
Jane Kennedy: There is no figure available for the number of equidae in England. However, estimates of the horse population in Great Britain range from 1.0 to 1.35 million. Horse passports are an EU requirement introduced to prevent contaminated meat from entering the human food chain. Passports are also intended to reduce fraud and aid disease control and surveillance. The Meat Hygiene Service play an important role in ensuring that the horse is correctly identified and its passport is in order before horses are accepted for slaughter for human consumption. Samples are taken from a small number of horses entering the food chain as part of the UK statutory surveillance programme checking the appropriate use of veterinary medicinal products. In cases of non-compliance the Veterinary Medicines Directorate, which operates this programme, requires an investigation to be carried out which involves checking the details on the passport of the animal.
Mr. Andrew Smith:
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to the answer of 14 October 2008, Official Report, column 1052W, on incinerators: hazardous substances, which regional offices of the Environment Agency hold reports on the composition of the bottom ash of
incinerators; and to which operating incinerators such reports relate. 
Jane Kennedy [holding answer 28 January 2009]: The following table shows the Environment Agency offices that hold public registers for the municipal solid waste incinerators, including the two main hazardous waste incinerators, operating in England and Wales.
|Environment Agency office||Incinerators covered|
Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many times the permitted level of harmful substances in incinerator bottom ash has been exceeded in the last five years. 
Jane Kennedy [holding answer 28 January 2009]: Information in the form requested is not readily available and could be compiled only at disproportionate cost. Monitoring data relating to installations permitted under the Environmental Permitting Regulations (England and Wales) 2007 (formerly the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Regulations) may be obtained via the public register section of the Environment Agencys website.
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