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25 Jan 1996 : Column WA81

Written Answers

Thursday, 25th January 1996.

Disabled People: Direct Payments in Lieu of Services

The Earl of Mar and Kellie asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether, under Section 12 of the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968, a local authority may make a direct payment in lieu of providing services to a person with disability caused by ageing, physical handicap, learning difficulties or mental ill health.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Scottish Office (The Earl of Lindsay): Section 12 of the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968 provides for a local authority to give cash to, or in respect of, any person aged at least 18 years who is in need, within the meaning of the Act, and requiring assistance in exceptional circumstances constituting an emergency, and where to do so would be more cost effective.

Campbeltown/Ballycastle Ferry Service: Operator

The Earl of Mar and Kellie asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they have refused to allow Caledonian MacBrayne to operate the new ferry service from Ballycastle to Campbeltown.

The Earl of Lindsay: The Scottish Office has only recently received a proposal from Argyll and the Islands Enterprise that Caledonian MacBrayne should be allowed to operate the proposed new ferry service between Campbeltown and Ballycastle. This proposal is being given careful consideration at present and no decision on whether Caledonian MacBrayne should be allowed to operate the proposed new service has yet been made.

Campbeltown and Ballycastle Harbour Facilities: Costs

The Earl of Mar and Kellie asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How much public and private money has been invested in roll-on, roll-off docking facilities at Ballycastle and Campbeltown.

The Earl of Lindsay: The provision of harbour facilities at Ballycastle and Campbeltown is the responsibility of Moyle District Council and Argyll and the Islands Enterprise as the sponsoring bodies of the proposed Ballycastle-Campbeltown ferry service. A limited amount of public money has already been spent on feasibility studies and design work for the harbour

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facilities at Ballycastle and Campbeltown in connection with the proposed roll-on, roll-off ferry service between these two harbours. If the project proceeds, the estimated cost of harbour works associated with the service at Ballycastle would be some £1.7 million and at Campbeltown some £2.8 million. No private sector investment in these harbour works is expected.

Veterinary Medicines Containing Organophosphates

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether, having regard to the duty of the Health and Safety Executive to "advise and inform" employees and employers, they will publish a list of all the products licensed by the Pesticides Safety Directorate and the Veterinary Medicines Directorate which contain organophosphates.

Lord Lucas: The Pesticides Safety Directorate (PSD) currently approves products containing the following organophosphate compounds: azamethiphos; bromophos; chlorfenvinphos; chlorpyrifos; demeton- S-methyl; diazinon; dichlorvos; dimethoate; disulfoton; ethoprophos; etrimfos; fenitrothion; fonofos; fosamine- ammonium; fosetyl-aluminium; heptenophos; iodofenphos; malathion; mephosfolan; oxydemeton- methyl; phorate; phosalone; pirimiphos-methyl; pyrazophos; quinalphos; thiometon; tolclofos-methyl; trichlorfon. PSD publishes, jointly with the Health and Safety Executive, an annual Reference Book 500, which lists all of the currently approved registered products, including those which contain organophosphate compounds. Reference Book 500 is available in the Library of the House.

The Veterinary Medicines Directorate publishes a list of all veterinary medicinal products (dips, injectables, pour-ons and sprays) available in the UK for use as ectoparasiticides in sheep. This includes all the authorised organophosphorus based treatments for sheep ectoparasiticides. This list is updated regularly and copies are also available in the Library of the House. The following table lists all the other authorised veterinary medicines containing organophosphates, as shown in our records.

Veterinary medicines containing organophosphates
(other than sheep dips)

Product nameSpeciesActive ingredient
Prevent of Insecticidal Collar for Cats and DogsCats and DogsDiazinon
Cyflee Anti-flea Tablets for CatsCatsCythioate
Sergeant's Flea Collar for CatsCatsNaled
Tiguvon 10CatsFenthion
Beaphar 3 Month Flea Collar for CatsCatsDiazinon
Young's Poron 20CattlePhosmet
Debantic Ear TagsCattleTetrachlorvinphos
Cyflee Anti-flea Tablets for DogsDogsCythioate
Cyflee Anti-flea Tablets for Small DogsDogsCythioate
Sergeants Flea Collar for DogsDogsNaled
Tiguvon 20DogsFenthion
Beaphar 3 Month Flea and Tick Collar for DogsDogsDiazinon
Baccara Insecticidal Collar for Small DogsDogsDiazinon
VerdisolHorsesDichlorvos
PorectPigsPhosmet
Verdipor CPigsDichlorvos
BiovermPigsDichlorvos
Aquagard Sea Lice TreatmentSalmonDichlorvos

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Organophosphorus Sheep Dips, Standards of Efficacy

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What standards of efficacy for organophosphate sheep dips are required by the licensing authority; whether these standards have been changed since these products were first licensed under the Medicines Act 1968; and, if so, why were they changed and what changes were involved.

Lord Lucas: While dipping for sheep scab with an approved product was compulsory it was necessary for products to show 100 per cent. protection for three weeks against the infestation and be designated "Scab Approved". Now that dipping is no longer compulsory, and in accordance with EC guidelines for efficacy testing of ectoparasiticides, more than 90 per cent. effectiveness against mange mites, including P ovis, now has to be demonstrated. This excludes Sarcoptes scabiei, for which 100 per cent. efficacy is still required. Responsibility rests with the applicant for a marketing authorisation to provide evidence in support of any claims made for the efficacy of a product.

Protection of Animals for Slaughter: European Convention

Lord Finsberg asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether it is their intention to ratify the European Convention for the Protection of Animals for Slaughter, which they have already signed.

Lord Lucas: Council Directive 93/119/EC on the protection of animals at the time of slaughter or killing takes account of the European Convention for the Protection of Animals at Slaughter. The Welfare of

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Animals (Slaughter or Killing) Regulations 1995, which apply in Great Britain, implement that Community directive.

Parallel legislation is being prepared in Northern Ireland and should be implemented during this year. When this legislation is in place, it is the Government's intention to ratify the European Convention on behalf of the United Kingdom.

Agriculture Council, 22 and 23 January

Lord Lyell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What was the outcome of the Agriculture Council held in Brussels on 22-23 January 1996.

Lord Lucas: No decisions were taken at this short meeting. The only substantial item was a further discussion of the Commission's proposals for changes to the arrangements for bananas. The Commissioner indicated his intention of making some additional proposals with a view to securing agreement: but member states' views remain deeply divided. My right honourable friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food underlined the need to protect the interests of the ACP suppliers of bananas, in line with the Community's commitments.

The Presidency held a dinner at which there was "informal" discussion of the use of hormones for fattening beef cattle, in the light of the scientific conference organised by the Commission last year.

During the Council my right honourable friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food took the opportunity to question the Commissioner about his promised proposals on the welfare of calves reared for veal. He said he expected to be able to table these very shortly.

General Dostum: UK Visit

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

    For what purposes General Dostum, the Uzbek commander of irregular forces in Afghanistan, was granted a visa to enter the United Kingdom on 15 January 1996; whether he is being received by an official or Minister at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and if so, by whom, and what was the outcome of the discussion.

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Chalker of Wallasey): It is not our normal practice to disclose information about an individual's immigration status. General Dostum discussed the situation in Afghanistan with officials from South Asia Department of the FCO on 17 January. We urged him to co-operate with Ambassador Mestiri in the latter's efforts to broker a peaceful settlement.

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OSCE Principles: Observance

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they consider that OSCE transparency rules are being scrupulously observed throughout the OSCE area, and if they do not, why they do not.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: We monitor closely the observance of OSCE principles and confidence building measures including the Code of Conduct and the Vienna Document. Whenever there is any suggestion that these are not adhered to, the UK raises the matter within the OSCE framework.


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