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Lord Rooker: I have placed in the Library a list of the National Asylum Support Service (NASS) policy bulletins which are currently in force. All policy bulletins issued by NASS are included on the Immigration and Nationality Directorate's website.
The Lord Chancellor (Lord Irvine of Lairg): My department will conduct a review with the following terms of reference: "To review the United Kingdom's position on international human rights instruments in the light of experience of the operation of the Human Rights Act, the availability of existing remedies within the UK and law and practice in other EU Member States; and to report by Spring 2003".
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Bach): We refer my noble friend to the announcement my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Defence made in another place on 24 July 2000 (Official Report, cols. 77879) about our decision to implement the Core Competence model for the DERA public private partnership. Under this approach, on 1 July 2001 around three-quarters of the former DERA organisation was vested with its assets as QinetiQ, a wholly government owned company. For strategic reasons, the remainder was retained within the Ministry of Defence as the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory to carry out functions that could not appropriately be transferred to the private sector.
Since the vesting of QinetiQ as a company on 1 July 2001, work has concentrated on preparing the company for sale, options for which were through a flotation or strategic partnership. We have now completed a comprehensive review of the available
A strategic partner would work closely with QinetiQ and contribute significantly to growing the overall value of its business, from which the taxpayer would benefit through MoD's initial retention of a significant financial interest in the company. MoD will also retain a special share as a means of protecting UK defence and security interests.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Whitty): All those responsible for cleansing and disinfection in disease control centres have ensured that the necessary cleansing and disinfection procedures were documented and recorded in registered files.
The UK banned ruminant derived meat and bone meal (MBM) from cattle feed in 1988. Other member states introduced feed controls as follows: Austria (mammalian protein to ruminants in December 1990); Denmark (ruminant protein to ruminants in June
Lord Whitty: New EU-wide measures (implemented domestically under the Processed Animal Protein Regulations from 1 August 2001) already control intra-Community trade and imports from third countries of a wide range of processed animal proteins, effectively preventing their inclusion in feed for farmed animals in order to stop the propagation of BSE.
In Great Britain, a national feed sampling programme has been in place since 1996 to monitor compliance with BSE-related feed controls. This programme, operated by the State Veterinary Service, typically takes around 20,000 samples per year from feed mills, on-farm mixers and other premises handling livestock feed. The results of the programme are very encouraging and indicate wide compliance with the feed controls, confirming that prohibited ingredients (from domestic or imported sources) are being effectively removed from the market, distribution channels and farms.
One theoretical issue is that recent cases of BSE in younger animals may have been exposed to infection as a result of cross-contamination (during transhipment) of imported vegetable protein used in the production of animal feedingstuffs with meat and bone meal. We are continuing carefully to investigate such cases but there is currently no clear evidence that individual animals have been infected by this route.
Whether they will raise with their European colleagues the protection of deep water habitats in European waters, following the study by Dr Jason Hall-Spencer on Destruction of Ancient Coral Reefs.[HL2992]
Lord Whitty: We are currently taking steps to implement the site identification and protection requirements of the EU Habitats Directive beyond territorial waters where we claim sovereign rights. As part of this process, the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) has been commissioned to identify and agree relevant habitats and species in the 12 to 200 mile marine zone; to develop selection criteria and refine habitat definitions; and to collate known data on those habitats and species. The JNCC is due to report in April and we plan to host a European conference to discuss the findings of the report during the summer. Subject to the conclusions of the JNCC report, the Darwin Mounds appear to be a strong candidate for site protection under the directive as a special area of conservation (SAC).
The UK has raised with the European Commission on several occasions the issue of effective implementation of the directive beyond territorial waters. In a letter of 21 June 2001, we alerted the Commission to the existence of the Darwin Mounds and reported the possibility of damage by Community fishing vessels. Only the European Commission could propose legislation to control all member states' vessels working in this area.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Baroness Hollis of Heigham): Help is already available through disability benefits and the disability premium in income support in recognition of the extra costs, including heating, which disabled people may have. There are no plans to extend the winter fuel payment scheme to disabled people under age 60.
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