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Lord Whitty: The reformed sheepmeat regime agreed by the EU Council of Ministers in December sets the rate of the sheep annual premium at 21 euros per eligible animal (around £13), with a supplement of 7 euros (around £4.30) payable in less favoured areas. In addition, the new regime introduces a sheep national envelope which can be used to provide extra support to sheep producers and to encourage environmentally sustainable farming practices. Member states may increase the size of their national envelope by reducing sheep annual premium payments by up to 1 euro per eligible animal. Using these provisions, the Government could increase or reduce the basic rate of the sheep annual premium by up to 1 euro (approximately 62p). We are currently considering options for implementing the sheep national envelope in England and whether to make any adjustments to the sheep annual premium. Rebo
Lord Whitty: Defra's work affects the lives of everyone and the activities and policies of many other departments, businesses and community groups. It is important that the department establishes and maintains high quality dialogue and communications with all those with whom we deal. Working for the Essentials of Life attempts to describe in accessible language and using professional presentation and design our work and how it affects others. The costs of printing and distributing 15,000 copies equates to approximately £2.96 per copy, a cost which is justified if we communicate more effectively and clearly with people.
What is the scientific evidence for the imposition of a ban on the importation of embryos and live cattle from North America. [HL3913]
The European Parliament and European Council introduced legislation in May last year laying down rules for the prevention, control and eradication of certain transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). The legislation was introduced in response to the recommendations of the Office International des Epizooties (OIEthe international animal health organisation) and advice from the Commission's scientific comittees. The legislation (and the transitional measures which came into effect in October last year) includes requirement that imports into the EU of bovine embryos and live cattle must be accompanied by certification confirming that the feeding of ruminants with protein derived from mammals has been banned and that the ban has been effectively enforced. Some exporting countries, such as Canada and the USA, are currently unable to meet these new requirements. jenny
Lord Whitty: The UK Climate Change Programme outlines the Government's approach on adaptation to climate change. An important component of this is the ability to assess possible impacts and adaptation options. To address this, the department has provided a further three years of funding for the UK Climate Impacts Programme to help the public and private sector carry out studies to assess what climate change may mean for them and how to prepare for it.
To help such assessments, new climate change scenarios for the UK will be published on 26 April 2002. These contain important information on how the UK's climate may change in future as a result of greenhouse gas emissions. Copies of the scenario reports will be placed in the Libraries of the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
The European Commission's Food and Veterinary Office carried out a follow-up inspection mission to France in October 2000 to ascertain whether improvements had been made following a previous inspection mission in 1999 concerning the production of poultry meat. The report of the 2000 inspection mission concluded that there had been no significant improvements. It is the responsibility of the European Commission to ensure that member states fulfil their obligations under EU rules. Only poultry meat which has been produced in accordance with EU hygiene rules may be health marked and placed on the market within the European Union. jenny
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: In 1997 the United Kingdom Haemophilia Doctors Organisation (UKHCDO) produced guidelines recommending that recombinant clotting factors should be the treatment of choice for patients with inherited bleeding disorders. The Department of Health and UKHCDO consult on a regular basis.
Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: Government have not pursued the recommendation but the matter is still open. Following publication of the report, government appointed a Minister for Victims. Des Browne, who took over from Adam Ingram in July 2001 and who meets regularly with victims and victims' groups to hear their stories and the issues that concern them. He is keeping the strategy for responding to victims' needs under regular review.
The role envisaged by Sir Kenneth Bloomfield was primarily that of watchdog over the services and advice available to victims. The Northern Ireland Executive is taking much of this work forward and its cross-departmental Strategy for Victims was launched on 11 April 2002.
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