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Baroness Byford asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Sainsbury of Turville: The Government do not intend to promulgate a particular system of broadband delivery. Our approach is to leave decisions on broadband delivery to those best placed to make them, taking account of all the relevant considerations.

Entry Level Agri-environment Scheme

Baroness Byford asked Her Majesty's Government:

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Whitty): Regulation 4(3) means that any agreement that the Secretary of State enters into with an applicant can last for a maximum of five years.

There are 274 participants in the entry level agri-environment scheme in four pilot areas who have entered five year agreements from 1 August 2003 to 31 July 2008. We are not planning to invite any further applications into the pilot scheme. If the evaluation of the pilot scheme shows that it was successful, the Government hope to roll out a national entry level scheme across the country from 2005. Under the new scheme commitments will run for five years from the start of the agreement.

Bovine Tuberculosis

Baroness Byford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What were the costs of outbreaks of bovine tuberculosis in the years 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 and up to July 2003; and [HL4730]

    What was the cost of administering the slaughter policy for cattle with bovine tuberculosis in the years 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 and up to July 2003.[HL4732]

Lord Whitty: The following table shows government expenditure on administering policy and controls on bovine TB in Great Britain for the financial years 1998–99 to 2002–03. Costs to date for 2003–04 are not yet available.

Great Britain TB Expenditure (£,000)

TB Testing in Cattle7,2478,3298,6753,57112,398
Laboratory support1,9262,3673,4673,6744,101
SVS staff (inc HQ)6,6915,332(1)5,5291,88312,954

(1) This figure has been revised.

Hare Coursing

Baroness Byford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many prosecutions of illegal hare coursing took place in each of the years 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002; and what was the maximum fine imposed.[HL4877]

Lord Whitty: Prosecutions for illegal hare coursing cannot be separately identified on the Home Office court proceedings database, so information is largely anecdotal. For instance, in a recent case, brought primarily under Section 30 of the Game Act, an individual was fined £600 and required to forfeit his vehicle.

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Baroness Byford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many illegal hare coursing events were notified to the police in each of the years 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002.[HL4878]

Lord Whitty: The figures for the number of notifications for trespass for the purposes of illegal hare coursing reported to the police for the years 1998–2002 are not available because trespass for this purpose is not separately identified. We understand from the police that incidents are reported on a daily basis to them, and we believe that the number of incidents reported may be much smaller than the number of illegal events taking place. Ministers have received many complaints about threats, intimidation and violence associated with illegal hare coursing and a number of police forces have developed strategies to curb the impact of this activity on local communities. The Hunting Bill contains powers to enable the police to intervene effectively in future.


Baroness Byford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they have instigated research into the effect of badger behaviour on crop damage and wildlife, and in particular on threatened species such as ground nesting birds.[HL4880]

Lord Whitty: The Central Science Laboratory is currently carrying out Defra-funded research into the impact of badgers on ground nesting birds. The work involves a review of current knowledge in this area and intensive field investigations to determine levels of predation of ground nesting birds by badgers. The project will report its findings in March 2005.

The impact of badgers on agricultural crops and the use of electric fencing to reduce damage problems has been investigated by the Central Science Laboratory and officials of the former Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. The findings of this research are published in scientific journals, while advice on badger-proof fencing is available on the Defra website (

Research examining the effects of badgers on agriculture and viniculture has also been carried out at Sussex University by Professor Roper. List of relevant publications: Defra and Defra agency publications, report and guidance:

    (1) Moore, N. Whiterow, A, Kelly, P, Garthwaite, D, Bishop, J, Langton, S and Cheeseman, C (1999) Survey of badger Meles meles damage to agriculture in England and Wales. Journal of Applied Ecology, 36, 974-988.

    (2) Poole, D McKillop, GI, Wester, G, Hancocks, P, Packer, J and Coombs, C (1999) Effectiveness of an electric fence to reduce badger damage to field crops. Report to Rural Division. MAFF, London, UK

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    (3) Wilson, CJ (1993) Badger damage to growing oats and an assessment of electric fences as a means of its reduction. Journal of Zoology, 231 688-675 (4) Using electric fencing to prevent agricultural damage (Defra leaflet code WM15) (5) Electric fencing reference manual (Defra R&D Surveillance Report 607) Other relevant publications:

    (6) Roper, TJ, Findlay, SR, Lueps, P and Shepherdson, DJ ((1995) Damage by badgers Meles meles to wheat Triticum vulgare and barley Hordeum sativum crops. Journal of Applied Ecology, 32, 720-726. (7) Roper, TJ, Lueps, P and Lycett, S (1989) Badgers as pests in English vineyards. Mammals as Pests (e. RJ Putman) pp. 207-208. Chapman and Hall, London UK.

Foot and Mouth: Unresolved Claims

Baroness Byford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Following the foot and mouth outbreak, how many claims are still unsettled; and what are the total moneys outstanding.[HL4881]

Lord Whitty: There have been over 2,000 claims made against Defra by farmers, businesses and other members of the public saying they were affected in some way by the outbreaks. Defra has so far responded with a decision in all but 43 cases. The decision is disputed in a further 16 cases. It is not possible to estimate the quantum involved in the remaining cases because not all the claimants have particularised their claims and in any case Defra is defending them.

Sheep: Genotyping

Baroness Masham of Ilton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether there will be a national scheme for genotyping female sheep in 2003.[HL4984]

Lord Whitty: A ewe genotyping service operated under the National Scrapie Plan for Great Britain between December 2002 and 31 March 2003. We are currently considering the costs and benefits of operating a successor scheme late this year.

Household Energy Efficiency

Baroness Maddock asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the statement on their sustainable energy policy network website that lists as "Commitment EE6" "improvements in household energy efficiency of 5 megatonnes of carbon by 2010 and a further 4-6 megatonnes of carbon by 2020" is accurate.[HL4987]

Lord Whitty: Yes.

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The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What services SchlumbergerSema provides for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.[HL4914]

Lord Whitty: The department has a framework arrangement, which is also used by the Rural Payments Agency, with SchlumbergerSema for the provision of consultancy services which may include an element of systems integration where appropriate.

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the fees paid to SchlumbergerSema by government departments and agencies are shown in any public accounts; and, if so, where they are recorded.[HL4965]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Lord McIntosh of Haringey): Government departments and agencies produce their accounts under the principles set out in the resource accounting manual, which is based on UK generally accepted accounting practice. They are not required to show amounts paid to individual suppliers in resource accounts, nor are the amounts recorded in any other public account.

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