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9 May 2001 : Column: 227W
meat and dairy ingredients which conform to the requirements laid down by Decision 2001/172/EC to EU applicant countries. 
Ms Quin [holding answer 8 May 2001]: I wrote on 27 April to the Ambassadors of all those EU applicant countries which have imposed import restrictions on UK products going beyond the requirements laid down in Commission Decision 2001/172/EC, urging their governments to reconsider their positions.
Ms Quin: The CAP is failing to deliver what farmers, the rural economy and the environment need. The Government are committed to securing a more economically rational CAP to enable the industry to respond flexibly to consumer wishes without being constrained by the market-distorting nature of the current CAP, and to securing a CAP which is compatible with the protection and enhancement of the natural environment.
Responsibility for presenting proposals to reform the CAP rests with the European Commission. We expect a package of reforming measures to issue next year for a number of key CAP commodity regimes. We will continue to work closely with the Commission and other member states to drive forward the reform agenda.
Ms Quin: The Farm Business Advice Service provides up to three days of free one-to-one business advice to farmers and growers in England. The service provides a business health check leading to the preparation of an Action Plan that will help farmers develop better business practices and signpost them to organisations that can provide further support and advice. £4.1 million was spent on delivery of the Farm Business Advice Service in 2000-01 and the service has a budget of £5.25 million for 2001-02.
An enhanced form of the service is being introduced for those farmers whose livestock have been compulsorily slaughtered under the foot and mouth control measures. They are in particular need of help to plan ahead and will be offered up to five days' free advice. Under the enhanced service advisers will help individual farmers develop an effective recovery or exit strategy, draw up a business plan for the farm, explore and develop new income opportunities and access the range of other support measures available. The farm business advisers will draw on guidance the Ministry will provide for farmers who are considering restocking. The additional cost of the enhanced service will be £10.4 million, £4.4 million of which will be funded by carrying forward unspent provision from 2000-01.
9 May 2001 : Column: 228W
Mr. Yeo: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in which countries type O foot and mouth virus is (a) endemic and (b) responsible for outbreaks in the last year; and in respect of each country, what restrictions on livestock product exports to Britain were implemented, and when. 
Mr. Nick Brown: The Pan Asian type O virus strain of foot and mouth disease is endemic in most of Asia and the middle east. In the past year there have been outbreaks of this type in Japan, South Korea, China, Eastern Russia and throughout the middle east and South East Asia. There have been outbreaks due to other type O virus strains in South Africa and South America, in particular Brazil and Uruguay.
The UK, in accordance with Community legislation, does not allow the importation of meat and meat products from any of the countries affected by the Pan Asian O type virus. The single exception concerns animal casings from Japan, China and Mongolia, which must be treated in accordance with the animal health controls in EU legislation. Imports of meat are allowed from Brazil but only from regions that are free of FMD. Veterinary certification attesting to that must accompany each consignment. Following notification from the European Commission of outbreaks of foot and mouth disease in South Africa and Uruguay, the Government took action to prohibit imports. In respect of South Africa, England and Wales prohibited imports of fresh meat with effect from 5 January, Scotland on 8 January and Northern Ireland on 17 January. In respect of Uruguay, England and Wales prohibited imports of fresh meat with effect from 26 April with Northern Ireland and Scotland taking similar action with effect from 1 May.
Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement about the consignment of sheep that was exported to France on 31 January and which tested positive for foot and mouth disease. 
Mr. Nick Brown: A consignment of 402 sheep was certified for export to France on 31 January from premises in Wales. In early March the French authorities blood tested 31 of the animals for foot and mouth disease before slaughtering them and seven samples gave positive results. The French authorities have now confirmed that the samples that initially showed positive results have been subject to further testing with negative results. They have concluded that the earlier test results were false positives.
This explanation from the French authorities supports our view that, contrary to media reports, foot and mouth disease did not go undetected in sheep in Great Britain for up to two months prior to the disease being confirmed.
Mr. Grieve: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made as to the best materials to be employed in the construction of pyres for the incineration of dead livestock, to minimise the production of dioxins and furans, and in particular TCDDs and TCDFs, from such pyres; and if he will make a statement. 
9 May 2001 : Column: 229W
Guidance has been issued by the Department of Health entitled "FMD: Measures to minimise risk to public health from slaughter and disposal of animals--further guidance" to provide practical advice to those at the local level on the best way, from a public health perspective, to dispose of animal carcases (available on www.doh.gov.uk/ fmdguidance). This includes guidance on the construction and siting of pyres which takes account of the possible risks to health from the emissions of air pollutants from the pyres. The Department of Health has also published a risk assessment "Foot and Mouth--Effects on health of Emissions from Pyres Used for Disposal of Animals" (available on www.doh.gov.uk). The risk assessment provides estimates of the release of dioxins and other air pollutants from pyres and predicted concentrations in air. Detailed advice on the materials to be used for the construction of pyres is set out in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food "Air Code". This also includes advice on the materials which should not be used as fuels in such pyres, so as to minimise the production of air pollutants such as dark smoke, dioxins and furans.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment has been made of the risks associated with imports of live horses from countries with foot and mouth disease. 
Ms Quin: Horses are not susceptible to foot and mouth disease. Nor are they capable of incubating or transmitting the disease except by mechanical means, for example via their hooves, tack, clothing or equipment. The Office International des Epizooties (OIE--the international animal health organisation) provides recommendations for precautions that should be taken by countries importing live animals from areas where foot and mouth disease is present although these recommendations do not include requirements for horses.
Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment has been made of the risk of the spread of the foot and mouth virus in smoke from pyres used to incinerate infected carcases; and what research has been carried out on the minimum temperature needed to kill the virus during incineration. 
Ms Quin: The Institute of Animal Health at Pirbright has recently produced a report, in collaboration with MAFF and the Meteorological Office, on the spread of the foot and mouth disease virus from the burning of animal carcases on open pyres. This report is to be published in the Veterinary Record shortly.
Six pyres, located in Devon, Exeter and Worcestershire, were monitored. Additional pyres are currently being investigated in Cumbria and Devon. The report concludes that early results indicate that breakdowns due to virus dispersion from pyres are unlikely to occur in general and the pyres analysed to date have shown no evidence that breakdowns due to this cause have occurred.
The Institute of Animal Health has informed the Ministry that the virus is inactivated at temperatures above 50 degrees centigrade. There may be a small thermo-resistant element of the virus which is also destroyed at 70 degrees, but expert opinion is that this is likely to be insignificant in the possible spread of infection from pyres.
9 May 2001 : Column: 230W
Ms Quin [holding answers 30 March 2001]: Foot and mouth disease was confirmed in France in British sheep consigned from premises in the Hereford and Worcester area. Between 1 February and 20 February 2001, 45,808 sheep were certified for export from Great Britain to other member states. Figures for exports from Northern Ireland are not available. The destination member states and the number of consignments exported were as follows:
Mr. Webb: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what plans he has to compensate farmers who are affected by culling on farms contiguous to those with confirmed outbreaks of foot and mouth disease for the value of unused feed and other items on the farm which are rendered valueless by the cull. 
Ms Quin: Feedingstuffs on infected premises and on premises contiguous to infected premises will be destroyed if they are considered to be contaminated and cannot be disinfected. Compensation is payable for the market value of animals slaughtered and, in line with the Animal Health Act 1981, for any feedingstuffs or any other materials destroyed or seized as being contaminated. Farmers will not receive compensation for items which will go unused as a result of foot and mouth disease which are not seized by the Ministry.
Mr. Harvey: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how the compensation for milk wasted as a result of foot and mouth disease is calculated; what representations he has received regarding compensation levels for milk; what considerations informed the decision to set the level of compensation at a rate below market price; what plans he has to revise the structure of compensation; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Quin [holding answer 3 April 2001]: The Animal Health Act 1981 grants the Ministry powers to seize and dispose of anything necessary for preventing the spread of foot and mouth disease. Milk from infected premises and premises considered to be at risk of or exposed to infection is therefore seized, disinfected and disposed of.
Compensation is paid for anything seized for the purpose of preventing foot and mouth disease. Section 36 of the Act says that compensation for anything seized shall be its value at the time of seizure. Compensation for
9 May 2001 : Column: 231W
milk is therefore paid at the price the owner of the dairy currently receives for supplies to milk buying companies. Farmers will not receive compensation for items which will go unused as a result of foot and mouth disease which are not seized by the Ministry.
Mr. Paice: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what contingency plans were drawn up by his Department prior to the current outbreak for the handling of an outbreak of foot and mouth disease; and at what point in the outbreak it was proposed that the Army should become involved. 
Ms Quin [holding answer 4 April 2001]: The Ministry has contingency plans to deal with notifiable exotic animal diseases, including foot and mouth disease. These are regularly updated and tested by the State Veterinary Service.
At each stage of the current outbreak we have called on the appropriate resources. As the disease grew, so did our response. We were in touch with the Ministry of Defence on 20 February, to alert them that there had been an outbreak of foot and mouth disease in Essex, and that military assistance might be required. This led to the first active deployment of troops on the ground on 16 March following a formal request by MAFF for such MOD assistance on 14 March.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what representations he has received calling for higher compensation under foot and mouth welfare measures for organically reared pigs than that already available for non-organically reared pigs. 
Ms Quin: The Ministry has received a number of representations from keepers of pedigree animals and producers of organically reared animals, regarding payments under the Livestock Welfare Disposal Scheme.
The scheme is designed to provide payments to farmers to recognise the welfare needs of animals that may arise because of foot and mouth disease related restrictions. It is not a compensation scheme. The scheme helps farmers who have no means of moving livestock by disposing of animals which cannot be kept in good welfare conditions and by providing money to help them keep any remaining animals in good condition.
Ms Quin: MAFF publishes slaughter and awaiting slaughter figures each day. These reflect the data then available. As further data become available these figures may alter. The figures in the table reflect the position as of 1 May 2001.
9 May 2001 : Column: 232W
|1 May 2001||2,382||118|
|30 April 2001||2,380||116|
|29 April 2001||2,375||113|
|28 April 2001||2,368||119|
|27 April 2001||2,359||117|
|26 April 2001||2,340||124|
|25 April 2001||2,333||116|
|24 April 2001||2,319||108|
|23 April 2001||2,297||117|
|22 April 2001||2,277||123|
|21 April 2001||2,249||137|
|20 April 2001||2,203||162|
|19 April 2001||2,158||186|
|18 April 2001||2,106||193|
|17 April 2001||2,072||180|
|16 April 2001||2,040||163|
|15 April 2001||1,985||203|
|14 April 2001||1,925||243|
|13 April 2001||1,854||288|
|12 April 2001||1,785||277|
|11 April 2001||1,709||283|
|10 April 2001||1,633||299|
|9 April 2001||1,555||288|
|8 April 2001||1,484||312|
|7 April 2001||1,420||318|
|6 April 2001||1,338||352|
|5 April 2001||1,255||365|
|4 April 2001||1,183||367|
|3 April 2001||1,103||372|
|2 April 2001||1,021||386|
|1 April 2001||947||407|
|31 March 2001||870||419|
|30 March 2001||799||394|
|29 March 2001||712||401|
|28 March 2001||662||375|
|27 March 2001||604||331|
|26 March 2001||562||318|
|25 March 2001||523||276|
|24 March 2001||488||256|
|23 March 2001||437||244|
|22 March 2001||400||223|
|21 March 2001||351||231|
|20 March 2001||313||198|
|19 March 2001||286||172|
|18 March 2001||266||152|
|17 March 2001||230||157|
|16 March 2001||219||145|
|15 March 2001||191||119|
|14 March 2001||171||113|
|13 March 2001||147||103|
|12 March 2001||133||97|
|11 March 2001||123||91|
|10 March 2001||113||84|
|9 March 2001||99||80|
|8 March 2001||85||66|
|7 March 2001||79||50|
|6 March 2001||69||48|
|5 March 2001||52||59|
|4 March 2001||48||55|
|3 March 2001||34||52|
|2 March 2001||23||43|
|1 March 2001||16||40|
|28 February 2001||10||28|
|27 February 2001||6||25|
|26 February 2001||3||14|
|25 February 2001||3||7|
|24 February 2001||1||4|
|23 February 2001||1||1|
|22 February 2001||1||1|
|21 February 2001||--||1|
|20 February 2001||--||1|
MAFF Disease Control System database at 19:00 on 1 May
9 May 2001 : Column: 233W
Mr. Burnett: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what evidence he has collated in the last two months of wildlife contracting foot and mouth disease; and how many cases there have been of wildlife being diagnosed as suffering from foot and mouth disease. 
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when the last foot and mouth infected animals were burned at Layer-de-la-Haye, Essex; when disinfection of the infected farms will be completed; and when movement restrictions on surrounding farms will be lifted. 
Ms Quin [holding answer 6 April 2001]: The infected animals at the two separate sites at Layer-de-la-Haye were burned on 11 March and 23 March respectively, in both cases the day after slaughter. The State Veterinary Service completed all of the cleansing and disinfection work on the two farms by 24 April 2001. However subsequent blood sampling in the 3 km area resulted in the discovery of two seropositives and this has delayed the lifting of the Infected Area. All stock on the new farms involved have been destroyed and sent for rendering and an additional 3 km patrol area has been established.
Mr. Webb: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will issue guidelines to his Department's staff, dealing with foot and mouth disease in the areas affected, to ensure that neighbouring residents are informed if slaughtered carcases are to be burned near their homes. 
Ms Quin [holding answer 6 April 2001]: Methods for informing residents of burning sites in the neighbourhood are decided at a local level, and will include mail shots, consultation with relevant organisations and publicity through local press.
Safeguarding public health is the Government's over- riding priority in handling the foot and mouth outbreak. The Department of Health has published detailed guidance on the disposal of carcases together with advice about the public health aspects of disposal, including burning.
All fires are being constructed following special guidance from the Government to minimise public health risks. As with any fire, however, smoke contains pollutants that will stay in the air for a short time. Local residents are therefore advised to avoid sustained exposure within the vicinity of pyres.
Mr. Simon Thomas: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will publish his Department's assessment of the discovery on 31 January by French veterinarians of foot and mouth disease in sheep exported from Wales. 
9 May 2001 : Column: 234W
Ms Quin [holding answer 9 April 2001]: The circumstances were as follows. A consignment of 402 sheep was exported to France from premises in Wales on 1 February under an export health certificate that had been issued on 31 January. In early March, the French authorities blood tested 31 of the animals before slaughtering them. The French authorities have now informed us that the seven samples that initially showed positive results have now been re-tested with negative results. They have concluded that the initial serological positive reactions must be considered as false positives.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what plans he has to make a statement on the easing of livestock movement in the Brentwood area of Essex; and what conditions must be met before such a statement can be made. 
Ms Quin: The infected area status around Brentwood was lifted on 24 April 2001. This means that the Brentwood area becomes an 'at risk area' and farmers can now apply for licences to move their livestock to other similar areas in the country under the livestock movement schemes.
Ms Quin [holding answer 9 April 2001]: Form D notices are services on individual premises when an Inspector has reasonable grounds for suspecting an animal situated on the premises has been exposed to foot and mouth disease and where the premises are in a Protection Zone. These are withdrawn as soon as this is appropriate. The Protection Zone in the Chorley constituency is currently being reviewed and will be lifted as soon as possible in line with veterinary guidance.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made of the public health effects of the burning of old railway sleepers associated with the disposal of culled animals. 
Ms Quin [holding answer 10 April 2001]: Emissions of pollutants from burning railway sleepers were considered as part of the Department of Health-led risk assessment on the health effects of air emissions from pyres. This Risk Assessment is available on the Department of Health's website. Railway sleepers form an important source of fuel for pyres. The sleepers may be treated with creosote and this will add to the range of pollutants emitted on burning. The emission of pollutants from sleepers was assessed by the Environment Agency and factored into the risk assessment. No separate assessment of the emissions from burning sleepers has been undertaken: the focus has been on the pyres as a whole.
9 May 2001 : Column: 235W
To date, although throughout the UK, rumours and suspicion of illegal movement is alleged, we have no evidence against which we can state that illegal movement has been proved to have led to any one particular case.
Mr. Nicholls: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if a flock of sheep from Abermarle Barracks, Heddon-on-the-Wall, was slaughtered and buried prior to the outbreak at Burnside Farm. 
Ms Quin: The incubation period varies according to the infecting dose, the strain of virus and the susceptibility of the infected animal, both individual and species. It can be between two and 14 days, but certain strains of FMD virus serotype O circulating in Asia, including that in the UK, can have very short incubation periods in pigs, as short as 18 hours.
Mr. Opik: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what action he has taken to ensure a consistent message is generated by all parts of the Government regarding foot and mouth disease; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Quin: The Government have at all times sought to provide the best possible information to Parliament, to farmers, to those on the ground fighting the disease, and to the public and the news media here and abroad.
In particular we have created an extensive dedicated website, set up a 24 hour a day helpline, co-operated with other Government Departments throughout the Joint Co-ordination Centre in MAFF and the News Co-ordination Centre (NCC) in the Cabinet Office. The NCC has provided two complementary websites and a general helpline. The No. 10 Downing street website has provided a multi-lingual service, and British Embassies and High Commissioners have provided information through local news media and their own local websites. Communication activity is among the topics co-ordinated by regular meetings of the Cabinet Office Briefing Room (COBRA).
The Scottish Executive, the Northern Ireland Executive, and the National Assembly for Wales have provided similar information services, co-ordinated with these arrangements. In the English regions, my Department's offices have worked with the Central Office of Information (COI) and Ministry of Defence staff to provide full local services for the news media. My offices and the COI have also arranged direct communication with farmers and others.
We have reported to Parliament 10 times since the beginning of the outbreak on 20 February and my right hon. Friend the Minister has written to farmers on three occasions, put advertisements in the specialist press and written articles for several local and national newspapers. The Prime Minister, my right hon. Friend the Minister and a number of other Ministers have made many visits to disease-affected areas to meet local people and local news media.
9 May 2001 : Column: 236W
The Office of Science and Technology provided science teams who visited the regions to explain the basis of the culling policy. The Ministry has also provided a mobile public information unit which supports local operations in explaining the details of the campaign to eradicate the disease.
Mr. Opik: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he has assessed the possibility that foot and mouth spreads as a result of the gases rising from the incineration of carcases in connection with the foot and mouth disease; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Quin: The Institute of Animal Health at Pirbright has recently produced a report, in collaboration with MAFF and the Meteorological Office, on the spread of the foot and mouth disease virus from the burning of animal carcases on open pyres. This report is to be published in the "Veterinary Record" shortly.
Six pyres, located in Devon, Exeter and Worcestershire, were monitored. Additional pyres are currently being investigated in Cumbria and Devon. The report concludes that early results indicated that breakdowns due to virus dispersion from pyres are unlikely to occur in general and the pyres analysed to date have shown no evidence that breakdowns due to this cause have occurred.
The Pirbright Institute of Animal Health has informed the Ministry that the virus is inactivated at temperatures above 50 degrees centigrade. There may be a small thermo-resistant element of the virus which is also destroyed at 70 degrees, but expert opinion is that this is likely to be insignificant in the possible spread of infection from pyres.
Mr. Nicholls: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what reports he has received about the results of the virology tests taken from livestock which were slaughtered upon suspicion by the French authorities, on the farm of M. Nozin, of Hameau le Fayed, St. Nicholas de Bliquetuit, France; when the sheep in question were in contact with foot and mouth disease, and by what means; on what date the sheep arrived in France; what evidence the Head of Veterinary International Trade for his Department has that the serological test results were due to false positive reactions; what testing procedures other than the FMD Elisa test can produce such results; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Quin [holding answer 23 April 2001]: This consignment of sheep was exported to France by ferry on 1 February 2001. The French authorities have now informed us that the seven samples that initially showed positive results have now been re-tested with negative results. They have concluded that the initial serological positive reactions must be considered as false positives.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many appeals his Department has received from farmers against the slaughter of their livestock as part of his policy to control foot and mouth disease. 
Ms Quin: As of 3 May, 17 cases are under consideration by MAFF in which farmers have engaged solicitors who have raised questions about the proposed slaughter of their stock. They all involve the contiguous cull policy before it was recently modified.
9 May 2001 : Column: 237W
The legislation does not provide for a formal legal appeals procedure against slaughter although, of course, challenge by way of judicial review is always available to anyone. To date only one judicial review has been brought but it was discontinued by the applicant. MAFF policy is that if a farmer objects to having his stock slaughtered under the contiguous slaughter policy, a veterinary reassessment is performed. This takes into consideration all the representation made by the farmer and reviews the situation on the ground. A final decision is then taken by the local Divisional Veterinary Manager.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food at what times and on what days of the week the foot and mouth helplines at each of his Department's offices are open to telephone calls from farmers and other members of the public; what plans he has to extend these hours; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Quin: The national foot and mouth disease helpline is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week to offer advice and assistance to farmers and other members of the public. The 24 Animal Health Divisional Offices (AHDOs) are open during normal office hours and the opening times have been extended according to the disease situation. Outside these hours a duty veterinary officer is available to provide emergency assistance.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what resources are available to him to test milk and blood samples for foot and mouth disease (a) in his Department, (b) in other Government Departments, (c) in places of education, (d) in the private sector and (e) elsewhere; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Quin: Milk is not routinely tested to confirm a diagnosis of foot and mouth disease (FMD). Tissue and blood samples for the diagnosis of FMD are tested in Great Britain only at the Institute for Animal Health laboratory in Pirbright. This is the world and EU community reference laboratory for FMD. The laboratory has the experience in this area, the trained personnel and uses internationally recognised, validated laboratory tests for FMD. It is licensed for this purpose by the Ministry, and operates under the very highest conditions of containment to ensure that there is no escape of infection from the laboratory premises.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made of the consistency of the application of the rules for identifying herds and flocks for contiguous culls to control foot and mouth disease; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Quin: The identification of contiguous premises and the culling operations carried out at such premises are managed locally but monitored centrally by headquarters staff of the State Veterinary Service. We are not aware of any significant inconsistencies in the application of policy in this area.
9 May 2001 : Column: 238W
permitted below 500 feet for a radius of one nautical mile around certain infected premises. These restrictions apply to those infected premises where the risk of airborne transmission is considered to be high. For example, restrictions are imposed on infected premises with a significant number of pigs, due to the high levels of virus they excrete. The restrictions will be lifted as soon as slaughter is completed. There are also restrictions that apply to mass burial and cremation sites, with flying not permitted below 1,000 feet for a radius of two nautical miles around the site.
Mr. Fabricant: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if auctioneers performing foot and mouth disease valuations are paid (a) a percentage commission of the valuation, (b) a fixed fee and (c) by other means. 
Ms Quin [holding answer 23 April 2001]: The current agreement with the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers is for a fee structure of 1 per cent. per valuation, subject to a daily minimum fee of £500 and a daily maximum fee of £1,500.
Mrs. Gilroy: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what studies he has commissioned on the lessons from the current outbreak of foot and mouth disease (a) in general and (b) relating to animal welfare; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. David Heath: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what advice has been issued to (a) the Jockey Club and (b) individual racecourses on the movement of horses into and out of foot and mouth disease restricted areas. 
Ms Quin [holding answer 23 April 2001]: Horses are not susceptible to foot and mouth disease but may be involved in spreading infection in the same way as vehicles and people, by carrying material from an infected animal. For this reason, horses on infected farms cannot move off the farm until the restrictions are lifted. Guidelines have been issued for horse-riding, and some activities are prohibited in an infected area. These include hunting and point to point meetings.
The State Veterinary Service has carried out assessments of the risks of spreading foot and mouth disease by holding horse race meetings. Instructions and guidelines for horse racing have been issued by the Jockey Club and British Horseracing Board, in conjunction with MAFF. The Jockey Club and British Horseracing Board ensure that the conditions are enforced by individual racecourse. Detailed information, including the veterinary risk assessments, is also accessible on the MAFF website http://www.maff.gov.uk/.
Current veterinary advice is that no race meeting should be held within 3km of a confirmed or suspected case of foot and mouth disease. Horses are not permitted to enter a racecourse if they are from premises situated less than 1km of a premises on which foot and mouth disease has been confirmed in the previous 30 days.
9 May 2001 : Column: 239W
Mr. David Heath: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list those establishments licensed for the training of racehorses which were situated within areas restricted under foot and mouth disease precautions on 9 April. 
Mr. Opik: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what plans there are to cull farms between Priestweston and Marton Hill in the Shropshire/ Powys area, in order to create a fire break against the spread of foot and mouth disease; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Quin [holding answer 26 April 2001]: There are no plans to carry out any culls to produce fire breaks against the spread of foot and mouth disease in the Priestweston/Marton Hill area of Shropshire. The only culls that would take place are those on Infected Premises and on farms that would be identified as being contiguous to such premises, and on premises adjudged to be Dangerous Contacts.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what instructions have been given to (a) veterinary surgeons and (b) other departmental officials about the need to classify apparent cases of foot and mouth disease as suspicious rather than confirmed; and if he will make a statement; 
Ms Quin [holding answers 26 April 2001]: On investigation for foot and mouth disease, veterinary inspectors can follow two courses of action. Being either satisfied on clinical grounds or suspicious that foot and mouth disease is present, the stock will be slaughtered and samples sent for testing. Stock on contiguous premises is also culled when disease has been confirmed on the premises under investigation. Slaughter on suspicion cases are confirmed as outbreaks if the laboratory results are positive. If a veterinary inspector is satisfied that the disease is not present, restrictions on the premises are lifted.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many farms have had animals slaughtered on suspicion of foot and mouth disease in (a) Worcestershire and (b) the United Kingdom; and how many animals have been destroyed in the course of the current outbreak. 
Ms Quin [holding answer 26 April 2001]: Since the start of the outbreak of the 2001 epidemic of foot and mouth disease the following numbers of premises have had animals slaughtered on suspicion of foot and mouth disease.
9 May 2001 : Column: 240W
|Hereford and Worcestershire||12||10,901|
(14) Does not include Northern Ireland
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made of ease of transporting (a) napalm and (b) timber and old tyres to avoid transport in connection with destruction of animal carcases. 
Ms Quin [holding answer 26 April 2001]: Napalm produces very toxic compounds when burnt, and so cannot be used because of the public and environmental health risks. We have made no assessment of the ease of transporting napalm compared with transporting timber or old tyres.
Mr. Webb: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make it his policy that railway sleepers and other materials not needed to be burned for purposes of disposing of animal carcases will be removed from burn sites on farms rather than being burned up. 
Ms Quin [holding answer 26 April 2001]: Veterinary advice is that a risk assessment should be undertaken at the site to judge the severity of contamination of any unused pyre material. Railway sleepers and other materials will be disinfected and reused where possible, otherwise they will be burnt on site. Unused straw will always be burnt.
Ms Quin: Payments to farmers depend on the mix, numbers and valuation of their livestock and may be covered by more than one claim. The average compensation payable per animal up to 4 May is £916 for cattle, £110 for sheep and £89 for pigs.
Mr. Todd: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will amend the rules allowing movements of animals to slaughter for human consumption from within infected areas to permit movements from premises under form D restrictions where there has been no recent nearby outbreak, subject to a veterinary inspection. 
Ms Quin: New rules introduced on 3 May allow the movement of healthy animals direct to slaughter from within a Protection Zone, subject to certain conditions. Such movements provide for animals to leave the Protection Zone but not the infected area.
9 May 2001 : Column: 241W
Mr. Maclean: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in respect of how many farms in Cumbria and Devon temporary veterinary inspectors have registered dissent over the operation of the contiguous cull. 
Ms Quin [holding answer 27 April 2001]: Records have not been kept in relation to individual farms. In both Cumbria and Devon when the policy was initially announced a number of temporary veterinary inspectors (TVIs) initially expressed disquiet with the presumption that cattle on contiguous farms would automatically be
9 May 2001 : Column: 242W
slaughtered. Subsequent clarification of the policy and the refinements announced on 26 April have been generally welcomed by the veterinary profession.
Mr. Maclean: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list on a weekly basis per county since the foot and mouth epidemic began the number of cases classified as slaughtered on suspicion. 
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|County||11 March||25 March||1 April||8 April||15 April||22 April||29 April||6 May||Total to date|
|Hereford and Worcester||--||--||2||3||6||1||--||--||12|
|Tyne and Wear||--||--||--||1||--||--||--||--||1|
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|County||25 March||1 April||8 April||15 April||22 April||29 April||6 May||Total to date|
|Hereford and Worcester||--||1||2||--||--||--||--||3|
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Mr. Maclean: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list for (a) England and (b) Cumbria the number of (i) cattle and (ii) sheep which have been slaughtered from farms contiguous to infected premises. 
Mr. Opik: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will discuss delays relating to the animal welfare cull of the stock belonging to Gareth Owen in Powys with the Intervention Board; and what information his Department has on the current condition of the animals. 
Ms Quin: It is not practicable or appropriate to comment on individual cases under this scheme. Given full information on the animals and holdings concerned, the Intervention Board will be happy to respond to any queries.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what discussions he has had with Ministers from other EU and European countries on the introduction of a regime for permanent use of vaccination against foot and mouth disease. 
Ms Quin [holding answer 30 April 2001]: None. There was a general discussion of foot and mouth disease at the informal meeting of EU Agriculture Ministers at Ostersund on 8-10 April, at which some member states called for a reassessment of current EU policy but none advocated permanent use of vaccination against foot and mouth disease.
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Mr. Luff: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make it his policy to apply the rate of compensation for animals slaughtered under the Livestock Welfare (Disposal) Scheme prevailing at the time of his oral statement of 26 April 2001, Official Report, columns 456-59, to all animals (a) accepted and (b) entered for the scheme prior to his statement. 
Ms Quin: The point of collection or slaughter on farm under the Livestock Welfare (Disposal) Scheme is the point at which animals are entered into the scheme. The revised rates of payment under the scheme apply to animals collected or slaughtered on farm after midnight on Sunday 29 April. This includes animals that were the subject of applications made before 26 April.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make it his policy to review each application under the Livestock Welfare (Disposal) Scheme, and, where he is satisfied that animals will be slaughtered on or after 30 April as a result of errors made or delays caused by his Department or his agencies, to pay the higher rate of compensation prevailing before that date; and if he will make a statement 
Ms Quin: We will give careful consideration to any complaints about the alleged mishandling of applications under the Livestock Welfare (Disposal) Scheme. We will consider individual cases on their merits.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what instructions have been given to those slaughtering animals during contiguous culls about the report they should make and the steps they should take when they discover clinical symptoms of foot and mouth disease in the stock they are slaughtering; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Quin [holding answer 1 May 2001]: Normal suspect disease procedures apply when clinical symptoms of foot and mouth disease are discovered in stock being slaughtered during contiguous culling. The slaughtered animals are reported as confirmed on clinical grounds. The newly confirmed premises in turn becomes the centre for a circle of contiguous culling. The same also applies if samples taken from contiguously culled animals test positive for signs of the disease.
Ms Quin [holding answer 1 May 2001]: This information is not available in the format requested. Local authorities provide quarterly returns to the Ministry on levels of enforcement activity in England but the returns
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do not necessarily separate out work in response to reports of illegal movements of stock. However, in the period February to April, MAFF has been made aware of at least 230 reported illegal movements in England. MAFF is also aware of at least 73 such reports in Wales and eight in Scotland.
Mr. Flynn: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what measures he has taken to reduce the spread of future outbreaks of foot and mouth disease that may occur after the present outbreak. 
Ms Quin [holding answer 1 May 2001]: The statement by my right hon. Friend the Minister on 26 April 2001, Official Report, columns 456-73, updated the House on a number of actions taken following an initial assessment of the origins and spread of the disease. The consultation on the proposed ban on pig swill closed on 10 April. 150 responses were received, almost all of which favoured a ban. A number of detailed issues were raised which are being considered urgently and an announcement on this is expected shortly. A large number of comments has been received on a proposed 20 day standstill period, after movements on farm, for sheep, goats and cattle. Because of the considerable interest in this issue, it has been decided to extend the consultation period for a further month from the initial deadline of 11 May. The cross- departmental examination of the controls on commercial and personal imports of meat and meat products is under way and a further announcement will be made in due course.
Mr. Curry: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made of the efficiency of equipment to test live animals in the field for the presence of foot and mouth disease infection. 
Ms Quin [holding answer 1 May 2001]: All confirmatory diagnosis of foot and mouth disease infection is carried out at the Institute for Animal Health, Pirbright. The tests used are those recommended in the OIE Manual of Standards for Diagnostic Tests and
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Vaccines, plus additional tests under development. The equipment used in these tests is regularly serviced and maintained at the standard required by the tests used.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if wild deer with foot and mouth disease are capable of infecting the farm animals with which they come into contact. [R] 
Ms Quin [holding answer 1 May 2001]: Our current veterinary risk assessment concludes that infected deer could transmit foot and mouth disease to susceptible livestock during the clinical stages of the disease. However the risk of wild deer playing any significant part in the spread of the disease is assessed as very low and feral deer are unlikely to represent a longer term risk. We therefore have no plans at this stage to control wild deer populations.
Mr. Morley [holding answer 8 May 2001]: The Department does not hold stocks of foot and mouth vaccine. However, contingency plans exist to draw sufficient doses from the International Vaccine Bank (IVB) and the EU Vaccine Bank (EUVB) to vaccinate some 750,000 cattle. This is available at short notice but, as the EUVB holds sufficient doses of appropriate vaccine for 2.5 million cattle, additional supplies are available from this source if required.
Mr. Flynn: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many of each animal species slaughtered in the foot and mouth outbreak were (a) known to be afflicted with the disease, (b) suspected of being infected, (c) inhabited contiguous areas and (d) killed for welfare reasons. 
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|Cattle||Sheep||Pigs||Goats/deer llamas etc.||Total|
|(a) Animals slaughtered on infected premises(15)||249,000||690,000||22,000||400||961,400|
|(b) Animals slaughtered on suspicion||8,000||63,000||2,000||0||73,000|
|(c) Animals slaughtered on contiguous premises||89,000||406,000||28,000||800||523,800|
|(d) Animals slaughtered for welfare reasons||36,000||440,000||177,000||700||653,700|
|Animals slaughtered as other dangerous contacts||75,000||718,000||59,000||100||852,100|
(15) On infected premises, all animals are slaughtered. They are not tested individually for infection
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Miss McIntosh: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on (a) the potential of deer to catch foot and mouth disease, (b) the potential of deer to act as carriers of the disease and (c) plans he has to control deer suspected of (a) and (b). 
Ms Quin: All cloven-hoofed animals, including deer, are susceptible to foot and mouth disease. Wild deer tend to show mild or inapparent disease, resembling the disease in sheep, although some species, (eg roe deer and muntjak deer in the UK) may be severely affected. The age of the animal greatly affects the severity of the disease.
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Deer can be carriers of the foot and mouth virus, and could transmit foot and mouth disease to susceptible livestock during the clinical stages of the disease. However, the Ministry's current veterinary risk assessment indicates that the risk of wild deer playing any significant part in the spread of foot and mouth disease is very low. There are therefore no plans at this stage to control wild deer populations, although as more information becomes available about the epidemiology of the disease in areas where there are wild deer, the risk assessment will be updated.
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Mr. Redwood: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what plans he has to table proposals for reform of the EU's methods for tackling foot and mouth, following the recent UK outbreak. 
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Ms Quin: As my right hon. Friend the Minister reported to the House in his statement of 26 April 2001, Official Report, columns 456-73, at the Government's instigation the European Union will convene a conference later in the year to all aspects of our experience of the disease, in order to help shape control policy for the future.
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