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Mr. Meacher: County councils are not specifically required to include incineration in their waste plans. The Government are committed to maximising waste reduction, recycling and composting and minimising the need for incineration and landfill.
However Government policy, as set out in Planning Policy Guidance Note 10 (PPG10), states that waste planning authorities should not seek to prohibit the development of particular types of waste facility unless they are confident that adequate alternative facilities will be available in their area.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate she has made of the loss in revenue to the farming industry in England as a result of foot and mouth since the start of the outbreak. 
Mr. Morley: The Department is very much aware that the outbreak is having a considerable impact on farming and a range of industries throughout the UK. However, it is not possible at this stage to make a reliable estimate of the overall loss of revenue caused by the outbreak. DEFRA is working with a number of other Government Departments to prepare such an estimate and the results of this work will be made publicly available. We are also developing proposals for a survey to collect information from farmers on the direct and indirect impact of foot and mouth disease.
Mr. Morley: There are no plans for the Secretary of State to visit Throckmorton. DEFRA officials have worked closely with residents, who are represented on a Local Liaison Group made, together with one representative from the three adjoining Parish Councils.
16 Oct 2001 : Column: 1215W
The last disposal of carcases at this site was on 20 May; adjoining land is being used for storage of surplus materials and equipment. Steps have been taken to reduce noise and wherever possible the number of vehicles delivering surplus materials on site has been limited to five or six per day. Sunday working ceased on 16 September.
Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the United Kingdom's balance of trade was in (a) livestock, (b) meat products and (c) all foodstuffs for the years since 1997; and what estimate she has made of how this will change as a result of foot and mouth export controls. 
|Cattle, sheep, pigs and goats||49||35||29||23|
|Cattle, sheep, pigs and goats||25||16||17||24|
|Trade type/Meat and meat products||1997||1998||1999||2000|
|Red meat products||45||47||34||38|
|Poultry and other meat||205||176||164||142|
|Poultry and other meat products||82||59||62||61|
|Red meat products||352||339||337||382|
|Poultry and other meat||445||521||545||539|
|Poultry and other meat products||162||170||200||227|
|Items currently under FMD export restrictions||675||566||492||477|
(34) Including livestock
HM Customs and Excise
16 Oct 2001 : Column: 1216W
David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when her Department first received an offer from hunt staff to assist in the foot and mouth slaughter process; and when the first hunt slaughterman was engaged. 
Mr. Morley: The Masters of Foxhounds Association contacted Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food veterinary officials in the first week of the outbreak. Their offer of help was passed to local disease control centres in order that hunt staff could be called upon if needed. Local hunt staff also directly contacted the disease control centres. The first hunt slaughtermen who were properly licensed were engaged at the end of March. Finding qualified slaughtermen was not generally a problem.
David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many reports her Department has received of (a) crows, (b) foxes and (c) other wildlife eating in the open carcases slaughtered because of foot and mouth. 
Mr. Morley: On some occasions there has been evidence that predation of slaughtered carcases may have occurred. Instructions require carcases awaiting disposal to be, as far as is practicable, put beyond the reach of predators. Carcases are also sprayed with disinfectant which may act as a deterrent to scavengers. However, such animals can and do breach measures put in place to prevent such scavenging.
Following confirmation of disease and slaughter an epidemiological inquiry is undertaken. One aspect of this is to consider possible routes of spread from the premises. Although it is a theoretical possibility that scavenging animals could spread infected carcase material to neighbouring stock, it is considered a much less likely source of infection when compared with other more direct routes of transfer and the overall risk is considered low. The rapid slaughter of affected stock remains the single most important factor in stopping production of virus.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps her Department is taking to ensure that restrictions imposed on rural areas are lifted on a consistent basis. 
Mr. Morley: The removal of movement restrictions on animals around infected premises is governed by EU rules. Other movement restrictions are applied on the basis of the disease status of a county or unitary authority or metropolitan district areas. Counties are reclassified when results of serological testing demonstrate disease freedom.
This Department will continue to ensure that restrictions are applied and lifted on a consistent and proportionate basis. Significant progress is being made on the lifting of the restrictions on farming and other rural activities. Nine out of 10 footpaths are now re-opened. Cleansing and disinfection of farms continues and we are blood-testing animals throughout the country.
16 Oct 2001 : Column: 1217W
Mr. Morley: The farms around the Hallburn site were subject to protection zone restrictions due to their proximity to foot and mouth disease infected premises. However, these restrictions were lifted on 23 August 2001. Infected premises in the area remain under separate restriction while the final cleansing and disinfection process is taking place. Farms around the Hallburn site are still subject to the national restrictions on the movement of livestock.
Mr. Morley [holding answer 15 October 2001]: The UK Government have not applied for any EU aid for the cereals sector. An amount of optional agrimonetary compensation for the arable sector became available on 1 July 2001. We have until 31 October to inform the European Commission if we wish to make these payments.
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