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31. Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reasons the latest figures available indicate an increase in the numbers of animals involved in scientific procedures at Porton Down. 
Dr. Moonie: The number of animal procedures (as defined by the Animals Scientific Procedures Act (1986)) conducted at Dstl Porton Down in 2001 was 12,955. This is an increase of 8 per cent. over the previous year and 12 per cent. over the last five years. The majority (92 per cent.) of the 2001 procedures were conducted on mice.
The main reason for the growth in numbers is the increased amount of research being undertaken to develop vaccines and other medical countermeasures against materials that may be used as biological weapons, either in warfare or by terrorists. Vaccines developed under these research programmes will also be useful for travellers and for those living in parts of the world where certain diseases are endemic.
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what contribution has been made by the War Pensions Agency to the discussions towards the establishment of an epidemiological study into volunteers who took part in experiments at the Chemical Defence Establishment, Porton Down. 
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 17 December 2001, Official Report, columns 7273W, regarding Porton Down, if he will place the papers documenting the results of the searches in the Library; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Moonie: Papers documenting the results of archival searches will be incorporated into the Historical Survey of the Service Volunteer programme at Porton Down. The survey is expected to report in the summer, and the findings will be published.
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library copies of the minutes, agenda and papers of the meeting between his Department's staff and representatives of the Medical Research Council staff on 5 March 2001 regarding the epidemiological study for Porton Down volunteers. 
Dr. Moonie: No such documents were produced following the meeting on 5 March 2001. This was an informal meeting, the purpose of which was to allow representatives of the Medical Research Council to visit Porton Down, meet members of staff, and view original reference material.
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Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what dates officials from his Department and the Chemical Defence Establishment, Porton Down have held meetings with representatives of the Medical Research Council since 3 August 2001 regarding advice on the epidemiological study for Porton Down volunteers. 
Dr. Moonie: Since 3 August 2001, the Medical Research Council (MRC) have met representatives of the Ministry of Defence on the following occasions to discuss epidemiological research into Porton Down volunteers: 9 October 2001, an MRC seminar; 16 January 2002, a meeting of the MRC's Physiological Medicine and Infections Board (PMIB); and 5 February 2002, a meeting of the MRC Liaison Group. Representatives from the MOD attended all of these meetings; Chemical Defence Establishment (now known as Defence Science and Technology Laboratory) Porton Down were only represented at the MRC seminar.
Dr. Moonie: Ministry of Defence Police staffing levels at AWE Aldermaston, and at other MOD establishments, are kept under regular review. A complementing review of MOD police staffing levels at AWE Aldermaston was conducted at the end of 2001. The conclusions of the review, which took account of the events of 11 September, will shortly be circulated for consideration by interested parties within MOD. No decisions have yet been taken and there will be full consultation with the Defence Police Federation before any changes are implemented.
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Mr. Ingram: The Service Families Taskforce was set up by the Government in 1999 to deal with service family issues that were outside the control of the Ministry of Defence. It is headed by a ministerial group which last met on 15 November last year. I also meet with representatives of service families twice a year to discuss areas of concern.
(d) Discussions with the Department for Education and Skills, and with local education authorities, to see what measures can be taken to improve the schools admissions process for the children of service families.
36. David Cairns: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the strategic employment implications are of the revised procurement strategy for Type 45 destroyers; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Moonie: The revised procurement strategy for the Type 45 destroyer, which was announced by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence on 10 July 2001, shares work on the first batch of ships between BAE Systems Marine and Vosper Thornycroft. On 18 February 2002, my noble Friend the Minister for Defence Procurement announced that a contractual commitment had been made for a further three Type 45 platforms, bringing the total number of ships on contract to six. BAE Systems Marine has confirmed that, once the construction programme is fully up and running, work on
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Type 45 vessels will sustain a steady level of some 1,250 jobs on the Clyde and about a further 900 jobs at Barrow-in-Furness well into this decade. Vosper Thornycroft estimate that the planned Type 45 work should sustain a steady level of some 800 jobs on the south coast over a similar period.
Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence has all extensive record of activity in the field of conflict prevention in the former Yugoslavia. In addition to our contribution to peacekeeping forces operating in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo and Macedonia, my Department runs a number of programmes in the region which are designed to dispel hostility, build and maintain trust, and assist in the development of democratically accountable armed forces, thereby making a significant contribution to conflict prevention. These include leadership and staff training for military officers; seminars, exchanges and visits directly concerned with security sector reform; and general underpinning outreach activities such as English language training for military personnel.
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