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22 Oct 2002 : Column 172Wcontinued
Mr. Morley: Expenditure on TB compensation in GB fell from #7,307,797 in 2000 to #7,074,125 in 2001. The reduction was due to the diversion of resources during the Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak away from the testing of cattle for TB. Therefore the number of animals identified as TB reactors and slaughtered as a consequence, fell from 6,954 in 2000 to 5,903 in 2001.
Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what reasons underlie the change in expenditure on the bovine TB programme, excluding compensation, in Wales from 19992000 to 200001. 
Mr. Morley: Pursuant to the answer given to the hon. Member on 10 July, Official Report, column 948W, expenditure on the State Veterinary Service Bovine TB programme in Wales fell from #1,472,469 in 19992000 to #1,240,032 in 200001.
SVS expenditure figures include the cost of dealing with reactor herds when new incidents of Bovine TB are identified. The reduction of expenditure between 19992000 and 200001 can be explained by a lower number of TB incidents in Wales in 2000.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether it is her policy to ensure that all documents referred to in parliamentary answers are available via her Department's website; and for how long she retains on her Department's website documents referred to in parliamentary answers. 
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Mr. Morley: The Department aims to be as helpful as possible in responding to hon. Members' Questions. Where it is helpful to refer hon. Members to other documents as part of the substantive reply, this may be done by making hard copies of documents available in the Libraries of the House, or by reference to material available on the Department's website.
Minimum requirements for the type of documents which should be published on Government websites are set out in guidance issued by the Office of the E-envoy, ''Guidelines for UK Government Websites'' (Illustrated Handbook for web management teams section 2.2 ''What content should be on your website?'' and section 2.3 ''Cross-government requirements''). In addition to setting out guidelines on documents for inclusion, the guidance also explicitly requires Departments to ensure that the content of the site as a whole is up to date and current, and where it is necessary to update the content of individual documents, to show the latest date of amendment clearly on the document concerned. Section 1.2.7 deals with the issue of Records management and the OeE currently has a consultation paper out on Archiving websites. The purpose of this draft annex to the Illustrated handbook is to provide government website managers with a framework towards developing within their website management policy suitable procedures and systems to assist in the management, appraisal and preservation of electronic records. A copy of this draft is available online at http://www.e-envoy.gov.uk/webguidelines.htm. A copy of the Guidelines for UK Government websites is available at http://www.e-envoy.gov.uk/webguidelines.htm.
The Department's website carries all the categories of document identified by the Guidelines for UK Government websites, and displays the latest date of amendment clearly on each document. All documents are maintained on the website unless they become out of date or are superseded. We are taking account of the draft annex to the Illustrated handbook in developing our procedures and systems for maintenance of website material.
Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what plans she has to offer support to establish new facilities for the composting of cooked food waste; 
There are no plans to offer financial support to establish new facilities for the composting of cooked food waste. However, the 2000 spending review provided substantial additional resources to help deliver the statutory performance standards on recycling and composting.
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Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will undertake not to make a decision on the future of enriched egg laying cages until after the results of her Department's funded research have been published. 
Mr. Morley: The public consultation exercise, which has now started, on the future of enriched cages, will form part of our evidence gathering process about the welfare benefits of these cages. We will also consider all available scientific evidence. The industry needs to make long term investment decisions.
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will publish the scientific research which informed her decision to hold a full public consultation into the future of the enriched egg laying cage. 
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the answer of 1 July 2002, Official Report, column 70W, when members of the Scottish Executive have attended meetings of the EU management committees of the common organisations of agricultural markets for cereals; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: Further to my answer of 1 July 2002, I can confirm that, since the creation of DEFRA, members of the Scottish Executive have attended meetings of the EU Management Committee of the common organisation of the market for cereals on ten occasions.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the answer of 3 July 2002, Official Report, column 368W, when members of the Scottish Executive have attended meetings of the EU Management Committee of the common organisations of agricultural markets for natural fibres; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: Officials from the Scottish Executive have not attended the meetings of the Management Committee for Natural Fibres held over the last 12 months. The UK has been represented by officials from the Department. The devolved administrations are fully consulted and can attend as necessary.
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the role small free range poultry units can play in reviving the agricultural sector; and if she will make a statement. 
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Mr. Morley [holding answer 24 July 2002]: DEFRA recognises the importance of free range egg systems in terms of consumer choice, but we have made no specific assessment of the role of small free range poultry units in reviving the agriculture sector as a whole. Individual producers will need to make decisions based on their own individual circumstances.
Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what further action the Government will undertake to eliminate subsidies to the fishing industry to reduce capacity as agreed at the World Summit on Sustainable Development and by which year this pledge will need to be met to help achieve the 2015 millennium development goals. 
Mr. Morley: The UK does not provide subsidies to the fishing industry for the construction of vessels or for their modernisation in ways which could increase fishing capacity. We support Commission proposals to end such subsidies as part of CFP reform.
Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what evidence she has that the hedgehog population has declined disproportionately in certain regions of England. 
Mr. Morley: The Government's scientific advisers, English Nature, consider that the hedgehog is under no conservation threat. The UK's total pre-breeding population stands at about 1,555,000; 1,100,000 in England, 310,000 in Scotland and 145,000 in Wales. English Nature is aware of a study into numbers of hedgehogs killed on roads by cars but advises that, as the study is not yet completed, it is too early to draw conclusions at this stage.
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Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what evidence she has collated on a correlation between the growth of the badger population and a fall in hedgehog population in certain regions. 
Mr. Morley: At present there is no comprehensive, standardised national monitoring of British mammals that embraces the full range of important species. Whilst a range of organisations undertake monitoring, not all mammals are included, surveys are often sporadic and the results distributed to only a limited extent.
DEFRA therefore let a GB wide research contract entitled ''Design and pilot a multi-species terrestrial mammal monitoring project'' in June 2001, to the British Trust for Ornithology and the Mammal Society. The overall aim will be to design and pilot, using a volunteer network, a winter monitoring project involving both visual recording of mammals and the recording of their signs. This is intended to form a building block for an integrated mammal-monitoring system.
The work will include an analysis of the results, including aspects such as accuracy, repeatability and the utility of the results, for monitoring mammal abundance and distribution and for the potential to assess long-term trends. The pilot scheme concludes in November 2003.
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