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Lord Donoughue: We recognise the widespread public concern in the UK about the Faroese drive hunts for pilot whales and some species of dolphin. We have made the UK position clear to the Faroese authorities and we shall continue to press them to improve the humaneness of these hunts. This issue was addressed at the Workshop on Whale Killing Methods which preceded this year's International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting in Grenada. Pilot whales, however, are not covered by the IWC moratorium and it is for the Faroese to decide whether to continue with these hunts.
Lord Donoughue: The Overarching Summary of this research is to be placed on the Internet in due course. In the meantime, copies of the Overarching Summary are available, free of charge, from the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD--telephone 01932 338313) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE--telephone 0171 717 6267). Full copies of the report are available from the Institute of Occupational Medicine (telephone--0131 667 5131) at a cost of £132. Copies have also been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
Lord Donoughue: The procedures governing the slaughter of animals for halal meat are a matter for the Muslim authorities. In addition, Schedule 12 to the Welfare of Animals (Slaughter or Killing) Regulations 1995, as amended, sets down specific safeguards when the halal method is used and animals are not stunned before slaughter. These safeguards deal with the restraint and handling of animals, the condition of the knife and the blood vessels that must be severed. Slaughter by the halal method must be carried out by a licensed slaughterman, in a slaughterhouse.
Lord Donoughue: Since the European Commission has not presented a proposal to abolish the European Union school milk subsidy scheme, nor therefore has the Council agreed to such a proposal, it would be premature to consider ring fencing existing funds.
The Council received a report from Commissioner Fischler on the Commission's plans to reform Community feedingstuffs legislation following the dioxin contamination in Belgium. My right honourable friend the Minister welcomed this report and indicated my preparedness to support measures that were effective, proportionate and enforceable in dealing with potential health problems.
A Decision to update the rules on the processing of animal waste to protect against transmissible spongiform encephalopathies was agreed by qualified majority. An extension of certain deadlines under the Zoonoses Directive was agreed by qualified majority.
The Council held a preliminary discussion on a proposal to promote and provide information on EU agricultural products in third countries. The Council agreed to decide on the proposal once further technical work had been completed.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): It would not have been proper to inform the Chilean Embassy. The approach from the Metropolitan Police about Senator Pinochet was confidential.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The Russian deployment into Kosovo is still in progress. However, the indications are that it is proceeding smoothly, in accordance with the agreement reached at Helsinki on 18 June and the technical arrangements agreed in Moscow on 5 July. Russian companies are already located in the US and German sectors as well as at Pristina airport. We understand that the Commander of KFOR, who is responsible for determining the precise pattern of deployment, is broadly content with progress so far.
Russia has also resumed consultation and co-operation with NATO through the Permanent Joint Council, which met on 23 July for the first time since the NATO air campaign. This agreement was warmly welcomed by the Foreign Secretary and Mr. Ivanov, the Russian Foreign Minister, in their meetings last week.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: Overall responsibility for the Overseas Territories, including Gibraltar, lies with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Responsibility for Her Majesty's Government's policy on financial services issues, however, lies with HM Treasury. Both departments therefore work closely together on issues concerning financial services in Gibraltar. The Gibraltar Financial Services Commission is responsible for the prudential supervision of the financial services sector in Gibraltar.
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