Margaret Beckett: The outbreak continues in a small number of areas in the country and the average number of confirmed outbreaks is now between four to five cases per day. It is vitally important that we continue to bear down on the disease and that all concerned maintain the highest standards of biosecurity on and around farms.
Margaret Beckett: As I saw on my visit to North Yorkshire earlier this week, foot and mouth disease has had a major impact on the wider rural economy, and particularly on important tourist areas such as the North Yorkshire Moors. We are helping small rural businesses in these areas through deferral of tax and VAT, hardship rate relief and through the regional development agency Business Recovery Fund.
Margaret Beckett: Up to 21 June, a total of £803 million has been paid out to farmers in Great Britain in compensation for slaughter of animals and destruction of other items, as a result of the foot and mouth outbreak.
Margaret Beckett: It is right that we consider carefully the issues connected with the foot and mouth outbreak. The question of whether there should be a public inquiry as such, is one for the Prime Minister.
Margaret Beckett: It is right that we consider very carefully the issues connected with the foot and mouth outbreak. The question of whether there should be a public inquiry as such, is one for the Prime Minister.
Margaret Beckett: We have discussed the issue of climate change with the US at all levels. The Prime Minister discussed climate change with President Bush and EU colleagues in Gothenburg. The Summit agreed to establish a high level group of representatives to consider how the EU and US can co-operate on climate change.
Margaret Beckett: Kyoto without the US is clearly a second best option. But Kyoto remains the best framework for global action. It will of course be important to keep the door open to the US to come on board later.
Margaret Beckett: The impact of EU enlargement on agricultural production and consumption will depend on a number of different factors including the terms of accession, which have yet to be negotiated. But, in very general terms, surplus production would be expected to rise. This would strengthen the case for further CAP reform.
Margaret Beckett: Funding in support of the Action Plan for Farming will be subject to evaluation in partnership with our rural, farming, food and retail industry stakeholders. The England Rural Development Programme will receive a mid-term evaluation in 2003. An annual programme of evaluations is carried out of different policy programmes; details and copies of reports are on DEFRA's website...
Margaret Beckett: I shall shortly be meeting Ministers from the devolved Administrations. My officials are in ongoing contact with the National Assembly's Agriculture and Rural Developments on a wide range of foot and mouth disease issues, including the impact of the disease on the livestock and related sectors.
Margaret Beckett: I attended the meeting of EU Agriculture Ministers in Luxembourg on 19 June. The Council adopted by qualified majority (Spain and Netherlands opposing) measures to tackle the problems in the EU beef market resulting from the discovery of BSE in certain continental countries late last year. I was pleased to secure important exemptions for United Kingdom farmers from the measures cutting back...
Margaret Beckett: holding answer 25 June 2001 It is right that we consider very carefully the full range of issues connected with the foot and mouth outbreak. The question of whether there should be a public inquiry is one for the Prime Minister.
Margaret Beckett: holding answer 25 June 2001 There is no current plan to conduct an independent audit of the official foot and mouth statistics but the compilation and presentation of statistics will no doubt be among the areas to be considered when reviewing the issues arising from the outbreak.
Margaret Beckett: holding answer 25 June 2001 Carcase disposal has and continues to be defined for official statistics purposes by reference to the date on which disposal was completed. This is reflected in the statistical data published on the DEFRA website http://www.defra.gov.uk/. The only change has been in terms of the time taken to make information available; previously the time lag tended to make the...
Margaret Beckett: holding answer 25 June 2001 The Government have not set a date from which the outbreak should be considered an epidemic.
Margaret Beckett: holding answer 25 June 2001 We have looked at the genetic fingerprint of 27 isolates of foot and mouth disease virus during the current outbreak in the UK. These included representative samples from different areas of the country and from different time-points since February 2001. All were very closely related to the PanAsia strain of FMDV type O. Sequences studied in the Republic of...
Margaret Beckett: holding answer 25 June 2001 The PanAsia strain of FMDV type O (the virus identified in the UK outbreak) is distributed over much of southern Asia. Pinpointing an exact origin has not been possible. Work is continuing at the Institute of Animal Health to determine the complete genome sequence of the UK outbreak strain and to compare it with the genome sequences of viruses from South Africa,...
Margaret Beckett: holding answer 25 June 2001 It is the duty of each EU member state Government to transpose into national law all Community legal instruments adopted by the European Commission in relation to outbreaks of animal disease in non-EU countries and to enforce them accordingly.
Margaret Beckett: holding answer 25 June 2001 Young animals culled as a result of foot and mouth disease are included in the total slaughter figure. This figure, including calves, lambs and piglets, is updated daily on the DEFRA foot and mouth disease website http://www.defra.gov.uk/.
Margaret Beckett: holding answer 25 June 2001 In keeping with normal practice, contingency work was undertaken within the civil service during the election campaign, on the basis of proposals published in party manifestos.