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27 Mar 2003 : Column 308Wcontinued
Mr. Tynan: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent research his Department has (a) conducted and (b) funded into new types of munitions to be used by United Kingdom forces to replace (i) cluster weapons and (ii) weapons containing depleted uranium. 
Mr. Ingram: Weapons in service with the United Kingdom armed forces that dispense sub-munitions systems remain both effective and legal. We continue nevertheless to conduct and fund research programmes investigating the means to provide precise and discriminating methods of attacking targets, including terminal guided sub-munition technologies.
We have no current plans to replace the in-service CHARM 3 depleted uranium round used in the Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank. Recent research on tank munitions has covered the penetration of armour process and support to commissioning new tank barrels for Challenger 2 tanks. Details of the Ministry of Defence's programme are available in the Library of the House.
Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what consultations he has had with allies on the provision of theatre missile defence capabilities for UK troops when on joint operations; 
(3) what provisions he has made for theatre missile defence for troops on deployment if no capabilities have been provided by the UK's allies. 
Mr. Ingram: The United Kingdom is continuing its work on the risks posed by ballistic missiles and on the technologies available to counter them. We remain in regular contact with allies about such matters and continue to co-operate with NATO in their feasibility
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studies on how best to defend deployed NATO forces through active theatre missile defence. Decisions about the need to increase theatre missile defence capabilities will be taken in light of the outcome of these studies.
Defence against ballistic missiles has several components. Arms control, preventing supply and deterring use all have a part to play alongside defence against use. Military planning therefore includes consideration of how actively to prevent the use of ballistic missiles through threat reduction operations. Passive defensive steps are also considered, including the dispersal of forces and the provision of equipment to protect against the use of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will set up a widows fund for families of soldiers killed in the Ulster Defence Regiment similar to that already in operation for widows of murdered police officers in Northern Ireland. 
Dr. Moonie: The Ministry of Defence has received several representations on this matter and I accordingly met with representatives from the Ulster Defence Regiment widows and widowers on 5 March 2003. The issue is currently receiving careful consideration and further advice has been sought, but the Ministry of Defence is not yet in a position to make a decision on the way ahead.
Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how she intends to meet her commitment to support field trials designed to evaluate the benefits of Micro-CHP given on page 48 of the Energy White Paper (Cm 5761) beyond the commitment within the Government's fuel poverty strategy. 
Mr. Morley: I understand that The Carbon Trust will be working with the Energy Saving Trust and other stakeholders, including Defra, to undertake a major field trial for micro-CHP in order to evaluate the
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Mr. Curry: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) whether the new interim rules for animal movements will continue the exemptions for cattle and sheep moving between shows within six days; and if she will make a statement; 
The removal of most of the exemptions is a counter-balance to the increased risk created by the reduction in the standstill period. The much shorter standstill should make it possible for show organisers to arrange events so that breeders and others wishing to exhibit at shows can plan their movements to comply with the rules.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent research she has commissioned into the percentage of animals caught in snares which were non-target species. 
Mr. Morley: This Department has not undertaken any recent research into the percentage non-target species caught in snares. However, we are considering ways in which to improve the correct use and effectiveness of snares.
Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much the Government spent on preventing Avian Influenza being brought to the UK in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Morley: To prevent the introduction of Avian Influenza (AI) into the UK, the Government picks up the entire bill for the veterinary inspection and laboratory testing of imports of live poultry and their hatching eggs from Third Countries. This includes four veterinary officer visits and three animal health officer visits to quarantine premises in respect of each consignment. These costs are as follows.
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Programme. This support included carrying out tests for various diseases on various animal species and included work on AI. It is not possible to provide a breakdown only in respect of AI.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the assessed volume of illegal use of benzone within the fishing industry; and what cooperation she has undertaken with the Secretary of State for Health in this matter. 
In Great Britain, 988,231 broilers were dead on arrival at licensed poultry slaughterhouses. The total throughput of all broilers, all cast hens and other poultry weighing less than 2kgs was 736,966,659.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to her answer of 6 February 2003, Official Report, column 373W, on climate change agreements, if she will place in the Library a summary of the information given to her Department by each sector with a climate change agreement. 
Margaret Beckett [holding answer 18 March 2003]: The Department is analysing the information supplied by sector associations with the aim of re-certifying eligible facilities by 31 March. I will place summaries of the performance of each sector in the Library of the House at that time.
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