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Mr. Bradshaw: The start of pre-movement testing has been put back to 27 March 2006 so industry has more time to prepare for the measure. Defra is appointing an independent advisor to carry out a rapid survey of veterinary capacity and preparedness to deliver the new requirements for pre-movement testing in order to address concerns raised by the farming industry and veterinary profession. But the policy itself will not be subject to review, as it is widely expected to reduce the risk of spreading TB through cattle movements.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will publish the results of the work of the Veterinary Laboratories Agency evaluating the use of the gamma interferon test for bovine tuberculosis in cattle. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Defra received, in late 2005, an interim report of the first 150 herds in the field trial from the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA). A copy of the report was given to the Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB to inform their ongoing work.
The VLA are due to produce a more complete analysis of the results obtained, from all 195 herds recruited in the trial, by the end of March. Once it has decided what publishable material will come out of the analysis, Defra will, in line with standard practice, make the final report freely available.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will increase the amount of compensation payable for premium cattle which have contracted TB to standard compensation level; and if she will make a statement. 
No. The new arrangements for cattle affected by bovine tuberculosis came into force in England on 1 February 2006. In making these changes, the Department's objective is to have in place a system that promotes good industry practice, enhances disease control, addresses the serious (and independently identified) problem of over-compensation, and is fair to both cattle owners and the taxpayer.
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Under these arrangements, we believe that all farmers effectively gain because they are being compensated for disease affected animals (whose true worth are salvage value only) using a price based on the value of healthy animals.
As part of Government's ongoing commitment to work in partnership with stakeholders, Defra is setting up a Cattle Compensation Advisory Group involving industry stakeholder representatives. We expect this stakeholder group to help us monitor the new compensation arrangements.
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will take steps to provide a second TB test for farmers whose cattle have tested positive to the TB reactor test and are prepared to pay for a further test. 
Mr. Bradshaw: No. The current skin test for bovine tuberculosis (TB) is an effective test. It is the accepted standard laid down in both national and international legislation for determining the existence of disease in a cattle herd.
The Tuberculosis (England and Wales) Order 1984 requires cattle failing the tuberculin test, and those considered to have been direct contacts exposed to TB, to be compulsorily slaughtered. And Directive 64/432 requires the slaughter of cattle once they react positively to the bovine TB skin test. There is no automatic provision for a second TB test. However in exceptional circumstances, for example if there is clear evidence that the skin test has not been carried out in accordance with instructions, officials will offer a re-test.
The official 2005 Defra Christmas Card was produced at a cost of £4,000: 7,000 cards were produced. Information relating to costs incurred on mailing Christmas cards from across Defra is not held centrally. To retrieve this information would incur disproportionate cost, as this is incurred at a local or individual level.
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Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when the shuttle bus service proposed to service the departmental building at Merrow, Guildford will commence; whether a car-share co-ordinator has been appointed; and whether departmental staff have initiated a video-conferencing publicity campaign. 
Jim Knight: Defra and IBM have agreed, in principle, to fund a "Park & Ride" type service to ferry commuters working at the Defra Site. We are in discussions with Guildford Borough Council and the preferred Bus Company, to try to identify a convenient location for the off-site parking of vehicles. The date for the commencement of this proposed service is dependent upon the identification of this site.
Defra and IBM have access to full video conferencing facilities at the Guildford Defra Offices. We have already launched a poster campaign around the Site, to advertise the facilities and to encourage wider participation in this form of meeting communication. It is also intended to publicise the facility on the Guildford pages of the Defra Intranet. This will be an ongoing campaign strategy to re-iterate the benefits of such communication and re-enforce the positive message.
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many job advertisements were placed by her Department (a) in total, (b) in print newspapers and magazines and (c) on a recruitment website in each year since 1997; and at what (i) total and (ii) average cost in each case. 
Jim Knight: Defra was formed in 2001 and the Resource Centre was created in April 2004 centralising recruitment activity within the Department from that date. The information requested is available for the period since April 2004 and is contained in the following table.
|1 April 2004 to 31 December 2004||2005||1 January 2006 to 10 February 2006||Overall total since 1 April 2004|
|Number of Ads placed||143||223||7||373|
|Number of ads placed in Newspapers/Magazines||66||85||3||154|
|Number of ads placed on websites||77||(21)138||4||219|
|Total Cost of Ads in Newspapers/Magazines (£)||179,008||253,703||8,648||441,359|
|Total cost of Ads on websites (£)||6,949||3,235||0||10,184|
|Average cost of Ads in Newspapers/Magazines (£)||2,712.24||2,984.71||2,882.66||2,865.96|
|Average cost of Ads on Websites (£)||90.24||23.44||0||46.50|
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many people were employed by the Rural Payments Agency in each of the last 12 months for which information is available; and how many and what percentage of posts were vacant in each region in each month. 
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|March 2005||South East||6||0.17|
|April 2005||South East||14||0.39|
|May 2005||South East||20||0.58|
|June 2005||South East||9||0.26|
|July 2005||South East||16||0.46|
|August 2005||South East||19||0.6|
|September 2005||South East||11||0.36|
|October 2005||South East||5||0.16|
|November 2005||South East||6||0.19|
|December 2005||South East||19||0.6|
|January 2006||South East||12||0.39|
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