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Mr. Crabb: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make (a) an estimate of the cost and (b) an assessment of compatibility with EU state-aid rules of provision of compensation to members of the Dairy Farmers of Britain co-operative for the loss of payments for milk supplied to the co-operative in May 2009. 
(a) The Receivers (PwC) have estimated that the total financial costs to farmers who were members and former members of Dairy Farmers of Britain on 3 June are around £83 million.
(b) The proportion of this figure which arises from the failure to pay the May milk cheques is a matter for the Receiver.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many dairy farmers there were in each of the last three years; and how many (a) entered and (b) left the sector in each year. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: DEFRA does not collect figures on the number of farmers who enter and leave the dairy sector in each year. Figures from the June Survey of Agriculture only indicate activity on registered holdings in England at June each year and therefore show net change only.
The number of farmers on holdings where dairy is the predominant activity are shown in the following table. Prior to 2007 the method of categorising holdings into predominant farming activity was calculated using responses from the June Survey. From 2007 onwards data from the Cattle Tracing System has been used. Numbers of dairy holdings for 2006 are shown using both data sources for comparison. To show the overall trend across the change in data source a longer time series has also been included.
|Number of dairy holdings( 1)|
|Number of farmers||Survey d ata||CTS d ata|
|(1) Based on predominant farming activity.|
(1). Farmers includes full and part time farmers, partners, directors and spouses if working on the holding.
June Survey of Agriculture
Dan Norris: The Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA), an executive agency of DEFRA, currently undertakes a wide range of forensic-style analyses to detect, identify and measure DNA, veterinary drugs and pesticide residues in samples from plants and animals. Most of this work is done as part of national surveillance programmes or scientific research.
FERA is exploring new ways of exploiting its extensive testing facilities and capability in a wider range of applications, including forensics, but at present it is not providing a commercial service in this field.
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 23 April 2009, Official Report, column 816W, on departmental ICT, what the (a) expected completion date and (b) estimated cost is of each current major information technology project in his Department. 
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many qualified (a) lepidopterists, (b) botanists, (c) lichenologists, (d) bryologists and (e) mycologists are employed by his Department and its agencies; and if he will make an assessment of levels of recruitment and retention of personnel with qualifications in these disciplines. 
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many local authorities have established dog microchipping schemes; and when each such scheme commenced. 
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect on the level of income of fishing fleets of the operation of (a) the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance and (b) the European Fisheries Fund; and if he will make a statement. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The European Fisheries Fund (EFF), and Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG) before it, aim to help the fishing industry adapt and restructure to changing circumstances. The range of grant aided measures is very broad and includes investment in harbour facilities which can have a direct impact on incomes, as well as indirect benefit through investment in fish processing and marketing to sustain and develop markets.
Mid-term evaluation of FIFG shows that 40 harbour projects and 154 processing and marketing companies were assisted between 2001 and June 2005.(1) In addition, £5.2 million was spent on launching 71 projects led by industry members, including 15 promotional and 11 market
research schemes. As a direct measure to assist fishermen, £900,000 was spent financing gear selectivity trials and vessel operational efficiencies.(2)
EFF is a new scheme which has operated in the UK since September 2008, and as such, it is too early to assess its impact. EFF has an indicator of gross value added for the UK specifically to measure profitability; from a baseline of £988 million in 2006, moving to £1,030 million in 2010 and £1,070 million in 2015. Full details can be found in the UK Operational Programme which is available on the Marine and Fisheries Agency website at:
(1) Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG) Programme in Non-Objective 1 Areas of the United Kingdom (2000-06), Update of the mid-term evaluation, Poseidon Aquatic Resource Management Ltd., 2005.
(3) UK Operational Programme, European Fisheries Fund, September 2008.
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the likely effects on levels of flood risk of the scenarios shown in the most recent UK climate projections. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The UK Climate Projections 2009 (UKCP09) show that the climate in the UK is likely to change, and present probabilities for different potential climate outcomes. This information will help flood and coastal erosion risk management operating authorities, such as the Environment Agency, improve their risk-based decision making.
The parameters that are available from UKCP09 do not allow direct estimation of flood risk. Further synthesis and modelling will be necessary to assess the likely effects on levels of flood risk under the different UKCP09 projections.
However, DEFRA and the Environment Agency are currently managing two linked research projects, which aim to provide a better understanding of what the projections will mean for future river flows and how the information can be best used in decision making.
The Environment Agency recently published its Long Term Investment Strategy. This suggested flood and coastal risk management expenditure needs to increase to £1,040 million a year by 2035, plus inflation, in order to counter expected climate change and avoid more properties being placed at significant risk. This is compared to the £570 million to be spent on asset management and improvement in 2010-11. The climate scenarios used in the investment strategy are consistent with the latest climate projections data.
Mr. Crausby: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 17 June 2009, Official Report, column 380W, on fluoride: drinking water, what assessment the Drinking Water Inspectorate made of the adequacy of the remedial action taken by Three Valleys Water following the addition of excessive levels of fluoride to the water supply in 2000. 
The natural level of fluoride in the source water is between 0.07 and 0.25 mg/l (the European maximum level permitted is 1.5 mg/l). There is no additional fluoride put into the water at the treatment works. The single adverse result recorded on 6 July probably arose as a consequence of an error in the sampling/analytical process. However this could not be proven conclusively. All samples in the nine years since 6 July 2000 have given satisfactory results.
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the effects on agricultural production of the use of (a) Aminopyralid and (b) manure containing Aminopyralid; what recent representations he has received on such use; whether he plans to relicense Aminopyralid; and if he will make a statement. 
DEFRA has received a number of representations from individuals and allotment organisations concerned about the possibility of manure containing aminopyralid becoming available to gardeners. The applications for approval of these new products include tighter restrictions than previous approvals and the company concerned has plans for a stewardship programme to ensure that the risk of aminopyralid containing manure entering the supply chain is minimised.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what guidance (a) his Department and (b) the Environment Agency has issued to local authorities on the spraying of pesticides on public footways and pathways. 
Dan Norris: Blanket spraying is a colloquial term commonly used to describe the spraying of pesticides over large areas, usually in amenity situations such as on pavements or kerbsides and on parkland. The code of practice for using plant protection products provides guidance on the use of pesticides in all situations, including how to comply with the law and protect people and the environment when using pesticides. This code was sent to all local authorities when it was issued in 2006, and has been drawn to the attention of attendees at a variety of meetings including weed control conference at which local authorities have been present.
In line with the UK Strategy on the sustainable use of pesticides, the Government are seeking to minimise the amount of blanket spraying (and any other unnecessary application of pesticides). This will be done as part of a proportionate and integrated package of measures to reduce further the risks arising from amenity use of pesticides, particularly in implementing the forthcoming EU directive on the sustainable use of pesticides.
The Environment Agency has worked with Government and others on the development of the UK Strategy and supports the measures within it for reducing the impact of amenity pesticides on the environment.
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