§ Mr. Donald Thompson
Further to the reply that I gave to the hon. Member for South Shields (Dr. Clark) on 6 November, I have now arranged for further monitoring to be carried out in this area. Results of the monitoring of 185 live sheep and lambs from eight flocks in the Keighley, Ilkley, Otley and Skipton areas fall in the range of 0 to 310 Bq/kg total caesium with an average lying around 60 Bq/ kg. This is well below the action level of 1000 Bq/kg for restriction on slaughter that we have applied in Cumbria. In addition, forage has been sampled. Thirteen grass samples have been taken from this area and the Harrogate area, all yielding results lower than 50 Bq/kg total caesium. Heather—from seven areas—and bilberries—from two areas—give higher results, up to 500 and 216 Bq/kg respectively though mostly much lower.
Finally, six milk samples from five areas have been analysed; in all cases the caesium levels were less than 20 Bq/litres. None of these results gives cause for concern. Further sampling and analysis is in progress and the results will be reported as soon as they become available. I will publish all results in detail when complete, and deposit them in the Library of the House.