HC Deb 10 November 2000 vol 356 c409W
Mr. Levitt

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made of the impact of the recent rise in fertiliser prices on upland farms. [136838]

Mr. Morley

The impact of the recent increase in fertiliser prices will vary between upland farms depending on the amounts utilised and extent to which alternative inputs such as manures are available.

Mr. Todd

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what recent representations he has received on the prices of(a) fertilisers and (b) veterinary products in (i) the UK and (ii) other EU member states; and if he will make a statement. [136845]

Mr. Morley

My Department has received representations on fertiliser prices in the UK from the Fertiliser Manufacturers Association and the National Farmers Union.

My Department has also received representations from a number of interested parties since we announced on 30 March last, as part of the Government's Strategy for Agriculture, an independent review of dispensing of medicines by veterinary surgeons. The Review Group is currently examining the existing dispensing practices for veterinary medicines and their impact on the supply, availability and costs of veterinary medicines. The representations received by my Department have been forwarded to the Chairman of the Review Group for consideration along with all the other evidence it receives. The Review Group will complete its task and make its report by 31 March 2001.

Following receipt of complaints from vets, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is currently conducting an inquiry into certain aspects of the supply of veterinary medicines in the UK. The inquiry will consider whether there is any evidence of anti-competitive practices.