§ Mr. Webb
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what criteria were used in determining which newspapers were used to publicise Government guidelines on access to the countryside; and if he will assess the benefits of using a wider range of newspapers for future advertising. 
§ Ms Beverley Hughes
[holding answer 9 April 2001]: I have been asked to reply, as my Department led in producing initial advertising and publicity aimed at the general public on this issue.
The key requirement in the early stages of this important public awareness campaign was to ensure that the maximum number of potential visitors to the countryside had access to information on the foot and mouth situation as quickly as possible. Our media choices were carefully formulated to make sure that coverage across England and Wales was as thorough and even as 346W possible, using national and regional newspapers and radio, and covering both urban areas of high population and rural areas with concentrations of farming activity.
A media strategy always forms a central part of any communications campaign and the range of media to be used is carefully considered to ensure that maximum impact and awareness of campaign messages is combined with good value for money.
§ Miss McIntosh
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what representations he has received on(a) the threat to rare breeds displaying no symptoms of foot and mouth disease from the extension of the cull to a three kilometre radius of an infected area and (b) the potential permanent loss of pedigree herds and flocks; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what representations he has received concerning the vaccination of rare breeds against foot and mouth disease. 
§ Mr. Morley
I have received representations from the Rare Breeds Survival Trust and various individual breed societies and owners. The Ministry published proposals on measures to reduce the risks which make culling of rare breeds of sheep necessary on 19 April. Copies are on the Ministry's website. We have also supported the establishment of the Heritage Gene Bank, to preserve germ plasm from sheep breeds which are particularly threatened by foot and mouth disease.
§ Mr. Jenkin
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the countries from which the UK imports(a) livestock and (b) meat whose livestock is known to be infected by foot and mouth disease. 
§ Ms Quin
[holding answer 22 March 2001]: The UK imports livestock under EU or national rules only from countries or areas officially recognised as being free from foot and mouth disease.
Community legislation recognises that disease is present in some countries, but has been contained in specific regions. The importation of meat is permitted from a limited number of countries where foot and mouth disease is present, but only where the disease is so contained. Imports of fresh meat are permitted only from those regions of the relevant countries that are not considered to pose a risk to human or animal health. Fully matured boneless beef, which does not pose an FMD risk may be imported from other regions subject to veterinary certification. Countries to which these controls currently apply are Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Argentina, Brazil, Columbia and Uruguay.
Community law allows member states to take action to prohibit imports from countries where a particular disease risk has been identified pending the amendment of Community laws to reflect the new disease situation. Because of their FMD situation prohibitions are currently in place on imports of meat of FMD susceptible species from South Africa, Swaziland and Argentina.
All meat imported from third countries is subject to veterinary checks at Border Inspection Posts to ensure that proper import requirements are met.347W
§ Mr. Jenkin
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will close the road past Wick Farm, Layer-de-la-Haye, near Colchester, to avoid further spread of foot and mouth disease. 
§ Mr. Jenkin
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will grant discretionary powers to highway authorities to close roads past livestock holdings where stock may be at risk of infection by foot and mouth disease and where alternative routes may be available. 
§ Ms Quin
[holding answer 15 March 2001]: The Foot and Mouth Disease Order 1983 allows a Ministry or local authority inspector to prohibit the entry of any person onto any land or into any agricultural building that lies within an infected area. This power could be used to close roads. However, veterinary judgment has been that, except in very rare cases, to do so would be disproportionate to the risk involved.
Nonetheless, to ensure that inspectors have sufficient powers to control the current outbreak, additional powers have been inserted in the Foot-and-Mouth Disease Order 1983 by the Foot and Mouth Disease (Amendment) (England) (No 4) Order 2001 which would allow an inspector of the Ministry or a local authority (with prior written authority of the Minister) to close roads within a controlled area. At present, England and Wales and Scotland have been declared controlled areas.
§ Mr. Paice
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to his answer of 3 April 2001,Official Report, column 126W, on foot and mouth disease, how many sheep were exported in the 118 consignments; and what information he has regarding the other sheep movements in February referred to in the statement by the Prime Minister of 28 March 2001, Official Report, column 954, with particular reference to the number of them that were the result of change of ownership other than through official livestock markets or abattoirs. 
§ Ms Quin
[holding answer 9 April 2001]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given him by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 10 April 2001, Official Report, column 588W.
45,808 sheep were certified for export in the 118 consignments exported in February this year. Sheep movements are not centrally recorded.
§ Mr. Tredinnick
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) when he will provide a substantive reply to the Question tabled for answer on 23 March (Ref: 155117) regarding the effectiveness of homoeopathic borax in the prevention of foot and mouth disease; 
(2) what measures he has taken to assess the effectiveness of homeopathic borax in the prevention of foot and mouth disease, with particular reference to previous outbreaks; and if he will consider its use to prevent the spread of the disease. 348W
§ Ms Quin
[holding answers 9 April 2001]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 24 April 2001, Official Report, column 257W.
§ Mr. Green
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what role the Environment Agency played in contingency planning for the foot and mouth outbreak; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what guidance he has given the Environment Agency about its role in the contingency planning for a foot and mouth outbreak. 
§ Ms Quin
[holding answer 10 April 2001]: The Environment Agency has been consulted by MAFF on the environmental impact of methods of dealing with animal disease outbreaks. Prior to the foot and mouth outbreak, the Agency had agreed with MAFF a National Incident Response Plan to ensure that guidance on protection of the natural environment was timely and accurate. The Environment Agency deals with pollution risks to ground and surface waters and has expertise in air pollution modelling, but is not the competent authority in this latter environmental impact.
§ Mr. Gordon Prentice
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when the last outbreaks of foot and mouth were in each of the candidate countries for membership of the European Union; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Ms Quin
[holding answer 23 April 2001]: The latest reported dates are as follows:
Country Date of last reported FMD outbreak Bulgaria 1993 Cyprus 1964 Czech Republic 1975 Estonia 1982 Hungary 1973 Latvia 1987 Lithuania 1987 Malta 1978 Poland 1971 Romania 1973 Slovakia 1973 Slovenia1 1978 Turkey 2001 1 Last notified outbreak in that part of the former Yugoslavia
§ Ms Quin
[holding answer 27 March 2001]: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Bosworth (Mr. Tredinnick) on 24 April 2001, Official Report, 257W.
§ Ms Quin
[holding answer 30 March 2001]: The Commission has been very supportive of the measures taken in the UK to control the outbreak. The Commission and members states have discussed the measures taken on a number of occasions and adopted a number of decisions relevant to the United Kingdom's position on the range of relevant issues.
A mission from Food and Veterinary Office of the European Commission visited the UK on 12 to 16 March 2001. We are currently awaiting the official report to the Standing Veterinary Committee.