§ Gillian Merron
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what permit conditions will apply when hunting with dogs resumes in foot and mouth disease-free counties. 
§ Alun Michael
On 15 November I announced the Government's intention of relaxing the ban on hunting with dogs imposed in February 2001 to control foot and mouth disease, to allow hunting in FMD free counties from 17 December under a temporary system of disease control permits. Interested parties were invited to comment on the proposed permit conditions by 7 December.
As a result, a small number of changes and clarifications have been made to the permit conditions published on 15 November. I have placed copies of the final version of the permit conditions in the Library of the House. This material has also been published on the DEFRA FMD website. Permits will be available from DEFRA Animal Health Divisional Offices from 17 December onwards to applicants who can demonstrate compliance with the disease control conditions required.