§ Mr. Randall
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her policy is on using 0870 telephone numbers for inquiries by the public to the Department and its agencies. 
§ Mr. Morley
DEFRA operates helpline numbers for people seeking information or assistance. Some of these services are free of charge but most use local rate call numbers with 0845 prefixes; however one, the Pets Travel Scheme Helpline, uses the prefix 0870.
The decisions on which category of number to allocate are taken after assessing the cost effectiveness of each service in terms of meeting the needs of potential users while minimising expenditure.