View the Parallel Parliament page for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Information since 29 Aug 2020, 8:44 a.m.


Secondary Legislation

Dates Department Title Type
Laid
21 Sep 2020
In Force
15 Oct 2020
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Official Controls (Plant Health and Genetically Modified Organisms) (England) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2020
Parliamentary Status - Text of Legislation
Made negative procedure
These Regulations amend the Official Controls (Plant Health and Genetically Modified Organisms) (England) Regulations 2019 (S.I. 2019/1517) (the “2019 Regulations”), which give effect to—

Debates

Date Department Forum Title
Thu 24 Sep 2020 Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Lords Chamber Schools: Great British September Clean
24 speeches (1,702 words)
Tue 22 Sep 2020 Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Lords Chamber Agriculture Bill
347 speeches (64,303 words)

Questions

Date Title Questioner
25 Sep 2020, 5:08 p.m. Plastics Selaine Saxby

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to reduce the (a) production and (b) sale of single use plastics.

Answer (Rebecca Pow)

It is the Government’s ambition to have zero avoidable waste going to landfill by 2050. The Resources and Waste Strategy sets out how we will eliminate avoidable plastic waste and move towards a more circular economy.

We have already made significant progress, by introducing one of the world’s toughest bans on microbeads in rinse-off personal care products and significantly reducing the use of single-use carrier bags in the main supermarkets by 95% with our 5p charge. We have announced our plans to increase the minimum charge to 10p and to extend the charge to all retailers from April 2021. We will also introduce a ban on the supply of single-use plastic straws, plastic drink stirrers, and plastic-stemmed cotton buds from October 2020. The Government also remains committed to introducing the Plastic Packaging Tax in April 2022, which will apply to plastic packaging manufactured in or imported into the UK containing less than 30% recycled plastic.

Our landmark Environment Bill will enable us to go even further. The Bill will include powers to create extended producer responsibility schemes; introduce deposit return schemes; establish greater consistency in the recycling system; better control the export of plastic waste; and allow us to set new charges for other single-use plastic items. Further information can be found at: www.gov.uk/government/news/stronger-protections-for-the-environment-move-closer-as-landmark-bill-takes-shape.

25 Sep 2020, 2:50 p.m. Furs: Sales Christian Wakeford

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the planned timescale is for bringing forward legislative proposals on banning the sale of fur in the UK.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

I refer the hon Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Totnes on 30 June 2020, PQ UIN 62631.

[www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2020-06-22/62631]

25 Sep 2020, 2:50 p.m. Furs: Import Controls Abena Oppong-Asare

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans the Government has to further restrict the fur trade after the transition period.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

I refer the hon Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Totnes on 30 June 2020, PQ UIN 62631.

[www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2020-06-22/62631]

25 Sep 2020, 2:48 p.m. Horse Meat: Exports Chris Evans

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what quantity of horse meat was exported from the UK in 2019.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) issues Export Health Certificates (EHCs) for animals and products of animal origin exported to non-EU countries. In 2019, APHA did not issue any EHCs for the export of horse meat to non-EU countries.

APHA is not able to provide any data regarding the quantity of horse meat exported from the UK to the EU in 2019. Data for such trade is currently drawn from EU systems based on movements of animals to the EU that require an Intra-Trade Animal Health Certificate (ITAHC). An ITAHC was not required for movements of meat between the UK and the rest of the EU in 2019.

25 Sep 2020, 2:45 p.m. Transport: EU Countries Hilary Benn

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made as to whether there are sufficient supplies of heat-treated pallets to meet EU regulations covering the transport of products from 1 Jan 2021.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

After the end of the Transition Period, all wood packaging material (WPM) moving between Great Britain (GB) and the EU must be treated and appropriately marked in compliance with international standards (ISPM 15). This is in line with international requirements for trade and is in place to protect both the EU and GB from harmful plant pests and diseases.

Defra has established a strong relationship with the WPM industry. The UK Timber Pallet and Packaging Confederation (TIMCON), the Freight Transport Association , National Association of Pallet Distributors, the European Federation of Wooden Pallet and Packaging Manufacturers (FEFPEB) and the Closed Pallet Pooling Coalition have been working hard with Defra and industry to ensure there are sufficient compliant pallets available for 1 January 2021. This will ensure our biosecurity is maintained and trade continues to flow with as little disruption as possible.

The WPM industry have been working tirelessly to both increase the stock of compliant WPM and to grow our WPM treatment capacity by increasing the number of heat treatment facilities (kilns) and their hours of operation and by simplifying and improving ISPM15 processes to reduce the time needed to treat their WPM. In a recent survey of the industry, 70% of respondents indicated they were confident that they would be fully ready by the end of the Transition Period. TIMCON is also strongly encouraging FEFPEB and EU national associations to engage and support their countries’ WPM industries to increase their own stocks of compliant pallets.

Defra, the Forestry Commission and other relevant plant health authorities are continuing to work closely with the WPM sector to address what further actions they need to take to manage this new requirement by the end of the Transition Period.

As there will be no immediate change to the biosecurity threat of WPM originating from the EU at the end of the Transition Period, GB will maintain its current risk-based checking regime for EU WPM.

25 Sep 2020, 2:03 p.m. River Thames: Swimming Layla Moran

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of giving Designated Bathing Water Status to a stretch of the River Thames in Oxford.

Answer (Rebecca Pow)

Bathing waters are designated through an application process and Defra welcomes applications for designation for both coastal and inland waters such as rivers. Local authorities, groups and individuals can apply for sites to be designated. Defra encourages this by writing to the Chief Executive of every local authority in England, as well as by sending similar letters to other stakeholders like swimming associations. It is these local authorities and stakeholders who will best know which popular riverside bathing areas may be suitable for designation.

All applications are considered in line with our usual process, the details of which are available on gov.uk. There is currently a consultation seeking the public’s views on a proposal submitted by a local group to designate an area of the River Wharfe, between Ilkley Main Bridge and Beanlands Island, as a designated bathing water. The consultation ends 2 October.

25 Sep 2020, 2:01 p.m. Countryside: Access Jim Shannon

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the public (a) right of way and (b) right to roam on farmers and landowners.

Answer (Rebecca Pow)

The effect of the public accessing the countryside over recent months has been monitored continuously through engagement with a range of stakeholder groups. Stakeholder feedback has informed government guidance and key messages on accessing the countryside in a safe and respectable manner.

We have published guidance to promote safe access to green spaces: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-on-accessing-green-spaces-safely

25 Sep 2020, 1:58 p.m. Hydrogen: Air Pollution Ian Paisley

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the effect on air quality of the use of hydrogen energy technology.

Answer (Rebecca Pow)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Twickenham on 10 September, PQ UIN 905828.

[https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-09-10/905828]

25 Sep 2020, 1:54 p.m. Wlldlife: Coronavirus Colleen Fletcher

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to protect wildlife from death or injury caused by discarded face masks.

Answer (Rebecca Pow)

The Government has published guidance on the proper disposal of face coverings and other PPE during the coronavirus pandemic. This is available at:

www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-disposing-of-waste.

Littering of PPE is a criminal offence, and councils have legal powers to take enforcement action against offenders. Anyone caught littering may be prosecuted in a magistrates’ court, which can lead to a criminal record and a fine of up to £2,500 on conviction. Instead of prosecuting, councils may decide to issue a fixed penalty (on-the-spot fine) of between £65 and £150. If a council has not set a local fixed penalty level, it must charge the default penalty, which is £100.

Defra is raising awareness via social media of what individuals can do to protect others and the environment, including in relation to litter. We have recently published a video highlighting the issue of improperly discarded face coverings at: twitter.com/DefraGovUK/status/1309045391724351489.

Defra has launched a 'Respect the Outdoors' campaign this summer. This has been promoted both online and in locations near to urban parks, beaches and national parks to highlight the impacts of littering, as well as unauthorised barbeques and campfires, and breaches of the countryside code.

Defra has also supported, and provided funding for, Keep Britain Tidy's Love Parks campaign, which encourages people to treat our parks with respect this summer. Further information about the campaign is available at:

www.keepbritaintidy.org/news/new-campaign-launched-face-littering-epidemic-parks.

25 Sep 2020, 12:49 p.m. Committee On Climate Change: Correspondence Caroline Lucas

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will publish any correspondence he has had with the Committee on Climate Change in 2020 on the burning of peatland in the UK.

Answer (Rebecca Pow)

I am pleased to provide the hon. Member with a copy of my correspondence with the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) that I have forwarded to the hon. Member’s office.

The correspondence states the following:

The Government welcomes CCC support. We have always been clear of the need to phase out burning of protected blanket bog to conserve these vulnerable habitats. We are currently looking at how legislation could achieve this and considering next steps.

25 Sep 2020, 12:24 p.m. Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Jim Shannon

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to tackle Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease in the UK.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

Rabbit haemorrhagic disease is not a notifiable disease in the UK. There are no risks to public health. The European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and occasionally the European brown hare (Lepus europaeus) are the species affected in the UK.

Defra’s Animal and Plant Health Agency has a small scale surveillance programme in place to monitor the disease in wild rabbits.

For domestic rabbits there is a vaccine available which is an effective means of protection, provided it is administered before the virus causes infection. We recommend that any concerned pet owners seek advice from a vet.

25 Sep 2020, 12:19 p.m. Horses: Republic of Ireland Chris Evans

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many soliped and equidae were imported from Ireland for slaughter in Great Britain in (a) 2019 and (b) in each month of 2020.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

TRACES (Trade Control and Expert System) is a European Commission system used by EU member states to facilitate and record animal/animal product movements into and throughout the EU. The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), as the competent authority, is able to extract information from TRACES for imports of live animals into the UK.

Based on the information available, there were no solipeds or equidae certified for slaughter which had been imported from Ireland in 2019 or 2020.

25 Sep 2020, 12:14 p.m. Fishing Vessels: Territorial Waters Chris Evans

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he plans to ban supertrawlers from fishing in UK waters.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

As set out in the Withdrawal Agreement, during the transition period, we have agreed that we will continue to apply current fisheries rules and shared access to waters will continue until the end of 2020. When the transition period ends, we will be able to restrict the fishing activities of all vessels, including supertrawlers, throughout our waters.

The UK will be able to decide what vessels can access our waters to fish and the new licensing framework within the Fisheries Bill will allow us to apply conditions to the activities of all vessels fishing in UK waters. Any vessels granted access to fish in our waters, regardless of nationality, will need to abide by UK rules including those on sustainability.

25 Sep 2020, 12:12 p.m. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Apprentices Robert Halfon

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what progress his Department is making on meeting the 2.3 per cent public sector apprenticeship target; and when his Department will meet that target.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

As of 31 March 2020, the Civil Service has achieved a total of 2.1% of its total workforce as apprentices against the legislative target for the public sector of 2.3% by March 2021. Defra had achieved 1% of the total staff employed within the department.

In Defra group, we have taken the following steps towards the public sector apprenticeship target.

We have reactivated our ‘Early Talent’ Strategy for 2020/21 to focus on:

  • increasing the use of apprenticeships within external recruitment;
  • promoting the use of apprenticeships to support development of existing staff;
  • increasing and maximising the use of the levy; and
  • using targeted apprenticeship recruitment to improve the diversity of our workforce.

We have identified a number of levers that can be used to achieve the above and these are actively being discussed within the business. We continue to enhance the information and tools available to line managers to improve understanding.

While there are a number of standards that we can actively use, given the unique nature and breadth of our activities in Defra group, we continue to explore and invest in trailblazer activity.

Defra group has been focused on delivery against EU exit requirements and more recently COVID-19. Defra remains committed to the Civil Service Apprenticeship Strategy and is looking to increase our use of apprenticeships across Defra group over the next 12 months.

Given this target is a percentage of the total workforce, the percentage changes in line with workforce fluctuations over time, therefore making it challenging to predict when a department will meet the target. The data for 2018/19 can be found on the GOV.UK website at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/civil-service-apprenticeship-data-2018-to-2019. The data for 2019/20 will be released on GOV.UK by the end of September 2020.

Departments are committed to increasing the number of apprentices across the Civil Service and continue to work towards the 2.3% target. The impact of the current pandemic has slowed recruitment due to priority work and logistics. With the current strategy and targets coming to an end in April 2021, the Civil Service is already focusing on how to continue to support the apprenticeship agenda and drive forward apprenticeship recruitment, pulling on the Plan for Jobs initiative and considering the current economic situation.

25 Sep 2020, 12:08 p.m. Food Supply Martyn Day

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will provide financial support to wholesalers to ensure the security of the food supply after the transition period.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

Our thorough preparations for leaving the EU alongside the lessons we have learned during the Covid-19 response provide a robust foundation for end of transition period planning on food supply. We are currently working alongside industry and across Government including with the Devolved Administrations to plan for the end of the year.

The Government introduced an unprecedented package of support for sectors and businesses in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. This includes, but is not limited to, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and the Bounce Back Loan scheme for SMEs.

We will continue to assess the support needs of the food industry to inform policy both in response to Covid-19 and the end of the transition period as we enter a new trading relationship with the EU.

25 Sep 2020, 12:05 p.m. Agriculture Jim Shannon

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to encourage family farming in the UK.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

Agriculture is devolved, so this response will largely refer to policy in England. Now we have left the EU each UK administration has the flexibility to develop agricultural policy suited to its own unique circumstances. For those policy areas where legislation is not required, we are working with the devolved administrations to find approaches that work for the whole of the UK. We are also working closely with the devolved administrations on an administrative framework to coordinate agricultural support.

Under the new system in England, we will move away from subsidies based on how much land the farmer has. Instead, the Agriculture Bill will enable us to create an ambitious new Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme, based on the principle of “public money for public goods”, which will allow us to reward farmers and land managers who protect our environment. The Bill also provides powers for improved animal welfare, while making sure that farmers can still produce high quality food in a sustainable way.

Public goods benefit more than just the recipient and cannot be rewarded by the market alone. They include things like clean and plentiful water, clean air, thriving plants and wildlife, reduction in and protection from environmental hazards, adaptation to and mitigation of climate change, and beauty, heritage and engagement with the environment.

By paying for things the public value, we can also improve animal welfare and reduce the use of antibiotics in our food chain. Targeted financial assistance for innovations such as precision farming can help farmers to reduce costs and improve their yields, while enhancing the environment.

Defra is providing £1 million grant funding this year for nine projects to provide resilience support to farmers and land managers in England to help them prepare for the Agricultural Transition period that will take place from 2021-27. One of these projects is working to improve the resilience of more than 120 small family farms in Shropshire, Staffordshire and Derbyshire. The impact and value for money of each of the approaches will be evaluated to assess whether a scale-up of the interventions would be effective and provide good value for taxpayers’ money.

24 Sep 2020, 5:12 p.m. Fish: Sales Luke Pollard

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the Marine Management Organisation always records as first sales the fish landed in England and transported subsequently for onward sale abroad or whether there are circumstances when any such sales abroad are not recorded by the Marine Management Organisation as first sales.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

The following table provides data on the numbers of sales notes submitted inside and outside of statutory deadlines:

Sales notes submitted within statutory deadlines

Sales notes submitted outside statutory deadlines

2018 (England total)

55505

85687

2019 (England total)

55291

88482

2019 (South East District)

12977

28330

2019 (East District)

4209

9563

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) undertakes desk-based checks of sales notes submitted, working with industry to support the submission of timely and accurate data. Where consistent failure to submit data in a timely manner occurs the MMO also has powers to take enforcement action. Since 2018, checks undertaken by the MMO have resulted in action being taken against 178 merchants for late submissions, failure to submit and inaccurate submissions.

The MMO has also launched an initiative to increase understanding among fishermen in England of the benefits to the industry of individual fishermen and merchants submitting timely and accurate data. The additional support and assurance being offered by the MMO seeks to assist the industry in meeting its legal responsibilities to submit sales data on time.

24 Sep 2020, 5:12 p.m. Fish: Sales Luke Pollard

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many sales notes were submitted (a) outside and (b) within the statutory deadlines in 2018 for fish landed by UK vessels in England.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

The following table provides data on the numbers of sales notes submitted inside and outside of statutory deadlines:

Sales notes submitted within statutory deadlines

Sales notes submitted outside statutory deadlines

2018 (England total)

55505

85687

2019 (England total)

55291

88482

2019 (South East District)

12977

28330

2019 (East District)

4209

9563

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) undertakes desk-based checks of sales notes submitted, working with industry to support the submission of timely and accurate data. Where consistent failure to submit data in a timely manner occurs the MMO also has powers to take enforcement action. Since 2018, checks undertaken by the MMO have resulted in action being taken against 178 merchants for late submissions, failure to submit and inaccurate submissions.

The MMO has also launched an initiative to increase understanding among fishermen in England of the benefits to the industry of individual fishermen and merchants submitting timely and accurate data. The additional support and assurance being offered by the MMO seeks to assist the industry in meeting its legal responsibilities to submit sales data on time.

24 Sep 2020, 5:12 p.m. Fish: Sales Luke Pollard

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many sales notes were submitted (a) outside and (b) within the statutory deadlines in 2019 for fish landed by UK vessels in England.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

The following table provides data on the numbers of sales notes submitted inside and outside of statutory deadlines:

Sales notes submitted within statutory deadlines

Sales notes submitted outside statutory deadlines

2018 (England total)

55505

85687

2019 (England total)

55291

88482

2019 (South East District)

12977

28330

2019 (East District)

4209

9563

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) undertakes desk-based checks of sales notes submitted, working with industry to support the submission of timely and accurate data. Where consistent failure to submit data in a timely manner occurs the MMO also has powers to take enforcement action. Since 2018, checks undertaken by the MMO have resulted in action being taken against 178 merchants for late submissions, failure to submit and inaccurate submissions.

The MMO has also launched an initiative to increase understanding among fishermen in England of the benefits to the industry of individual fishermen and merchants submitting timely and accurate data. The additional support and assurance being offered by the MMO seeks to assist the industry in meeting its legal responsibilities to submit sales data on time.

24 Sep 2020, 5:12 p.m. Fish: Sales Luke Pollard

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many sales notes were submitted (a) outside and (b) inside the statutory deadlines in 2019 for fish landed by UK vessels within the Marine Management Organisation's (i) south east and (ii) east marine districts.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

The following table provides data on the numbers of sales notes submitted inside and outside of statutory deadlines:

Sales notes submitted within statutory deadlines

Sales notes submitted outside statutory deadlines

2018 (England total)

55505

85687

2019 (England total)

55291

88482

2019 (South East District)

12977

28330

2019 (East District)

4209

9563

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) undertakes desk-based checks of sales notes submitted, working with industry to support the submission of timely and accurate data. Where consistent failure to submit data in a timely manner occurs the MMO also has powers to take enforcement action. Since 2018, checks undertaken by the MMO have resulted in action being taken against 178 merchants for late submissions, failure to submit and inaccurate submissions.

The MMO has also launched an initiative to increase understanding among fishermen in England of the benefits to the industry of individual fishermen and merchants submitting timely and accurate data. The additional support and assurance being offered by the MMO seeks to assist the industry in meeting its legal responsibilities to submit sales data on time.

24 Sep 2020, 5:09 p.m. Fish: Sales Luke Pollard

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many sales notes were submitted with incomplete data for fish landed by UK vessels in 2019 in England.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

The information requested is not held centrally and to obtain it would incur disproportionate costs.

24 Sep 2020, 4:53 p.m. Fisheries Luke Pollard

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he has made a recent assessment of the potential for European Commission infraction of the UK for the lack of control and enforcement of fish catches, landings and sales identified in the 19 September 2013 Commission pilot infraction letter and in subsequent correspondence.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

The letter dated 19 September 2013 from the European Commission to Defra raised issues regarding the UK’s implementation of the Control Regulation. The UK Fisheries Authorities worked closely together to address the issues noted and undertook a number of actions to resolve the EU’s concerns. This included implementing new IT systems and a focused campaign with industry to increase understanding and compliance. This issue was closed to the satisfaction of the Commission in August 2018.

All the Fisheries Administrations continue to work together to ensure compliance with all aspect of fisheries legislation, including control and enforcement of fish catches, landings and sales. At the end of the Transition Period, the UK will once again become an Independent Coastal State, no longer bound by the Common Fisheries Policy and we will be able to set our own rules on fisheries including control and enforcement.

24 Sep 2020, 4:53 p.m. Fisheries Luke Pollard

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the 19 September 2013 European Commission pilot infraction letter to his Department and subsequent correspondence, whether the UK has tackled to the satisfaction of the Commission the lack of control and enforcement of fish catches, landings and sales.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

The letter dated 19 September 2013 from the European Commission to Defra raised issues regarding the UK’s implementation of the Control Regulation. The UK Fisheries Authorities worked closely together to address the issues noted and undertook a number of actions to resolve the EU’s concerns. This included implementing new IT systems and a focused campaign with industry to increase understanding and compliance. This issue was closed to the satisfaction of the Commission in August 2018.

All the Fisheries Administrations continue to work together to ensure compliance with all aspect of fisheries legislation, including control and enforcement of fish catches, landings and sales. At the end of the Transition Period, the UK will once again become an Independent Coastal State, no longer bound by the Common Fisheries Policy and we will be able to set our own rules on fisheries including control and enforcement.

24 Sep 2020, 4:51 p.m. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Sustainable Development Paula Barker

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to discuss sustainability at his Department with civil service unions.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

As with any plans that will impact on the way we work, we will be discussing these with staff and unions. This is because, in order to tackle the sustainability challenge, we need the support and engagement of all of our employees.

In addition to our internal engagement, as Senior Responsible Owner for Sustainable Information Technology (IT) Across Government and in partnership with the UNFCCC, we’ve produced learning and development material for 400,000 civil servants across Government, which we’ve also shared globally through the United Nations.

24 Sep 2020, 4:48 p.m. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Carbon Emissions Paula Barker

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will place in the Library his Department's plan to reduce its carbon emissions.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

Defra has a number of initiatives to reduce carbon emissions which include:

  • Reducing our property footprint
  • Generating renewable energy on our properties (such as solar panels) so that they are self-powered as much as possible
  • Increasing energy efficiency by increasing insulation, replacing lighting, heating and air handling systems and using modern building management systems to minimise energy consumption
  • Offsetting through tree-planting

As well as our internal initiatives, Defra is the Senior Responsible Owner for sustainable information technology (IT) across Government. Our vision for sustainability in Digital, Data and Technology Services (DDTS) is to show leadership and expertise as a “Centre of Excellence”. We have worked with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, as a centre of excellence in sustainable IT, to help 200,000 businesses with their net zero targets:

https://defradesa.blog.gov.uk/2020/07/14/working-towards-achieving-a-sustainable-future-defra-unfccc/

Our current commitments for carbon reduction are published at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/greening-government-commitments-2018-to-2019-annual-report. These will be updated for the next four years in April 2021 and they will set out our targets up until 2025.

Our DDTS have set out the Defra Group sustainable IT strategy to 2025. This is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/defra-group-sustainable-information-technology-it-strategy

We are currently finalising our bid for funding under SR20. Once we know Defra’s settlement, we will be updating our plans to further reduce our carbon emissions over the next four years.

24 Sep 2020, 4:43 p.m. Food Supply Martyn Day

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment the Government has made of the potential effect of (a) the end of the transition period, (b) the covid-19 outbreak and (c) winter-related absenteeism on the food supply in the UK in winter 2020-21.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

The UK has a highly resilient food supply chain. We work closely with food retailers and the food industry to ensure that it is prepared for a range of scenarios. Our thorough preparations for leaving the EU in 2019, alongside the lessons we have learned during the Covid-19 response provide a robust foundation for end of Transition Period planning on food supply.

We are currently working alongside industry and across Government, including with the Devolved Administrations, to plan for the end of this year. This includes responding to the Covid-19 pandemic, associated increases in absenteeism and preparations for the end of the Transition Period. The Government remains committed to negotiating a Free Trade Agreement with the EU, but if the transition period ends without a trade agreement in place, there will not be a shortage of food in the UK. Consumers will continue to have access to a wide range of food products.

24 Sep 2020, 4:43 p.m. Food Supply: UK Trade with EU Martyn Day

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to ensure food supply is maintained in the event of a free trade agreement not being reached with the EU before the end of the transition period.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

The UK has a highly resilient food supply chain. We work closely with food retailers and the food industry to ensure that it is prepared for a range of scenarios. Our thorough preparations for leaving the EU in 2019, alongside the lessons we have learned during the Covid-19 response provide a robust foundation for end of Transition Period planning on food supply.

We are currently working alongside industry and across Government, including with the Devolved Administrations, to plan for the end of this year. This includes responding to the Covid-19 pandemic, associated increases in absenteeism and preparations for the end of the Transition Period. The Government remains committed to negotiating a Free Trade Agreement with the EU, but if the transition period ends without a trade agreement in place, there will not be a shortage of food in the UK. Consumers will continue to have access to a wide range of food products.

24 Sep 2020, 4:43 p.m. Food Supply Martyn Day

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the resilience of the food supply chain after the transition period.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

The UK has a highly resilient food supply chain. We work closely with food retailers and the food industry to ensure that it is prepared for a range of scenarios. Our thorough preparations for leaving the EU in 2019, alongside the lessons we have learned during the Covid-19 response provide a robust foundation for end of Transition Period planning on food supply.

We are currently working alongside industry and across Government, including with the Devolved Administrations, to plan for the end of this year. This includes responding to the Covid-19 pandemic, associated increases in absenteeism and preparations for the end of the Transition Period. The Government remains committed to negotiating a Free Trade Agreement with the EU, but if the transition period ends without a trade agreement in place, there will not be a shortage of food in the UK. Consumers will continue to have access to a wide range of food products.

24 Sep 2020, 4:40 p.m. Food Supply: Social Services Martyn Day

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on the food supply to the public and private care sectors of a free trade agreement not being reached with the EU before the end of the transition period.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

Our thorough preparations for leaving the EU alongside the lessons we have learned during the Covid-19 response provide a robust foundation for end of transition period planning on food supply. We are currently working alongside industry and across Government including with the devolved administrations to plan for the end of the year.

The Government remains committed to negotiating a free trade agreement with the EU, but if the transition period ends without a trade agreement in place, there will not be a shortage of food in the UK.

My department is working closely with officials in DHSC, as the lead department for public sector food provision for the care sector, providing advice and supporting their engagement with their food suppliers. NHS England and DHSC are engaging with the supply chain for the care sector to ensure their suppliers are fully prepared for the end of the year.

24 Sep 2020, 4:21 p.m. Game Jim Shannon

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to help shooting organisations meet the growing demand for game meat in the UK.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

Game rearing businesses play an important role within our rural economy. While there are no specific schemes to support shooting organisations, I am pleased that there is a growing demand for game meat.

Our new Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme will be based on the principle of ‘public money for public goods’. It will allow us to provide funding to those who manage land to deliver environmental public goods. This will include shooting estates or other game managers who manage their land in a way that delivers these public goods. Detailed eligibility criteria will be established for ELM as the scheme is developed, working with stakeholders.

24 Sep 2020, 3:35 p.m. Water: Environment Protection Stephanie Peacock

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many water samples have been taken in each year since 2010.

Answer (Rebecca Pow)

The numbers of water samples taken each year since 2010 are:

Year

Number of Samples Taken

2010

131,602

2011

137,250

2012

155,394

2013

159,737

2014

135,452

2015

122,103

2016

112,022

2017

95,247

2018

87,605

2019

100,037

24 Sep 2020, 3:32 p.m. Water: Environment Protection Stephanie Peacock

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what proportion of water bodies are in good ecological health in (a) England, (b) Wales, (c) Scotland, and (d) Northern Ireland.

Answer (Rebecca Pow)

The Environment Agency's latest classification results for England show that 16% of surface water bodies meet the criteria for good ecological status or good ecological potential. We are committed to improving our water with a legally binding target in the Environment Bill and we are making a concerted effort on many fronts. This includes working with water companies who are investing £4.6 billion in improvements, educating and incentivising farmers to reduce harmful run-off and developing a new chemicals strategy.

Water quality in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is a devolved matter.

24 Sep 2020, 2:07 p.m. Fish: Sales Luke Pollard

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what proportion of registered buyers with an ESR number submitted sales note data electronically in accordance with EU regulations in 2019.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

For sales notes submitted in 2019, 63 merchants would have been required to submit these electronically as they had a turnover of 200,000 Euros for the financial year 2017/18. Of these, 91% submitted electronically, 1% by paper, and 8% using a combination of both methods.

24 Sep 2020, 12:54 p.m. Air Pollution: Coronavirus Barbara Keeley

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of changes in the level of air pollution during lockdown restrictions due to the covid-19 outbreak; and what steps he is taking to reduce air pollution.

Answer (Rebecca Pow)

The Government is taking a proactive approach to understand the possible links between air quality and COVID-19. That is why, with our Air Quality Expert Group (AQEG), we ran a rapid Call for Evidence to ensure we can more fully understand the impact that COVID-19 is having on air pollutant emissions, concentrations and human exposure. A report was published on 1 July (the report can be found here: https://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/library/reports.php?report_id=1005) which outlines the findings from this Call for Evidence. The report provides an early snapshot of evidence (pre-April 30th 2020) and is an important component of Defra’s response to COVID-19 and strategic leadership to improving air quality in the UK. A detailed follow-up by AQEG in the form of a more traditional review of the peer reviewed evidence will follow when more is known about the impact of the pandemic on air quality.

The National Air Quality Monitoring Network continuously monitors air quality across the UK for a range of pollutants including for key pollutants like nitrogen dioxide and particulates. These networks have provided valuable insights into the impacts COVID -19 has had on air quality throughout this pandemic and continue to provide valuable information to assess air pollution trends.

Our assessment of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and PM2.5 concentrations during the pandemic has shown that:

  • Between 23 March and 31 May, NO2 concentrations were on average 46% lower compared to the 3-year average for the same period in 2017-2019, although there was substantial local level variability - with NO2 reductions at individual locations ranging from 5 to 68%. Concentrations of other air pollutants, such as particulate matter, have not shown similar trends.
  • Since the start of June, we have seen NO2 concentrations increase slightly as lockdown measures were lifted and traffic activity increased, although on average roadside NO2 concentrations remain lower than levels observed in the previous 3 years. From 1 June to 16 September 2020, roadside NO2 concentrations were on average 26% lower compared to the 2017-2019 average for this period, although there continues to be considerable local level variability.
  • There has been an impact on PM2.5 concentrations. Between 23 March and 16 September 2020 concentrations of PM2.5 measured by our monitoring network decreased by 15% at urban sites compared to the same period averaged over years 2017-2019. There is substantial local variability, however, with several sites reported increasing concentrations over the period.

Improving air quality remains a top priority for the Government and, especially during these unprecedented times, we will continue to take robust and comprehensive action to improve air quality in the UK and minimise public health impacts. This includes action that Government is taking to deliver our Clean Air Strategy, including through the Environment Bill. We will apply our understanding of the longer-term implications from these unprecedented changes in living and working patterns to delivering our environmental commitments.

24 Sep 2020, 12:42 p.m. Heather Burning Olivia Blake

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps (a) his Department and (b) Natural England take to monitor moorland burning; and whether staff from (i) his Department and (ii) Natural England make regular site visits to assess the environmental effect of that burning.

Answer (Rebecca Pow)

Moorland burning is a legitimate land management practice where it is carried out in accordance with the Heather and Grass Burning (England) Regulations (2007) and in accordance with any requirement for consent from Natural England where the land is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Natural England monitors the condition of SSSIs, which may be affected by burning, through its programme of SSSI condition monitoring. This includes site visits where it is necessary and appropriate.

Reports of burning made to Natural England are followed up to ensure that the activity is being carried out with the appropriate SSSI consent where that is required.

23 Sep 2020, 5:48 p.m. Fish: Exports Luke Pollard

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether fish and shellfish landed directly on the quayside from UK vessels onto vivier lorries and then transported to the EU will (a) meet the European Commission's Export Health Certificate requirements or (b) will need to have been through an approved establishment after 1 January 2020 prior to shipment.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

Products of animal origin, including fishery products and shellfish, exported to the EU after the end of the transition period will need an export health certificate, signed by an appropriately qualified certifying officer. It is for the certifying officer to determine whether the particular consignment meets the requirements of the certificate. Like most products of animal origin, they will need to be exported via an approved premise prior to shipment.

Generally speaking, transport operations are considered exempt from approval requirements in food law. However, a transport vehicle may be approved, providing the vehicle in question falls within the scope of approval and meets the relevant requirements of Regulation (EC) No. 852/2004 and Regulation (EC) No. 853/2004. Approval decisions are the responsibility of local authorities.

23 Sep 2020, 3:49 p.m. Animal Welfare: Sentencing Sarah Champion

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what progress he has made in bringing forward legislative proposals to introduce five-year maximum sentences for acts of animal cruelty in England and Wales.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

The Government is supporting the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill as it makes its way through Parliament. Second Reading of the Bill is scheduled for 23 October. The Bill will increase the maximum custodial penalty for animal cruelty from six months' imprisonment to five years' imprisonment.

The new maximum penalty of five years is in line with campaigns by key stakeholders such as Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, Dogs Trust and the RSPCA. This is a positive step forward in improving animal welfare and will act as a serious deterrent against cruelty and neglect. Northern Ireland has already set the maximum penalty for animal cruelty offences at five years' imprisonment, and the Scottish Government has now passed the Animals and Wildlife (Penalties, Protections and Powers) (Scotland) Act 2020. The Welsh Government has confirmed that the new maximum penalty being proposed should apply in Wales. The increase to five years' imprisonment will provide one of the toughest sanctions in Europe, strengthening the UK's position as a global leader on animal welfare.

23 Sep 2020, 3:47 p.m. Fish: Exports Luke Pollard

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when the Government applied to the EU for third country status and agreement to export fish and fish products; and what progress has been made on that application.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

The UK’s application for third country listing for live animals & Products of Animal Origin was submitted 27 March 2020. On 16 June 2020 the EU requested further information on the UK legislation and the SPS rules that will apply from 1 Jan 2021. The UK responded to the Commission on 20 July 2020.

The UK successfully gained listing previously (prior to EU exit dates) and there has been no change to the UK’s status (in terms of animal disease) and on this basis we remain confident of achieving listed status. Our application, including the evidence dossiers will be discussed by Member States at the EU Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (SCOPAFF) and we are expecting an update by 14/15 December 2020.

23 Sep 2020, 3:43 p.m. Agriculture: Forests Alex Sobel

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to (a) support the growth of agroforestry, and (b) ensure that sector receives adequate funding.

Answer (Rebecca Pow)

Agroforestry can help towards our climate commitments, protect and improve biodiversity, support healthy soils and productive farms, and improve waterways by creating riparian woodlands.

We recently consulted the public on proposals for a new England Tree Strategy, including how to expand the use of agroforestry. The final strategy, based on analysis of these responses, will include proposals to support agroforestry.

23 Sep 2020, 3:41 p.m. Sewage: Waste Disposal Martyn Day

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the accuracy of reports in the Guardian newspaper in its article entitled Nearly 30,000 tonnes of sewage sludge containing human waste to enter UK, published on 2 September 2020; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Rebecca Pow)

The Sludge Use in Agriculture Regulations provides controls that protect the environment and human health when these organic materials are spread to land.

The use of sewage sludge in agriculture is regulated by the Environment Agency. The Environment Agency has reviewed the risks and limitations of the regulatory framework and issued a bespoke landspreading mobile plant permit to handle sludge from the Netherlands.

Provided the use of sewage sludge is carried out in accordance with the relevant regulatory controls and good practice guidance is followed, the recycling of sewage sludge to land remains a safe activity.

We are working to implement the Environment Agency’s Sludge Strategy to bring sludge and septic tank sludge into the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations, by 2023. This will enable better management of the environmental impacts of landspreading sludge, and modernise the regulatory framework surrounding the treatment, storage and safe use of sludge.

23 Sep 2020, 3:36 p.m. Developing Countries: Poaching Anthony Mangnall

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what proportion of Official Development Assistance is being made available to help reduce the reliance of communities in developing countries on poaching.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

The UK Government is at the forefront of international efforts to protect endangered animals and plants from poaching and illegal trade. Defra’s current Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) budget is approximately 7% of Defra’s SR15 ODA budget. This includes an uplift of £2.5m from FCDO in 2019 and 2020.

In addition, at the UN Climate Action Summit (UNCAS) in September 2019, the PM announced a new £220 million international biodiversity fund, which will include £30 million in further funding to tackle the Illegal Wildlife Trade. This commitment almost doubles Defra’s IWT budget over the next three years. FCDO have also committed a further £3.5m uplift to Defra’s IWT budget over the next Spending Review period.

Defra has also invested £92m into the Global Environment Facility (GEF) during the SR15 period. The GEF is a multilateral organisation that delivers a wide range of programmes to tackle global environmental issues including the Global Wildlife Program which is a global partnership on wildlife conservation and crime prevention for sustainable development.

23 Sep 2020, 2:11 p.m. Territorial Waters: Environment Protection Stephanie Peacock

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many areas of less that 800 metres depth in UK territorial waters have been closed to bottom trawling following identification of a vulnerable marine ecosystems since the implementation of the Deep-sea Access Regulation (EU) 2016/2336.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

The deep-sea access regulation provides the European Commission with delegated powers to establish a list of areas where Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VMEs) are known or likely to occur below a depth of 400m. Once identified, those areas will be closed to fishing with bottom gears in accordance with the regulation. The Commission requested advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) in October 2019, and details of a related ICES workshop report and the advice request can be found at the links below. The workshop report also includes a summary of existing VME protection measures through national conservation initiatives, including in UK waters (ref. pages 8 and 9).

http://www.ices.dk/sites/pub/Publication%20Reports/Expert%20Group%20Report/Fisheries%20Resources%20Steering%20Group/2019/WKREG/WKREG2019.pdf

http://www.ices.dk/sites/pub/Publication%20Reports/Advice/2019/Special_Requests/eu.2019.19.pdf

The UK, while still a Member State, submitted UK-related VME data to assist the implementation process of the deep-sea access regulation. When ICES provides its advice the Commission will proceed with implementation in EU waters. As this will happen after the end of the transition period the UK will be in a position to develop the retained regime in our waters from next year, taking the ICES UK-related advice into consideration as we do so.

23 Sep 2020, 2:05 p.m. Agriculture: Shropshire Daniel Kawczynski

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent steps he has taken to support the farming industry in Shropshire.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

This Government is committed to supporting our farming industry. Our ambition is for this country to have a thriving, self-reliant and resilient farming sector.

The Government appreciates that the food and farming sectors are currently facing unprecedented challenges as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and is grateful for the hard work farmers have done to maintain food supplies

In response to the pandemic, we introduced a range of measures to support the agriculture sector, including farmers and agricultural businesses in Shropshire. These included: easements to competition law to help producers get food where it was needed; a dairy support scheme; support for various AHDB promotional campaigns and the opening of intervention and storage aid schemes for various products. Employees in the food sector were also designated as key workers and there has been a temporary relaxing of the normal rules on drivers' hours, enabling the sector to keep supply chains running, including deliveries from farm gate to processors.

Farmers have also, where eligible, been able to apply for public support through the various Covid-19 related Government schemes including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, business rates relief, Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme.

23 Sep 2020, 12:15 p.m. Exclusive Economic Zone: Environment Protection Stephanie Peacock

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will publish information on the (a) known and (b) potential areas within the UK's exclusive economic zone of sensitive or vulnerable deep-sea habitats for (i) coldwater corals, (ii) deep-sea sponges, (iii) mud and sand emergent epifauna, (iv) bryozoan patches and (v) xenophyophore patches.

Answer (Rebecca Pow)

Information on the extent, or area covered, and distribution of marine habitats is currently publicly available in different formats.

Created by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) in 2018, UKSeaMap provides a broad-scale overview of the coverage of different physical seabed habitats in the UK. In addition to this, the JNCC’s UK Marine Protected Area mapper portal provides up to date detailed information on the known distribution and extent of sensitive deep-sea habitat types such as deep-sea sponge aggregations and cold-water corals, and also provides information on their protection status. Through the Canyons Marine Conservation Zone, located in the far south-west of the UK, Defra is protecting the only known example of cold-water corals within English waters, so action is being taken. All other instances of cold-water corals in the UK are recorded from Scottish waters such as the Rosemary Bank Seamount, East & North West Rockall Bank, Anton Dhorn Seamount and Darwin Mounds.

We are also currently in the process of mapping and analysing data on the condition of biogenic reefs, hard structures made up of living organisms, and underwater rocky communities, specifically looking at those habitats with sensitive emerging epifauna, such as corals and sponges. The results are not yet publicly available, although we are in the process of finalising the report for external publication.

23 Sep 2020, 12:13 p.m. Litter: Waste Disposal Stuart Anderson

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he has taken to support (a) litter picks and (b) other community-based anti-litter schemes.

Answer (Rebecca Pow)

The Government continues to use its influence to support national clear-up days, which help to empower and engage communities in tackling this problem and to change attitudes towards littering.

This month, we are encouraging as many people and businesses as possible to participate in the Great British September Clean and Great British Beach Clean, while following Government guidance on staying safe outside your home.

Community-based anti-litter projects have also been supported through the Litter Innovation Fund, which was launched in 2018 to pilot and evaluate innovative new ways to tackle litter. This was jointly funded by Defra and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. A total of 28 small-scale local anti-litter projects were awarded through the scheme, which was unfortunately disrupted earlier this year due to coronavirus restrictions.

Reports from the first-round projects, and the list of successful applicants in the second round, are available from the Waste and Resources Action Programme’s website: www.wrap.org.uk/content/litter-innovation-fund.

Defra also support several anti-litter campaigns, including the national “Keep It, Bin It” and “Love parks” campaigns run by Keep Britain Tidy, and our own “Respect the outdoors” campaign which launched this summer.

23 Sep 2020, 12:10 p.m. Water Voles: South West Anthony Mangnall

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he has taken to support populations of water voles in the South West.

Answer (Rebecca Pow)

Water vole are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 meaning it is an offence to kill, injure or take a wild water vole as well as damage or destroy places it uses for shelter, as well as disturb them while occupying these. In addition water vole are a priority conservation species listed under Section 41 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 which requires public authorities to have regard to the species when carrying out their day to day functions.

Natural England published ‘A Review of the Population and Conservation Status of British Mammals’, which identifies and confirms areas of work where continued resource should be placed to conserve and enhance water vole populations.

The Environment Agency works with partners to deliver water vole recovery projects at a number of sites across the South West, including habitat improvements, mink control, surveying and reintroductions. The Agency has partnered with the Westland Countryside Stewards and Biffa to repopulate the Bude catchment. Since summer 2012, approximately 550 water voles have been released. The reintroduction programme is promising with sightings in almost all release sites, as well as sites where they have moved into. Field sightings suggest that the water vole population is stable and the project has been successful. In addition, the River Tale in East Devon now also supports a stable population of water vole following a recovery project in the area.

23 Sep 2020, 12:01 p.m. Clothing: Waste Anthony Mangnall

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 2 September 2020 to Question 77811, whether his Department holds the data supporting the WRAP’s claim on their Sustainable Clothing Action Plan website that the 2020 commitment currently has over 90 signatories and supporters representing more than 48 per cent of UK retail sales by volume.

Answer (Rebecca Pow)

WRAP keeps Defra informed of the overall proportion of UK fashion retail sales by volume covered by the fashion retailers who are part of the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan. The data used by WRAP was collected by Kantar Wordpanel and is commercially available from them. Defra does not hold the data.

22 Sep 2020, 6 p.m. Forests and Tree Planting Paul Bristow

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what (a) financial and (b) other support he is giving to local authorities to (i) plant more trees and (ii) create new areas of woodland.

Answer (Rebecca Pow)

Defra supports tree planting in England through established mechanisms, almost all of which are available to Local Authorities and their partners if they can meet the rules of the scheme. These include the Woodland Creation Planning Grant, Woodland Carbon Fund, Countryside Stewardship and the Urban Tree Challenge Fund.

We have also announced a £640 million Nature for Climate Fund which will drive tree-planting in this parliament. Plans for that will be announced through a new England Tree Strategy, including how local authorities can access grant funding for tree planting and woodland management.

22 Sep 2020, 5:53 p.m. Wildlife: Nature Conservation Colleen Fletcher

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to protect endangered UK wildlife from extinction.

Answer (Rebecca Pow)

In England, the 25 Year Environment Plan (YEP) marked a step-change in ambition for wildlife and the natural environment. We are already taking action to fulfil this ambition. We have brought forward the first Environment Bill in over 20 years with ambitious measures to address the biggest environmental priorities of our age, including restoring and enhancing nature. The Bill will set the framework for at least one legally binding target for biodiversity. We have announced new funding for nature through our Nature Recovery, Nature for Climate and Green Recovery Challenge Funds; and we will be launching a new Environmental Land Management scheme that will reward farmers and land managers for delivering environmental public goods, including thriving plants and wildlife.

Natural England’s Species Recovery Programme supports the recovery of threatened and declining species in partnership with a number of stakeholder organisations. Natural England is also working with conservation organisations on the Back from the Brink programme. Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and partners, it aims to save 20 of England’s most threatened animals and plants from extinction, and benefit over 200 other species.

22 Sep 2020, 5:52 p.m. Flood Control: South Yorkshire Stephanie Peacock

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he has set a date for the South Yorkshire flood summit.

Answer (Rebecca Pow)

The Government recognises the impact that flooding has had on individuals, local communities and businesses and sympathises with all those affected. I have been in contact with hon. Members from the South Yorkshire area on the issue of a round table.

Prior to lockdown, Defra officials were working to set this up. However, the coronavirus pandemic has caused delays. Officials continue to work on the logistics for holding a meeting in response to the November 2019 flooding and I expect to be able to confirm a date very soon.

Yesterday (21 September) the Government announced an extension of the £5,000 grant scheme available to homes and businesses affected by flooding last winter.

The Property Flood Resilience (PFR) scheme will be extended by nine months to take into account delays to repair work and the additional pressures placed on local authorities by coronavirus. The extension will give homeowners and businesses more time to carry out repairs and local authorities a greater period to process the grants.

22 Sep 2020, 4:41 p.m. Pesticides: Trade Agreements Bell Ribeiro-Addy

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the UK's standards for pesticides are protected and maintained in international trade agreements.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

Our trade agreements will respect the regulatory autonomy of the Parties and decisions on standards will remain a matter for the UK Government and devolved administrations, including on pesticides.

We will maintain our high human health and environmental standards when operating our own independent pesticides regulatory regime after the transition period. We will ensure decisions on the use of pesticides are based on careful scientific assessment and will not authorise pesticides that may carry unacceptable risks. The statutory requirements of the EU regime on standards of protection will be carried across unchanged into domestic law.

The Government is clear that in all of our trade negotiations we will not compromise on our high environmental protection, animal welfare and food standards.

22 Sep 2020, 1:11 p.m. Organic Food Bill Esterson

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to secure equivalence agreements for organic products with her international counterparts.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

Defra is engaging with the 13 third countries with which we have organic equivalency arrangements and we expect to have arrangements in place for the end of the transition period. For countries with non-reciprocal arrangements, we will send them a letter confirming that we will continue to recognise their organic goods as we do now. For those countries with which we have reciprocal arrangements, we are updating the specific arrangements to reflect the end of the Transition Period.

In addition, the UK has proposed a technical annex which would include mutual recognition for organics as part of the Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with the EU.

22 Sep 2020, 11:15 a.m. Lighting: Pollution Control Andrew Griffith

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to (a) strengthen protections against light pollution and (b) increase the number of Dark Sky reserves.

Answer (Rebecca Pow)

The Government has put in place a range of measures to ensure that light pollution is effectively managed through controls in the planning system; the statutory nuisance regime, and when improvements are made to street lighting.

My department has worked with the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government and Department for Transport to ensure that the National Planning Policy Framework policies include consideration of the impact of light pollution from artificial light on local amenity, intrinsically dark landscapes and nature conservation, including where there may be impacts on wildlife and eco-systems.

Defra’s 25 Year Environment Plan will also deliver benefits including promoting access to stargazing.

Across the UK's 15 National Parks there are a number of locations that have been awarded International Dark Sky Reserve or Dark Sky Discovery Site status. Defra has no formal role in the Dark Sky designation process as it is non-governmental and non-statutory. The Independent Review of Landscapes recommended, ‘A night under the stars in a national landscape for every child.’ The Government has welcomed the Review and will respond in due course. We are committed to increasing opportunities for people of all ages to enjoy the benefits of spending meaningful time in our national landscapes in England.

22 Sep 2020, 11:12 a.m. Hunting: Coronavirus Luke Pollard

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much Government covid-19 support has been allocated to fox hunts during the covid-19 outbreak.

Answer (Rebecca Pow)

The Government released an unprecedented package of support, including loan schemes delivered through the British Business Bank, grant funding and wage packages, to help as many individuals and business as possible during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. While the Government is unable to comment on individual applications, any financial support provided (if provided) would be subject to the terms and conditions of the specific scheme. For commercial confidentiality reasons, the British Business Bank also cannot disclose whether companies are or are not in receipt of support without their approval.

The Hunting Act 2004 bans the hunting of wild mammals with dogs in England and Wales, except where it is carried out in accordance with the exemptions set out in Schedule 1 to the Act. Any support to hunting related businesses, if provided, would only have been to those carrying out activities related to legal hunting under these exemptions.

21 Sep 2020, 5:40 p.m. Bovine Tuberculosis: Gloucestershire Daniel Zeichner

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many badgers vaccinated against bovine TB were culled during the 2019 badger cull in Gloucestershire; and whether there has been an investigation by the Government on how and why any vaccinated badgers were culled.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

We have no information on the numbers of badgers culled in Gloucestershire in 2019 that may have been previously vaccinated. From this year vaccination sites located wholly or partially in the TB zone designated as the Edge Area that meet minimum criteria can benefit from no-cull zones around the vaccination site. Although vaccination with BCG will not guarantee protection from infection, meaning some badgers may still become infected, various studies provide good evidence of beneficial effects. Relevant information can be found on the TB Hub website.

21 Sep 2020, 4:33 p.m. UK Trade with EU: Agriculture Anthony Mangnall

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to help prepare the farming sector for the possibility of the transition period ending with the UK trading with the EU on World Trade Organisation terms.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

The UK Government intends to achieve an FTA with the EU by December 2020. We therefore do not expect the UKGT to apply to EU imports. The Political Declaration sets an aim for “a zero tariff and zero quota FTA”. We would like to achieve that. Reducing the cost pressures and processes associated with trade is in the interests of people and businesses across the UK.

On 31 December 2020, the transition period will end and there will be a guaranteed series of changes and opportunities for which business and the Government need to prepare. Many of these changes will be required regardless of the agreement we reach with the European Union on our future trade relationship because the UK will be leaving the single market and customs union and regaining its political and economic independence.

Through the UK Agriculture Market Monitoring Group (UKAMMG), Defra and the Devolved Administrations continue to monitor the market situation across various agricultural commodities. The group will enable us to remain agile and to identify, and respond as required, to any unforeseen impacts at the end of the transition period.

21 Sep 2020, 4:32 p.m. Flowers: Import Duties Nicola Richards

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect on fresh flower sellers of potential tariff imposition in the event that an agreement is not reached on a future relationship with the EU by the end of the transition period.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

The UK Government intends to achieve an FTA with the EU by December 2020. We therefore do not expect the UK Global Tariff (UKGT) to apply to EU imports. The Political Declaration sets an aim for “a zero tariff and zero quota FTA”. We would like to achieve that. Reducing the cost pressures and processes associated with trade is in the interests of people and businesses across the UK.

The Government wants a free trade deal, based on friendly cooperation. The UK is a significant importer of goods from the EU, and avoiding tariffs would be beneficial to both sides, given our shared commitment to high regulatory standards We will publish more analysis in the Taxation Information and Impact Note (TIIN) alongside the legislation, as is standard practice.

21 Sep 2020, 4:31 p.m. Flood Control Stephanie Peacock

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much his Department has spent on flood defence by region in the UK in the last 12 months.

Answer (Rebecca Pow)

This is a devolved matter and the information provided therefore relates to England only.

Defra provides most of its funding for flood and coastal erosion risk management (FCERM) to the Environment Agency (EA) as grant-in-aid, which is the mechanism for financing non-departmental public bodies such as the EA. The EA spends this funding directly on managing flood risk, but it also passes some of this funding on as capital grants for flood or coastal erosion defence improvements to local authorities or Internal Drainage Boards.

The EA allocated capital grant-in-aid for 2019/20 per Office for National Statistics (ONS) region as follows. This information is a forecast only, based on the EA’s current consented FCERM investment programme (approved and published in April 2019).

ONS Region

2019/20 £

East Midlands

67,321,698

East of England

55,614,346

London

40,116,579

North East

10,119,997

North West

58,167,332

South East

58,641,225

South West

39,507,690

West Midlands

32,554,347

Yorkshire and the Humber

117,484,419

21 Sep 2020, 4:30 p.m. Fish: Exports Luke Pollard

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the European Commission’s procedure for listing the UK for fish exports into the EU requires audit of the UK’s health certification systems and checks; and whether that audit will be required before the UK receives approval.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

The Commission's own guidance on EU import and transit rules for live animals and animal products from third countries requires us to satisfy health certification laid down in relevant legislation. This would be Reg. (EU) 2017/625 otherwise known as the Official Controls Regulations.

21 Sep 2020, 4:29 p.m. Dogs: Sales Olivia Blake

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of Lucy's Law on banning third-party puppy sales since that Law was introduced in April 2020.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

The ban on commercial third-party sales of puppies and kittens in England, also known as Lucy’s Law, came into force in April 2020. My department has not been informed of any cases of action being taken against third party sellers breaking the law since its introduction. However, we would expect reports of any such cases to be reported to the relevant local authorities, as enforcers of the legislation.

Defra recognises that raising awareness of deceitful sellers is another integral step towards tackling low-welfare and illegal supply of puppies. That is why we launched the communications campaign “Petfished” in March 2020 to raise the public’s awareness of the consequences of buying from a low-welfare seller and challenging the assumption that it is easy to spot bad practice. The campaign also signposts to resources available to help them make a good decision and source from responsible breeders or rehoming centres in the UK. We have increased and tailored campaign activity over recent months to further encourage responsible buying during the Covid-19 pandemic.

21 Sep 2020, 4:28 p.m. Hen Harriers: Conservation Alex Sobel

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent steps he has taken to combat the illegal shooting of hen harriers associated with grouse shooting; and what plans he has to restore hen harrier populations throughout the UK.

Answer (Rebecca Pow)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Blaydon on 8 September, PQ UIN 82283.

[questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-08-28/82283]

21 Sep 2020, 4:08 p.m. Fisheries: Marine Protected Areas Alex Sobel

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of fishing by supertrawlers in Marine Protected Areas; and whether those supertrawlers are planned to be banned from Marine Protected Areas once the UK leaves the EU Common Fisheries Policy.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

Marine protection is a devolved matter and the information below relates to England only.

When the transition period ends we will be able to restrict the fishing activities of all vessels, including supertrawlers, throughout our waters. The UK will be able to decide which vessels can access our waters and the new licensing framework within the Fisheries Bill will allow us to apply conditions to the activities of all vessels fishing in UK waters. Any vessels granted access to fish in our waters, regardless of nationality, will need to abide by UK rules including those on sustainability.

The Marine Management Organisation monitors activity to ensure fishing boats are complying with current rules and will ensure compliance with new measures as they are introduced.

Not all fishing activities within Marine Protected Areas will require management, only those likely to damage the designated features, such as trawling on the seabed. ‘Supertrawlers’ generally target fish within the water column and are unlikely to damage the seabed habitats for which most Marine Protected Areas are designated.

21 Sep 2020, 3:55 p.m. Tourist Attractions: Coronavirus Rachael Maskell

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much of the £14m allocated for zoos and aquariums in response to Covid-19 has been (a) allocated to and (b) received (i) in total and (ii) for each zoo and aquarium.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

Over £2.2 million was allocated to and received by zoos and aquariums under the £14 million Zoo Support Fund, which was active until the end of July 2020. The spend category for each zoo is listed below. The £100 million Zoo Animals Fund was subsequently launched at the beginning of August 2020. Zoos and aquariums can currently receive a grant of up to around £730,000 to pay for animal welfare related costs and essential maintenance. The deadline for applications for support from the new fund is 16 November 2020 and we encourage all eligible establishments to apply.

Zoos awarded up to £10k

  • Tamar Otter and Wildlife Centre
  • Predator Experience
  • Oasis Camel Park
  • The Falconry Centre Ltd.
  • Exotic Zoo Wildlife Park
  • Ilfracombe Aquarium Ltd.
  • Xtreme Falconry
  • Liberty’s Owl, Raptor and Reptile Centre
  • Zoo2U
  • Haven Falconry Bird of Prey Centre
  • The English School of Falconry
  • Kirkleatham Owl Centre
  • Screech Owl Sanctuary

Zoos awarded between £10k and up to £25k

  • Becky Falls Ancient Woodland Park Limited
  • Wild Discovery
  • Avon Valley Country Park Ltd.
  • Ventura Wildlife Park
  • Porfell Wildlife Park and Sanctuary
  • Raptor Foundation
  • Cheshire Falconry Ltd.
  • Coda Falconry
  • Simply Native Ltd.
  • Paradise Park Cornwall
  • Hoo Farm and Animal Kingdom

Zoos awarded between £25k and up to £50k

  • Jurassic Encounters/Ark Wildlife Park
  • The Leaf Foundation
  • Woodside Wildlife Park
  • Chew Valley Animal Park Ltd.
  • Lake District Wildlife Park
  • The New Forest Wildlife Park
  • Green Dragon Rare Breeds Farm
  • National Centre for Birds of Prey
  • Battersea Park Children’s Zoo
  • Tropiquaria Zoo
  • Ponderosa R T C
  • Bendalls Leisure Ltd.
  • HR Phillpot and Son – Barleylands Ltd.

Zoos awarded between £50k and up to £75k

  • Teen Spirit
  • Shepreth Wildlife Park
  • Island Amazon Adventure
  • Brazilia Ltd.
  • Sealife Adventure
  • The Whitehouse Centre
  • Wildwood Escot
  • The Parrot Zoo Trust
  • Smithills Open Farm Ltd.
  • Old Macdonald’s Farm and Fun Park Ltd.

Zoos awarded between £75k and up to £100k

  • Cumbria Zoo
  • Dartmoor Zoological Society
  • Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park
  • Exmoor Zoological Park
  • White Post Farm
  • Trust for Sustainable Living
  • The Essex Pig Company
  • Hamerton Zoological Park
  • Noah’s Ark Zoo

21 Sep 2020, 3:52 p.m. Beverage Containers: Recycling Fleur Anderson

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the impact assessment that will be published alongside the second consultation on a deposit return scheme will include an analysis of the potential for consumers to switch from aluminium cans in multi-packs to large plastic bottles due to the cumulative impact of the fee.

Answer (Rebecca Pow)

We will seek further evidence on consumer purchasing habits as a result of the introduction of a deposit return scheme as part of our forthcoming consultation planned for early 2021. The impact on multipack purchases will not be fully analysed in our consultation-stage Impact Assessment as we do not currently have sufficient evidence to be able to model the impact in detail.

21 Sep 2020, 3:48 p.m. Bovine Tuberculosis: Disease Control Daniel Zeichner

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the expansion of badger culls to 11 new areas of England, what estimate his Department has made of (a) the number of badgers that will be culled in 20202, (b) the number of badgers that will have been culled by the end of 2020 since the introduction of culling in 2013 and (c) the proportion of the national badger population that will have been culled by the end of 2020 since the introduction of culling in 2013.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

The minimum and maximum number of badgers to be culled in 2020 can be found on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/advice-to-natural-england-on-setting-minimum-and-maximum-numbers-of-badgers-to-be-controlled-in-2020.

The number of badgers culled between 2013 and 2020 is as follows:

Year

Number of badgers culled

2013

1869

2014

615

2015

1467

2016

10886

2017

19537

2018

32934

2019

35034

The estimated badger population of England in 2011-2014 was 424,000. The number of badgers culled each year to 2019 has varied between 0.1% and 8.3% of this estimate.

21 Sep 2020, 3:40 p.m. Bovine Tuberculosis: Disease Control Daniel Zeichner

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make it his policy to ensure that badgers vaccinated against bovine TB through Government-funded badger vaccination programmes in Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Oxfordshire and Warwickshire will not be culled during the extension of the badger cull to 11 additional areas of England.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

Vaccination sites within Edge Area counties and that meet specific criteria will have no-cull zones surrounding them if a Badger Disease Control licence is issued for land adjacent to such a vaccination site. Specific details on no-cull zones can be found in Defra’s guidance to Natural England published on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-natural-england-preventing-spread-of-bovine-tb.

21 Sep 2020, 3:38 p.m. Bovine Tuberculosis: Gloucestershire Daniel Zeichner

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether during the 2019 badger cull in Gloucestershire there was a buffer zone established around Woodchester Park to prevent the culling of badgers vaccinated against bovine TB.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

Badgers in Woodchester Park are not vaccinated against bovine TB and therefore a no-cull zone was not established around Woodchester Park in 2019.

21 Sep 2020, 3:25 p.m. Fisheries Virginia Crosbie

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he plans to take to ensure that businesses in the fishing industry are not adversely affected by (a) increased administrative requirements and (b) potential tariffs in the event that an agreement is not reached on a future relationship with the EU by the end of the transition period.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

The Government is clear that it wants to secure a Canada-style free trade deal with the EU which has at its heart a zero tariff trading regime.

At the end of the transition period, the UK will leave the EU’s customs area and the EU’s single market which means that traders will have to comply with new processes to trade with the EU, whether or not we reach an agreement with the EU.

Planning for the end of the transition period is well underway and the Government is working closely with businesses and other partners across the UK to ensure that the trade of seafood with the EU can continue as smoothly as possible.

21 Sep 2020, 11:53 a.m. Bovine Tuberculosis: Derbyshire Daniel Zeichner

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many badger vaccination sites in Derbyshire will be both (a) close to new badger cull zones and (b) unable to apply for buffer zones.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

There are currently 47 active vaccination sites within Derbyshire, 10 of which are eligible for a buffer and 37 sites are ineligible for no-cull zones.

21 Sep 2020, 11:48 a.m. Fisheries Bill (HL) Virginia Crosbie

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the Fisheries Bill on (a) fisher employment levels (b) access to healthy food sources and (c) food security.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

Fisheries management is of course devolved. The extent to which the benefits of the Fisheries Bill and the fisheries negotiations on access and quota will be felt across the UK, will largely be a matter for each fisheries Administration.

The Joint Fisheries Statement will provide an opportunity to describe how the Administrations will jointly or individually as appropriate deliver policies to achieve the eight fisheries objectives in the Bill. The objectives cover fish as a food source and the national benefit objective.

In England, we will shortly be consulting on strengthening the economic link criteria to ensure the UK benefits from the additional quota we intend to negotiate to secure for the UK. This will boost opportunities for fishers.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, there have been promising signs that the public are eating more locally caught fish. The "Sea for Yourself" campaign being run jointly by the Sea Fish Industry Authority and Defra aims to increase consumption of seafood caught in UK waters.

Select Committee Publications

None

Date Type Title
Sep. 25 2020 Oral Evidence Inquiry The work of DEFRA Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
22 September 2020
Inquiry: The work of DEFRA
Inquiry Status: Open
Committee: Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee (Department: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
Sep. 23 2020 Written Evidence Local Government Association (LGA)
FLO0105 - Flooding
Inquiry: Flooding
Inquiry Status: Open
Committee: Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee (Department: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
Sep. 23 2020 Written Evidence Local Government Association (LGA)
FLO0105 - Flooding
Inquiry: Flooding
Inquiry Status: Open
Committee: Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee (Department: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

Publications

Guidance and Regulation

Date Department Title Type
Sep. 25 2020 Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Main Page: Webinars for exporters of animals and products of animal origin to the EU
Relevant Document: Webinars for exporters of animals and products of animal origin to the EU (webpage)
Guidance and Regulation
Sep. 23 2020 Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Main Page: Catchment Sensitive Farming: reduce water and air pollution
Relevant Document: Catchment Sensitive Farming: reduce water and air pollution (webpage)
Guidance and Regulation
Sep. 23 2020 Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Main Page: Flooding: developing a multi-agency flood plan
Relevant Document: Flooding: developing a multi-agency flood plan (webpage)
Guidance and Regulation
Sep. 22 2020 Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Main Page: Plant imports: authorised border control posts in the UK
Relevant Document: Plant imports: authorised border control posts in the UK (webpage)
Guidance and Regulation
Sep. 22 2020 Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Main Page: UK border control posts: animal and animal product imports
Relevant Document: UK border control posts: animal and animal product imports (webpage)
Guidance and Regulation

News and Communications

Date Department Title Type
Sep. 24 2020 Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Main Page: Environment Secretary speech on biodiversity: 24 September 2020
Relevant Document: Environment Secretary speech on biodiversity: 24 September 2020 (webpage)
News and Communications
Sep. 24 2020 Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Main Page: Neil Hornby appointed as new Cefas Chief Executive
Relevant Document: Neil Hornby appointed as new Cefas Chief Executive (webpage)
News and Communications

Transparency

Date Department Title Type
Sep. 24 2020 Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Main Page: Shortlisting and appointing data FOI2020/22047
Relevant Document: Shortlisting and appointing data FOI2020/22047 (webpage)
Transparency
Sep. 24 2020 Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Main Page: Shortlisting and appointing data FOI2020/22047
Relevant Document: Shortlisting and appointing data FOI2020/22047 (PDF)
Transparency
Sep. 23 2020 Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Main Page: Defra: workforce management information August 2020
Relevant Document: Defra: workforce management information August 2020 (webpage)
Transparency

Statistics

Date Department Title Type
Sep. 23 2020 Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Main Page: Air quality statistics
Relevant Document: Air quality statistics (webpage)
Statistics
Sep. 23 2020 Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Main Page: Air quality statistics
Relevant Document: Air Quality Indicator for sustainable development: 2007 final results (webpage)
Statistics
Sep. 23 2020 Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Main Page: Air quality statistics
Relevant Document: Air Quality Indicator for sustainable development: 2008 final results (webpage)
Statistics
Sep. 23 2020 Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Main Page: Air quality statistics
Relevant Document: Air Quality Indicator for sustainable development: 2009 final results (webpage)
Statistics
Sep. 23 2020 Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Main Page: ENV02 - Air quality statistics
Relevant Document: ENV02 - Air quality statistics (webpage)
Statistics
Sep. 23 2020 Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Main Page: ENV02 - Air quality statistics
Relevant Document: Table 20 Daily Air Quality Index (ODS)
Statistics
Sep. 23 2020 Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Main Page: ENV02 - Air quality statistics
Relevant Document: ENV02 - Air quality statistics (ODS)
Statistics
Sep. 23 2020 Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Main Page: ENV02 - Air quality statistics
Relevant Document: ENV02 - Air quality statistics (ODS)
Statistics
Sep. 23 2020 Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Main Page: ENV02 - Air quality statistics
Relevant Document: ENV02 - Air quality statistics (ODS)
Statistics
Sep. 23 2020 Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Main Page: ENV02 - Air quality statistics
Relevant Document: ENV02 - Air quality statistics (ODS)
Statistics
Sep. 23 2020 Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Main Page: ENV02 - Air quality statistics
Relevant Document: ENV02 - Air quality statistics (ODS)
Statistics
Sep. 21 2020 Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Main Page: Butterflies in England: species of the wider countryside on farmland and in woodland
Relevant Document: Butterflies in England: species of the wider countryside on farmland and in woodland (webpage)
Statistics
Sep. 21 2020 Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Main Page: Butterflies in England: species of the wider countryside on farmland and in woodland
Relevant Document: Butterflies in England: species of the wider countryside on farmland and in woodland (PDF)
Statistics
Sep. 21 2020 Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Main Page: Butterflies in England: species of the wider countryside on farmland and in woodland
Relevant Document: Butterflies in England: species of the wider countryside on farmland and in woodland (ODS)
Statistics
Sep. 21 2020 Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Main Page: Butterflies in England: species of the wider countryside on farmland and in woodland
Relevant Document: Butterflies in England: species of the wider countryside on farmland and in woodland (PDF)
Statistics
Sep. 21 2020 Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Main Page: Butterflies in England: species of the wider countryside on farmland and in woodland
Relevant Document: Butterflies in England: species of the wider countryside on farmland and in woodland (PDF)
Statistics
Sep. 21 2020 Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Main Page: Butterflies in the United Kingdom: habitat specialists and species of the wider countryside
Relevant Document: Butterflies in the United Kingdom: habitat specialists and species of the wider countryside (webpage)
Statistics
Sep. 21 2020 Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Main Page: Butterflies in the United Kingdom: habitat specialists and species of the wider countryside
Relevant Document: Butterflies in the United Kingdom: habitat specialists and species of the wider countryside (PDF)
Statistics
Sep. 21 2020 Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Main Page: Butterflies in the United Kingdom: habitat specialists and species of the wider countryside
Relevant Document: Butterflies in the United Kingdom: habitat specialists and species of the wider countryside (ODS)
Statistics
Sep. 21 2020 Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Main Page: Butterflies in the United Kingdom: habitat specialists and species of the wider countryside
Relevant Document: Butterflies in the United Kingdom: habitat specialists and species of the wider countryside (PDF)
Statistics
Sep. 21 2020 Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Main Page: Butterflies in the United Kingdom: habitat specialists and species of the wider countryside
Relevant Document: Butterflies in the United Kingdom: habitat specialists and species of the wider countryside (PDF)
Statistics

Tweets

Date Department or MP
26 Sep 2020, 8 a.m. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Not long left to apply for the Green Recovery Challenge Fund! The fund, delivered by @HeritageFundUK, will create thousands of jobs while protecting wildlife, tackling climate change and connecting people with nature🍂 Apply now: https://t.co/xZDach66fl https://t.co/msZbqrkWZt

25 Sep 2020, 3:07 p.m. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Shopping this weekend? Remember to shop safely… 😷 wear a face covering ↔ keep your distance from others ✅ follow advice in store #HandsFaceSpace #coronavirus https://t.co/kSzR7khM3L

25 Sep 2020, 1:38 p.m. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Did you know, woodland pests and diseases are hidden in soil and leaf debris, which can spread by sticking to the bottom of boots, buggies and paws? To protect our woodlands, clean these after visiting. More tips here: https://t.co/eJyaFW6rtR #PlantHealthWeek #IYPH2020 https://t.co/kqJnl09zvW

24 Sep 2020, 6 p.m. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Heading out to a pub or restaurant? Remember to… 👋 meet in groups of six or less 😷 wear your face covering when you're not eating or drinking ✅ follow the rules of the venue #HandsFaceSpace #coronavirus https://t.co/v3hNCO3k48

24 Sep 2020, 4:18 p.m. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Environment Secretary, George Eustice, emphasised the need for global action to tackle biodiversity loss and the importance of nature in mitigating climate change as he spoke at the ‘Biodiversity Beyond 2020’ event, hosted by China. Find out more here: https://t.co/PGTN7M08FN

24 Sep 2020, 2:51 p.m. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

We welcome today's @WCL_News study on invasive species. Invasive non-native species not only challenge the survival of some of our rarest species but damage our natural ecosystems. Read our response here: https://t.co/DdGdCKIM4t

24 Sep 2020, 2 p.m. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

If we protect nature, nature will protect us. Our Minister @ZacGoldsmith is today highlighting the importance of nature-based solutions at the @Nature4Climate event, as we prepare to host @COP26 next year. Learn more: https://t.co/i5hcx8KfNb #NatureForLife @UNDP @UNEP https://t.co/nkdUuasQuc

24 Sep 2020, 1:45 p.m. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

With thanks to @37squadron, @spainshall and @arugglesbrise for your contributions 👏

24 Sep 2020, noon Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

A pair of beavers on Spains Hall Estate have built over a dozen dams, holding up almost 2 Olympic swimming pools of water! Manager and owner Archie Ruggles-Brise tells us how these busy beavers are a nature-based solution to flood management #NatureForLife #UNGA https://t.co/uWhaqBEvLw

24 Sep 2020, 10:30 a.m. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To coincide with #UNGA75 & leading up to @UNBiodiversity Summit, 30+ of the world's #ForNature organisations partnered to create #NatureForLife Hub - a virtual space where leaders will showcase nature-based solutions. Find out more: https://t.co/dYFZryB5py #PeopleForPlanet https://t.co/WL9OTpl4eP

24 Sep 2020, 10:06 a.m. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

With thanks to: @PlasticWaive, @CitytoSea_, @nataliefee, and @RSPCA_official for your contributions.

24 Sep 2020, 9:21 a.m. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

This is devastating. #PlasticPollution puts our wildlife and environment at risk. Take simple action: ✅ Always bin disposable face coverings and gloves ♻️ Use reusable face coverings where you can ➡️ https://t.co/pc9WM3wHh4 #KeepItBinIt #RespectProtectEnjoy #coronavirus https://t.co/31PMEjEVPP

23 Sep 2020, 1:49 p.m. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

There has been widespread media coverage of the ongoing @GreenpeaceUK action at Dogger Bank Special Area of Conservation 🌊🐟 We are committed to bolstering the health of our precious Marine Protected Areas. Read more 👇 https://t.co/jjpkrafON1

23 Sep 2020, 11 a.m. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Equine microchipping in England will be compulsory from 1 October. Microchipping helps to: 🐴 find your horse if it's lost or stolen 🐴 identify an owner if a horse is mistreated 🐴 track a horse through the food chain More information: https://t.co/tuQgpXeWUq https://t.co/M3XdiS5Bvi

23 Sep 2020, 9:38 a.m. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Do you know how to tell if a new plant is healthy? Watch @PippaGreenwood’s top tips on what to look out for when buying new plants. Buying responsibly helps to ensure you’re buying plants that last 🌱 #PlantHealthWeek #IYPH2020 @HTAnews https://t.co/wBeq6aS9AS

22 Sep 2020, 2:31 p.m. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Seafood businesses, there are just 100 days left until the end of the UK's transition period Find out what you need to do to prepare: https://t.co/dBBnbnpSA8 https://t.co/oXjslRkoyh

22 Sep 2020, 1:39 p.m. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Our #IllegalWildlifeTrade Challenge Fund has funded 26 projects that have protected rhinos, ranging from counter poaching operations to supporting local communities 🦏 On #WorldRhinoDay find out more about what we’re doing to combat wildlife crime here: https://t.co/VP5o2zbDND https://t.co/bnIgwf0GGe

22 Sep 2020, 12:15 p.m. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

On today’s blog, we look at recent coverage on food supply: https://t.co/VFAiTKf2TT

22 Sep 2020, 11:22 a.m. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

On today's blog we look into our announcement that the government is extending the Property Flood Resilience (PFR) scheme https://t.co/9whU5dJMRm

21 Sep 2020, 4:09 p.m. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Over on the blog, we look into coverage on government’s progress to ban peat burning: https://t.co/HXnLVpeVPZ

21 Sep 2020, 1:34 p.m. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Over on today's blog, we look into our announced ban on the use of metaldehyde, a pesticide commonly used to control slugs: https://t.co/Qbli0Xhi2v

21 Sep 2020, 1:20 p.m. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

We can all play our part in keeping plants healthy, including children, this National #PlantHealthWeek 🌱 Help kids learn about plant health through our activity book Izzy the Inspector, created with @APHAgovuk Download your free copy here: https://t.co/Bw1npuAC2R #IYPH2020 https://t.co/EEwtdsXOPT