Written questions and answers

Written questions allow Members of Parliament to ask government ministers for information on the work, policy and activities of government departments.

Historical written answers can be found in Hansard.

Find the latest written questions and answers for the 2017-19 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

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Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
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Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 22 July 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Dutch Elm Disease: Disease Control
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to (a) support local authorities managing and tackling elm disease and (b) ensure that Brighton and Hove City Council has adequate support to protect the National Elm Collection in the city.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 09 September 2019

Landowners are responsible for managing the trees on their land. All Local Authorities, including Brighton and Hove, have been provided with the legislative powers necessary to safeguard the nation’s elm population and prevent the spread of elm disease. These powers are set out in the Dutch Elm Disease (Local Authorities) Order 1984. They allow officers (appointed by the Local Authority) who suspect the presence of this disease to enter any land to inspect trees and take samples, and where disease is present, to take action to eradicate it. Government has a strong risk-based biosecurity response to reduce the pest and disease risk to trees involving comprehensive international and domestic surveillance, stringent border biosecurity, robust contingency plans and world leading research. Government invests over £30million per year on our plant health service.

Q
Asked by Angela Smith
(Penistone and Stocksbridge)
Asked on: 23 July 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Animal Welfare: Licensing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many local authorities in England have submitted data for 2019 on the number of licences they have issued under the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 09 September 2019

Under regulation 29 of The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 it is a requirement for local authorities in England to submit specified information relating to licensable activities in their respective areas. Such information should be submitted to the Secretary of State by 31 May for each preceding year 1 April to 31 March. Local authorities have submitted information to the Secretary of State for this year and Defra is analysing the data. We aim to publish the information later this year.

Grouped Questions: 280992 | 280993
Q
Asked by Angela Smith
(Penistone and Stocksbridge)
Asked on: 23 July 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Animal Welfare: Licensing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018, how many licences have been issued under those regulations in 2019 for (a) breeding dogs, (b) providing or arranging for the provision of boarding for cats, (c) providing or arranging for the provision of boarding for dogs in kennels, (d) providing or arranging for the provision of day care for dogs, (e) hiring out horses, (f) selling animals as pets and (g) keeping or training animals for exhibition.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 09 September 2019

Under regulation 29 of The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 it is a requirement for local authorities in England to submit specified information relating to licensable activities in their respective areas. Such information should be submitted to the Secretary of State by 31 May for each preceding year 1 April to 31 March. Local authorities have submitted information to the Secretary of State for this year and Defra is analysing the data. We aim to publish the information later this year.

Grouped Questions: 280991 | 280993
Q
Asked by Angela Smith
(Penistone and Stocksbridge)
Asked on: 23 July 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Animal Welfare: Licensing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018, what the (a) average fee and (b) lowest and highest charges for licences issued in England in 2019 to date across all local authorities was for (i) breeding dogs, (ii) providing or arranging for the provision of boarding for cats, (iii) providing or arranging for the provision of boarding for dogs in kennels, (iv) providing or arranging for the provision of day care for dogs, (v) hiring out horses, (vi) selling animals as pets and (vii) keeping or training animals for exhibition.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 09 September 2019

Under regulation 29 of The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 it is a requirement for local authorities in England to submit specified information relating to licensable activities in their respective areas. Such information should be submitted to the Secretary of State by 31 May for each preceding year 1 April to 31 March. Local authorities have submitted information to the Secretary of State for this year and Defra is analysing the data. We aim to publish the information later this year.

Grouped Questions: 280991 | 280992
Q
(South Holland and The Deepings)
Asked on: 24 July 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Tree Planting
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he has taken to increase the number of trees planted in (a) Lincolnshire and (b) the UK.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 09 September 2019

Forestry is a devolved matter and these figures apply to England only.

The Government remains committed to planting 11 million trees this parliament, and to the shared aspiration of reaching 12% woodland cover in England by 2060.

We have amended our main grant schemes to make applications easier by streamlining the application processes, opening the Countryside Stewardship Woodland Creation window all year round and reducing the threshold of applications from 30 hectares to 10 hectares for Woodland Carbon Fund applications. We have invested £5.7 million in the new Northern Forest; and announced a further £10 million for urban trees and £50 million for the Woodland Carbon Guarantee scheme.

We have planted approximately 16 million trees in England since 2010, of which approximately 437,000 have been planted across Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire.

Q
Asked by Lyn Brown
(West Ham)
Asked on: 24 July 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Primates: Pets
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the scale of the problem of primates being kept and traded as pets in the UK.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 09 September 2019

There is no doubt that primates are complex creatures requiring specialist care. I recently met with the owner of a leading specialist primate rescue centre who informed me about the rising numbers they are having to take from private care. Given these issues I am looking at the options for banning the trade altogether.

In the meantime, we have strict laws in place restricting the keeping of primates and action can be taken if a primate is being kept in poor welfare conditions. Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, it is an offence to cause any unnecessary suffering to an animal or to fail to provide for its welfare.

The 2006 Act is backed up by the statutory Code of Practice for the Welfare of Privately Kept Non-human Primates that provides essential information for any primate keeper on how to meet the welfare needs of the primates in their care. The Code is made under the 2006 Act and can be used as evidence in court in support of a prosecution made under the 2006 Act.

If anyone has any concerns about the way a primate is being kept they should report to the relevant local authority, who have powers to investigate such issues, or to the RSPCA who can also investigate and take action.

In addition to the animal welfare controls, the keeping of most primates requires a licence under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 (DWAA), which is issued by a local authority. The DWAA licence is primarily to ensure public safety is protected.

The trade of primates is regulated through a Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) licensing system. Under this system, the international, commercial trade of the most endangered primates is prohibited, except under exceptional circumstances. Whilst it is not in itself a welfare measure, CITES does contain welfare provisions for the transport, keeping and moving of animals, including primates.

Q
Asked by Lyn Brown
(West Ham)
Asked on: 24 July 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Primates: Pets
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of further restricting the keeping of primates as pets beyond that set out in section 4 and section 9 the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 09 September 2019

There is no doubt that primates are complex creatures requiring specialist care. I recently met with the owner of a leading specialist primate rescue centre who informed me about the rising numbers they are having to take from private care. Given these issues I am looking at the options for banning the trade altogether.

In the meantime, we have strict laws in place restricting the keeping of primates and action can be taken if a primate is being kept in poor welfare conditions. Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, it is an offence to cause any unnecessary suffering to an animal or to fail to provide for its welfare.

The 2006 Act is backed up by the statutory Code of Practice for the Welfare of Privately Kept Non-human Primates that provides essential information for any primate keeper on how to meet the welfare needs of the primates in their care. The Code is made under the 2006 Act and can be used as evidence in court in support of a prosecution made under the 2006 Act.

If anyone has any concerns about the way a primate is being kept they should report to the relevant local authority, who have powers to investigate such issues, or to the RSPCA who can also investigate and take action.

In addition to the animal welfare controls, the keeping of most primates requires a licence under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 (DWAA), which is issued by a local authority. The DWAA licence is primarily to ensure public safety is protected.

The trade of primates is regulated through a Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) licensing system. Under this system, the international, commercial trade of the most endangered primates is prohibited, except under exceptional circumstances. Whilst it is not in itself a welfare measure, CITES does contain welfare provisions for the transport, keeping and moving of animals, including primates.

Q
(Clwyd West)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 24 July 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Eggs: Imports
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with the British Egg Industry Council on food safety standards for imported egg products after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 09 September 2019

The Secretary of State has not had any recent discussions with the British Egg Industry Council on food safety standards for imported egg products after the UK leaves the EU. Food safety policy is the responsibility of the Food Standards Agency.

Q
Asked by Alex Sobel
(Leeds North West)
Asked on: 25 July 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Palm Oil
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to (a) ensure that corporations adhere to regulations on the declaration on packaging of the use of palm oil in their products and (b) enforce other regulations on the use by those organisations of that oil in their products.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 09 September 2019

The EU Regulation (1169/2011) on the Provision of Food Information to Consumers requires that where vegetable oils or fats are listed in the ingredients of food, the vegetable origin of the oil must be given (Annex VII, Part A.8.).

Food Business Operators are responsible for ensuring that the correct information is provided on labels and that consumers are not misled.

Along with all food information regulations, these requirements are enforced by Trading Standards Officers.

Q
Asked by Andrew Percy
(Brigg and Goole)
Asked on: 25 July 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Nature Conservation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to prevent endangered plant and animal species coming into the UK.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 09 September 2019

The Government is committed to the conservation and protection of wildlife and we play a leading role internationally in addressing threats to endangered species; for instance through our membership of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Under our obligations as a party to CITES, the Government regulates trade in listed endangered species into the UK under a permitting regime; safeguarding such species from over-exploitation and with the aim of ensuring that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. Defra coordinates across policy, scientific authorities and enforcement authorities, and engages closely with stakeholders in the UK, to ensure we continue to deliver on our international commitments to protect endangered species under CITES.

Q
Asked by Andrew Percy
(Brigg and Goole)
Asked on: 25 July 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Nature Conservation: Crime
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what meetings she has had with her international counterparts on tackling wildlife crime.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 09 September 2019

Defra Ministers have had numerous meetings with their international counterparts in the last year to discuss efforts to protect endangered species from unsustainable and illegal trade and to follow up on commitments made at the international illegal wildlife trade conference held in London last October.

I look forward to continuing discussions on this important issue when I meet with my international counterparts in the future.

Q
(South Shields)
Asked on: 25 July 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Food Supply
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans she has to ensure that public services that (a) care homes, (b) schools, (c) hospitals and (d) prisons will have adequate supplies of food in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 09 September 2019

We remain focused on ensuring our smooth and orderly withdrawal from the EU with a deal as soon as possible. As a responsible Government, for almost three years we have been undertaking extensive work to prepare for a no deal scenario and minimise disruption to ensure trade continues to operate smoothly from the day we leave.

The UK has a high degree of food security built on access to a range of sources, including strong domestic production and imports from other countries. This will not change whether we leave the EU with or without a deal. Defra, as the lead Government department for food supply, has long established relationships with industry, and we are working closely with key stakeholders to prepare for all scenarios.

Public sector food provision for specific sectors including hospitals, prisons, schools and care settings is led by the relevant Government departments. However, Defra has been working closely with lead departments (DfE, DHSC, MOJ, MOD) to support their contingency planning for food supply to public services. Defra is providing advice and support to these departments especially to support their engagement with the food industry. Lead Government departments are engaging with key suppliers for schools, hospitals and prisons to ensure the supply chain is prepared and supply is maintained.

Q
(South Shields)
Asked on: 25 July 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Wildlife: Animal Welfare
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the provisions of the Wild Animals in Circuses (No.2) Act 2019 applies to wild animals used in public parades.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 09 September 2019

The Wild Animals in Circuses Act 2019 prohibits the use of wild animals as part of a travelling circus in England. A wild animal is used in a travelling circus if the animal performs or is exhibited as part of the circus. The Government has committed to issue guidance covering, amongst other things, activities that it considers will and will not be prohibited by the Act.

Q
Asked by Mary Creagh
(Wakefield)
Asked on: 25 July 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Local Adaptation Advisory Panel
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when the local adaptation advisory panel last met.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 09 September 2019

The Local Adaptation Advisory Panel (LAAP) acts as a forum for dialogue on climate change adaptation between local government, central government and arm’s length delivery bodies. The LAAP last met on 6 June.

Q
Asked by Jo Platt
(Leigh)
Asked on: 02 September 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Pets: Sales
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what progress her Department has made on delivering a public information campaign alongside the introduction of the ban on commercial third-party sales of puppies and kittens in April 2020.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 09 September 2019

The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2019, known as ‘Lucy’s Law’, bans the commercial third party sales of puppies and kittens and will come into force in April 2020. We intend to launch a campaign focused on helping the public understand how to responsibly source a puppy or kitten in early 2020, in the run up to the ban coming into force. The campaign is currently under development.

Q
Asked by Damian Green
(Ashford)
Asked on: 02 September 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Members: Correspondence
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when her Department intends to reply to the letter dated 3 July 2019 from the hon. Member for Ashford.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 09 September 2019

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Q
Asked by Dr David Drew
(Stroud)
Asked on: 02 September 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Tritium
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, for what reasons there has been a change to permitted levels of gaseous tritium discharges at former Magnox Nuclear Stations as a result of the operation of the waste encapsulation plants.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 09 September 2019

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Q
Asked by Frank Field
(Birkenhead)
Asked on: 02 September 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Environment Protection
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether she will ensure that any forthcoming environmental legislation (a) sets out legally binding targets for environmental protection, the progress of which must be reported on annually by Government, (b) incorporates a non-regression principle to prevent backward steps in the adoption and implementation of environmental laws and (c) establishes an independent and adequately resourced environmental watchdog.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 09 September 2019

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Q
Asked by Paul Farrelly
(Newcastle-under-Lyme)
Asked on: 02 September 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Packaging: Recycling
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of obligating all retailers to ensure that the packaging of products sold can be recycled locally before stocking those products.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 09 September 2019

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Q
(Morley and Outwood)
Asked on: 02 September 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Agriculture: Packaging
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to tackle packaging waste in the agricultural sector.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 09 September 2019

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Q
Asked by Alex Sobel
(Leeds North West)
Asked on: 02 September 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Clean Air Zones
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when the national online platform to enable the public to check vehicle compliance with Clean Air Zone emissions standards is scheduled to be fully functioning and available to the public; and for what reasons delivery of this platform by the Government has been delayed.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 09 September 2019

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 02 September 2019
Department for International Development
Developing Countries: Food
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, with reference to the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World's report which found that global hunger has increased for the fourth year, what steps the Government is taking to (a) tackle global hunger and (b) achieve the Sustainable Development Goal Two.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 09 September 2019

The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) report shows that without significantly increased efforts the world will fall far short of achieving the target of eradicating hunger by 2030. The UK is playing its part to ending hunger and undernutrition through its substantial portfolio of humanitarian support and longer-term responses to tackling chronic hunger and supporting food security by transforming agriculture. We are aware that the international community needs to do more. We are discussing opportunities for scaled-up and improved global interventions, including the German-initiated proposal for a SDG2 moment in 2020, and are supporting the Government of Japan in its preparations for the 2020 Nutrition for Growth Summit.

Q
(Romford)
Asked on: 02 September 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Rain Forests: Brazil
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions her Department is holding with the Government of Brazil to help stop deforestation in the Amazon.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 09 September 2019

The UK Government recognises the importance of protecting rainforests and has a long and proud history of supporting action to combat deforestation. The Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan, published last year, sets out work to protect the world’s forests, support sustainable agriculture and move towards zero-deforestation supply chains.

Brazil is one of our priority countries for both climate change and biodiversity engagement, and the UK Embassy in Brazil leads our engagement with the Brazilian Government on the environment. We have been having positive discussions with the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply, who are keen to continue our partnership to promote sustainable agricultural practices to combat deforestation rates. The first phase of our Low-carbon Agriculture programme (£24.9 million), completed in May this year, reached over 18,500 beneficiaries in the Amazon and Atlantic forest biomes and delivered a seven-fold increase in livestock productivity, while avoiding the clearance of 175,000 hectares of land and reducing 52% of carbon emissions. An additional £30 million has been committed to expand project activities to a second phase, taking place in two other major biomes in Brazil – Cerrado and Caatinga.

Brazil will continue to be an important partner in negotiations at the forthcoming UN climate summits in Chile this December (the 25th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, or COP 25) and again at the significant COP 26 in late 2020, where we hope to raise the level of global ambition on climate change five years on from the landmark Paris Agreement in 2015.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 02 September 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Water Treatment: Chemicals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans her Department has in place to assist water companies with supplies of purification chemicals in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 09 September 2019

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Q
Asked by Ian Lavery
(Wansbeck)
Asked on: 02 September 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Squirrels: Northumberland
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to (a) protect red squirrels in Northumberland and (b) tackle the damaging effect of the invasive grey squirrel species.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 09 September 2019

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Q
(Bristol East)
Asked on: 02 September 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Chemicals: Registration
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the Government will require companies to repeat tests on animals if previously shared data on chemical substances registered under EU REACH is no longer accessible.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 09 September 2019

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Q
(Morley and Outwood)
Asked on: 02 September 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Amazonia: Fires
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans the Government has to provide assistance to Brazil to help combat forest fires in the Amazon region.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 09 September 2019

The UK Government is working with Brazil to help ensure it protects the Amazon. We have invested nearly £120 million of our international climate finance in projects to limit deforestation, support local and indigenous people, prevent forest fires and implement the Forest Code in the Amazon, Atlantic Forest and Cerrado biomes.

Following the Amazon fires the UK has also recently engaged with the Brazilian Government and has pledged a further £10 million to fight deforestation.

Q
Asked by Dr David Drew
(Stroud)
Asked on: 02 September 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Trees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals to require each local authority to employ suitably qualified public-realm tree officers to ensure that (a) statistics are collated on the number and condition of trees and (b) existing trees are adequately maintained in each local authority area.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 09 September 2019

A public consultation on policies to improve the management of our trees and woodlands by Local Authorities was opened in December 2018. The consultation ended in February 2019. This document set out Government’s view on the importance of trees, especially in an urban environment, and the need for more policies to enhance the status and protection of urban trees.

The Government committed in the 25 Year Environment Plan to introduce a duty on Local Authorities to consult the public on felling street trees. This will increase the transparency of decision-making and give the public a say in the management of these important natural assets. It will encourage local authorities to consider concerns raised and have regard to these when making decisions. This duty will be introduced in the forthcoming Environment Bill.

Grouped Questions: 286096
Q
Asked by Dr David Drew
(Stroud)
Asked on: 03 September 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Trees: Urban Areas
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if the Government will make an assessment of the effect of urban trees on levels of human physical health and well being; and if she will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 09 September 2019

The Social and Economic Research Group of Forest Research, part of the Forestry Commission, focuses on understanding the complex relationships between forestry, the environment and society. The importance of peri urban woods and urban woods for people’s wellbeing, both physical, mental and social is well known. The group is currently participating in a number of activities which will help increase our understanding of the health and wellbeing benefits of trees and greenspace.

The Forestry Commission also supports the Urban Forest and Woodland Advisory Committee Network, which advises the Forestry Commission on forestry. The network has produced various publications on the benefits of a resilient urban forest, including for human health and quality of life.

Q
Asked by Dr David Drew
(Stroud)
Asked on: 03 September 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Tree Planting
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment she has made of the adequacy of funding and other Government support for the tree nursery industry to ensure that it is able to plan and invest in the infrastructure required to increase the numbers of trees that the Government estimates will be required to be planted to help meet its climate change and biodiversity targets.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 09 September 2019

We do not provide direct support to tree nurseries. Our sustained support for new woodland creation helps ensure that there is ongoing demand for forest trees. The Forestry Commission has regular contact with representative bodies, sharing information on the expected level of tree planting and demand for trees to aid the planning of tree production.

We are looking at how we can support the nursery industry in improving biosecurity and improve tree seed viability.

Q
Asked by Dr David Drew
(Stroud)
Asked on: 03 September 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Trees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans the Government has to (a) collate statistics on the number of trees in the UK and (b) ensure that existing trees are adequately maintained.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 09 September 2019

The National Forest Inventory Forest Research, part of the Forestry Commission, gathers data on the number of trees within woodland in Britain. In addition it monitors the canopy area of trees outside of woodland within. More details of the work carried out and information it publishes can be found here: https://www.forestresearch.gov.uk/tools-and-resources/national-forest-inventory/about-the-nfi/

All woodland is protected against unauthorised removal through the control of tree felling in the Forestry Act 1967, the Environmental Impact Assessment (Forestry) Regulations and the planning system. Activities authorised and supported by the Forestry Commission, including woodland management which has grant support available through Countryside Stewardship and Felling Licences applications, are expected to meet the UK Forestry Standard, the Government’s approach to sustainable forestry.

Q
Asked by Dr David Drew
(Stroud)
Asked on: 03 September 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Trees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals to require each local authority to employ suitably qualified public-realm tree officers to ensure that (a) statistics are collated on the number of trees and (b) existing trees are adequately maintained in each local authority area.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 09 September 2019

A public consultation on policies to improve the management of our trees and woodlands by Local Authorities was opened in December 2018. The consultation ended in February 2019. This document set out Government’s view on the importance of trees, especially in an urban environment, and the need for more policies to enhance the status and protection of urban trees.

The Government committed in the 25 Year Environment Plan to introduce a duty on Local Authorities to consult the public on felling street trees. This will increase the transparency of decision-making and give the public a say in the management of these important natural assets. It will encourage local authorities to consider concerns raised and have regard to these when making decisions. This duty will be introduced in the forthcoming Environment Bill.

Grouped Questions: 285154
Q
(Bristol East)
Asked on: 03 September 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Clothing: Sustainable Development
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to encourage sustainable fashion from production to purchase in order to meet (a) UN Sustainable Development Goal 12 on sustainable consumption and production and (b) the target for net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 09 September 2019

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Q
Asked by Damian Green
(Ashford)
Asked on: 03 September 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Members: Correspondence
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when her Department plans to reply to the letter of 3 July 2019 from the hon. Member for Ashford.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 09 September 2019

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Q
(Woking)
Asked on: 03 September 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Forests: Woking
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which areas of forestry and woodland in Woking constituency are classed by her Department as ancient woodland.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 09 September 2019

The Ancient Woodland Inventory can be found on Defra’s website at Magic Map Application. It shows all the woodland and forestry areas in England classed as ancient woodland. This service is managed by Natural England.

Q
(East Yorkshire)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 03 September 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Hare Coursing: Fines
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will increase the penalties imposed by the courts in respect of offences of harecoursing; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 09 September 2019

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Q
(Midlothian)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 04 September 2019
Department for International Development
Developing Countries: Climate Change
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent assessment he has made of the effect on his Department's climate-focused work of planning for the UK to leave the EU without a deal.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 09 September 2019

DFID is fully supporting the Government’s preparations to ensure that the UK leaves the EU on 31 October. At the same time, as the Prime Minister made clear at the recent G7 Leaders meeting, the UK is strongly committed to tackling the two immense threats of climate change and biodiversity loss. Putting climate change and environment at the heart of our development programming is a high priority for DFID. While we have, since July 2019, deployed a small number of staff (fewer than 5) who were working on climate change to work on planning for our exit from the EU, overall the number of staff working on climate change is increasing.

Grouped Questions: 286840
Q
(Midlothian)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 04 September 2019
Department for International Development
Developing Countries: Climate Change
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how many staff of his Department who previously focused on climate change have moved to a role to plan for the UK leaving without a deal since July 2019.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 09 September 2019

DFID is fully supporting the Government’s preparations to ensure that the UK leaves the EU on 31 October. At the same time, as the Prime Minister made clear at the recent G7 Leaders meeting, the UK is strongly committed to tackling the two immense threats of climate change and biodiversity loss. Putting climate change and environment at the heart of our development programming is a high priority for DFID. While we have, since July 2019, deployed a small number of staff (fewer than 5) who were working on climate change to work on planning for our exit from the EU, overall the number of staff working on climate change is increasing.

Grouped Questions: 286838
Q
Asked by Dr David Drew
(Stroud)
Asked on: 04 September 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Snakes: Animal Welfare
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, for what reasons the minimum size of enclosures for snakes was changed from the requirement stated in the draft Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 guidance.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 09 September 2019

The draft statutory guidance relating to pet sales that accompanies The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 (the 2018 Regulations) contained two minimum accommodation size lengths for snakes in pet selling establishments. One was two thirds snake length and related to the minimum length of the enclosure in order to comply with the 2018 Regulations; and the other was 1x snake length which was the minimum length needed to attain the optional higher welfare standard.

During consultation on the draft guidance a group of specialist exotic animal veterinary and keeping professionals advised that there was no welfare basis for the higher welfare standard. We therefore withdrew the higher minimum welfare standard for snake accommodation sizes from the final published guidance. However, the minimum welfare size needed to comply with the 2018 Regulations remains at two thirds snake length. We have not made an estimate of the costs to businesses if they were required to increase the size of their snake enclosures.

Grouped Questions: 286612
Q
Asked by Dr David Drew
(Stroud)
Asked on: 04 September 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Snakes: Animal Welfare
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will publish correspondence between her Department and businesses on the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 guidance on the size of snake enclosures; and what estimate she has made of the costs to businesses of increasing the size of snake enclosures.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 09 September 2019

The draft statutory guidance relating to pet sales that accompanies The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 (the 2018 Regulations) contained two minimum accommodation size lengths for snakes in pet selling establishments. One was two thirds snake length and related to the minimum length of the enclosure in order to comply with the 2018 Regulations; and the other was 1x snake length which was the minimum length needed to attain the optional higher welfare standard.

During consultation on the draft guidance a group of specialist exotic animal veterinary and keeping professionals advised that there was no welfare basis for the higher welfare standard. We therefore withdrew the higher minimum welfare standard for snake accommodation sizes from the final published guidance. However, the minimum welfare size needed to comply with the 2018 Regulations remains at two thirds snake length. We have not made an estimate of the costs to businesses if they were required to increase the size of their snake enclosures.

Grouped Questions: 286611
Q
(Stockton South)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 04 September 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Northumbrian Water
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what meetings her Department has had with Northumbrian Water to discuss preparations for the UK leaving the EU without a withdrawal agreement.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 09 September 2019

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Q
(Dunfermline and West Fife)
Asked on: 04 September 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Plastics: Pollution
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to encourage ports and transport companies involved in the movement of plastic pellets/nurdles to sign up to the British Plastics Federation’s industry-led scheme Operation Clean Sweep to reduce the loss of plastic pellets in transit.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 09 September 2019

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Q
(Dunfermline and West Fife)
Asked on: 05 September 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Seas and Oceans: Environment Protection
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to improve the UK’s Ocean Health Index score.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 09 September 2019

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Q
(Dunfermline and West Fife)
Asked on: 05 September 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Plastics: Recycling
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what progress has been made on analysing the results of the consultation on introducing a Deposit Return Scheme for plastic drinks containers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 09 September 2019

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Q
Asked by Luke Pollard
(Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport)
Asked on: 05 September 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the timetable is for the conclusion of the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 09 September 2019

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Q
Asked by Luke Pollard
(Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport)
Asked on: 05 September 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Primates: Pets
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether she has plans to bring forward legislative proposal to ban the keeping of primates as pets.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 09 September 2019

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Q
Asked by Faisal Rashid
(Warrington South)
Asked on: 05 September 2019
Department for International Development
Developing Countries: Living Wage
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what funding her Department has allocated to programmes supporting the payment of living wages in global value chains; and whether this funding is supporting workers in the cocoa sector.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 09 September 2019

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Q
Asked by Paul Farrelly
(Newcastle-under-Lyme)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 22 July 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Pets: Tagging
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to create a centrally accessible database logging pets' microchip numbers and date of entry into the UK.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 06 September 2019

It is already a requirement for every dog in the UK to be identified by a microchip and its details to be recorded on a recognised database. This includes dogs imported from outside the UK. Defra will shortly be issuing a call for evidence on whether to introduce compulsory microchipping for all cats in England. Furthermore, all pets (cats, dogs and ferrets) entering Great Britain on approved routes have their microchip scanned and recorded by the carrier at the time of travel.

We do not consider it necessary at this time to introduce an additional database along the lines proposed.

Q
Asked by Paul Farrelly
(Newcastle-under-Lyme)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 22 July 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Pets: Animal Welfare
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that all dog and cat rehoming centres are adequately regulated.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 06 September 2019

As with anyone who owns or keeps animals, rescue and rehoming centres are subject to the provisions of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 which means they must provide for the animals’ welfare needs and protect them from pain, injury and disease. During the consultation on whether to ban the third party selling of puppies and kittens, carried out last year, we included a question about whether rescue and rehoming centres should be regulated. We need to be confident of the benefits and the impacts of any regulations placed on rescue and rehoming centres, particularly on some of the smaller rescues. We will put forward legislative proposals at the earliest possible point, once we have fully consulted with the sector and understood the impact of any proposals.

Q
Asked by Paul Farrelly
(Newcastle-under-Lyme)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 23 July 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Dogs: Imports
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent steps his Department is taking to increase collaboration between the Animal and Plant Health Agency and veterinary regulatory authorities in other countries to tackle provision of fake pet passports and veterinary certificates for dogs being imported into the UK.
A
Answered by: Zac Goldsmith
Answered on: 06 September 2019

Defra takes the issue of illegal dog and puppy imports very seriously. This is an abhorrent trade which causes suffering to the smuggled dogs and puts the health of pets and people in the UK at risk. Defra is working hard to tackle the problem through a comprehensive approach that seeks to target both the supply and demand of illegally imported dogs.

International engagement is one aspect of this approach. It takes place through Defra, with input from APHA intelligence and expertise. Under Article 26 of EU Regulation 1/2005 (on the protection of animals during transport and related operations), Defra notify Member States of the origin of the transporter where a welfare issue with an import has been identified. We send these to notify the Member State so that they can take remedial action to ensure that the transporter complies in future. The notifications include details of passports and certificates. The UK Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) has written to her counterparts in countries where illegally imported dogs typically originate, including (most recently) her counterparts in Hungary and Serbia. The issue also continues to be raised and discussed at EU CVO meetings.

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