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Volume 79: debated on Tuesday 21 May 1985

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list in the Official Report all the different types of licences operated or granted by his Department and the year in which they first came into operation.

The main areas for which licences are currently issued by my Department are as follows: Under the Medicines Act 1968, the Animal Health Act 1981, the Animal Health and Welfare Act 1984 and subordinate legislation made under them for control over the movement of animals, including poultry and birds, meat and animal products and in relation to their importation. Controls are also applied under this legislation to feedingstuffs, animal medicines and vaccines, to the collection, processing and use of porcine and bovine semen and for the purpose of protecting the welfare of animals in transit.For Fisheries my Department and the other United Kingdom Fisheries Departments issue a wide range of licences to permit fishing by British fishing boats for those stocks listed in the Sea Fish Licensing Order 1983, as varied. The licences may cover one or more species or area and may be revoked and reissued from time to time in accordance with the requirements of EC conservation and quota regulations and of United Kingdom quota management arrangements. Other licences are issued under the Receiving of Trans-shipped Sea Fish (Licensing) Order 1982, as varied; the Diseases of Fish Act 1937 for the importation of live freshwater fish and their eggs; the Molluscan Shellfish (Control of Deposit) Order 1974, operational 1965; the Lobsters (Control of Deposit) Order 1981; and, since 1982, the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to permit releases into the wild of fish and shellfish.From 1982, also under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, my Department has been empowered to issue licences for the killing or taking of protected birds and mammals causing certain types of damage. There are similar powers in relation to badgers, operational since 1982, under the Badgers Act 1973. Since 1962, licences have also been issued for the keeping of mink and coypu under the Destructive Imported Animals Act 1932.Licences under the provisions of the Dumping at Sea Act 1974 authorise the deposit of material in the sea and the use of oil dispersants. Certificates of authorisation to dispose of radioactive waste are issued under the Radioactive Substances Act 1960. Licences control the burning of heather and grass under regulations that have operated from 1949.Under the Plant Health Act 1967, general and specific licences are issued to permit the import of plants meeting certain conditions; and seven orders made between 1957 and 1978 provide for the sale, use, delivery, and planting of material in relation to plant disease endemic in the United Kingdom. An eighth order under the Plant Varieties and Seeds Act 1964 makes similar provision for seed potatoes. The Plant Varieties and Seeds Act 1964 also allows the issuing of compulsory licences concerning proprietary rights of plant varieties. Licences under the Seeds (Registration and Licensing) Regulations 1974, operational 1974, cover crop inspectors, seed samplers and the operation of seed testing stations. Five general licences, normally applicable to everybody rather than individuals, are in operation under the Seeds Marketing Regulations to relax the provisions of seeds regulations.Four licences are issued in connection with bees; the movement of bees and beekeeping equipment from premises subject to a standstill notice; the exemption of persons involved in research or training from the provisions of bee diseases legislation, both operational 1942; the import of queen bees and attendant workers, operational 1980; and the import of bees for research purposes, operational 1983.Under European Community regulations, licences have been necessary for most trade in agricultural products with non-member countries.