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Volume 116: debated on Tuesday 12 May 1987

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what investigations his Department has undertaken into the effect of radiation, from sources other than the Chernobyl disaster, on farming in the United Kingdom.

The Ministry has for many years monitored radioactivity in the terrestrial and aquatic environment relating to major nuclear installations in England and Wales. From January 1986, an enhanced programme of monitoring for radioactivity in agricultural produce in the vicinity of such sites was established. Reports will be published annually.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food for how long he anticipates the radioactive lamb movement ban is likely to continue in force.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Hereford (Mr. Shepherd) on 27 April at column 67.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in how many areas in Cumbria there have been readings of radioactivity on lambs, which have shown an increase recently compared to corresponding readings taken in the autumn and this winter; and if he will make a statement.

Recent live monitoring of sheep leaving the restricted areas of Cumbria has shown a decrease in radioactivity levels as against autumn and winter readings. We will be keeping a close watch on levels in new season's lambs. However, it is still too early for the effects of consumption of fresh vegetation to be seen.