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Volume 130: debated on Thursday 31 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what investigations have taken place into the presence of radioactive materials deposited in Northern Ireland as a result of the accident at Chernobyl; what is his assessment of the period which will pass before restrictions on the affected areas will be lifted; and if he will make a statement.

[holding answer 29 March 1988]: Following the accident at Chernobyl the Departments of Agriculture and Environment undertook Province-wide investigations into the levels of radioactivity in milk and milk products, meat, fish, forage, fruit, cereals, migratory birds, air and water. Experimental investigations were carried out on the transfer of radio caesium from forage to milk, milk products and sheepmeat.It is not possible at this time to predict when the controls on the movement and slaughter of sheep from the three restricted areas could be lifted.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what sums have been paid, for how many sheep, and to how many farmers in Northern Ireland for each year or financial year as a result of the Chernobyl accident.

[holding answer 29 March 1988]: To 28 March 1987 in the current financial year, £951.85 was paid to three farmers in respect of market loss on 121 sheep and £11,688·30 was paid to 83 farmers in respect of handling costs of 8,991 sheep.