§ Mr. Wiggin
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many lighter lambs the Government plan to buy in 2001. 
§ Mr. Morley
Under the light lamb scheme introduced from September 2001, the Government are prepared to pay £10 for the buying up of light lambs for which there is currently no export market because of the foot and mouth export ban. This could cost up to £25 million in purchase costs but estimates of uptake are uncertain. The scheme will not operate in 2002 and we expect farmers to look into selling lambs into the food chain as their first priority.