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The Advisory Group on Quarantine (AGQ) under the Chairmanship of Professor Ian Kennedy, Professor of Health Law, Ethics and Policy at University College, London, was set up in October 1997 to assess the risk of the introduction of rabies into the United Kingdom under the current policy of quarantine for pet animals and under alternative polices. The group is expected to report this summer or early autumn. A full public consultation on the options available will then be held.
Lord Donoughue: In July 1997, the Government issued a consultation paper seeking views on the possible introduction of a scheme under the Import of Live Fish (England and Wales) Act 1980 to prohibit the introduction or keeping of certain species of non-native fish without a licence. There was a generally favourable reaction to the proposals, and the Government are finalising the details of the scheme. The new scheme is not, however, specifically intended to prevent the spread of disease, since fish disease matters are regulated by the European Union's fish health regime, which is implemented in Great Britain by the Fish Health Regulation 1997, as amended.
(a) the former Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food South-West Region, encompassing Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Avon, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire; and
(b) the rest of England and Wales.[HL2324]
Lord Donoughue: Bovine immuno-deficiency virus is not a notifiable disease and, so far as the Government are aware, has never been confirmed in any cattle herd in England and Wales. A single herd in Cheshire has been investigated for the virus. Initial results suggested that infection might be present, but this diagnosis has not been confirmed following further investigations.
Lord Whitty: This is one of a range of proposals under consideration as part of a comprehensive review of the World Bank's financial structure and income dynamics, which is designed to assure the long-term financial sustainability of the institution. The UK, along with a number of other countries, has raised concerns over the proposal which could adversely affect the Bank's ability to deliver its developmental mandate to help the poorest countries. The World Bank has been asked for more analysis on the precise impact on the International Development Association (IDA) and the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Trust Fund of such a deferral.
Lord Whitty: I refer the noble Lord to my reply to his question of today [HL2327]. Until the question of deferred cash payments to the International Development Association (IDA) and the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Trust Fund has been fully considered it would be premature to consider the option to increase bilateral contributions to IDA.
Baroness Jay of Paddington: We are committed to encouraging a spirit of equal partnership between National Health Service staff, patients, users and carers. The Patient's Charter, which is currently being reviewed, already states that staff should ask patients whether they want to be called by their first or last name and respect that preference.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Scottish Office (Lord Sewel): We intend that the forestry commissioners should be specified as a cross-Border public authority under an Order in Council made under Clause 83 of the Scotland Bill. Provisions relating to the commissioners will be made by way of subordinate legislation under Clause 84 of the Bill. A draft of this legislation is being prepared and will be made available to Parliament as soon as possible.
Lord Sewel: The accounts of the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland are contained in the association's annual report. I have arranged for copies of the annual reports for 1993-94 to 1997-98 to be placed in the Library of the House. A copy of the accounts for 1996-97 were placed in the Library in April and I wrote to the noble Lord on 6 June enclosing a copy of the accounts for 1997-98. There is no record of any previous request to provide a copy of the association's accounts for the years before 1996-97.
The Solicitor-General (Lord Falconer of Thoroton): The Attorney-General exercises statutory superintendence over the Director of the Serious Fraud Office in the discharge of her functions. That superintendence does not extend to operational decisions taken about the disclosure of individual documents by the prosecution in any given case. The noble Lord, if he wishes to pursue this matter, should seek the assistance of the Director of the Serious Fraud Office.
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