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Lobsters and Crawfish

Lord Hardy of Wath asked Her Majesty's Government:

29 Mar 1999 : Column WA24

Lord Donoughue: Some shellfishermen have urged very strongly that stocks need protection through a national UK ban on the landing of V-notched lobsters being introduced at as early a date as possible. My honourable friend the Parliamentary Secretary has, therefore, decided that legislation to extend the ban to the whole of the UK should be brought forward as soon as practicable. It already exists in Northern Ireland. The opportunity will also be taken to regulate the landing of V-notched crawfish.

Other measures, as referred to in my Answer to my noble friend Lady Hilton of Eggardon (Official Report, col. WA 137) are linked to changes in EU rules which will be coming into effect on 1 January 2000, and, as already announced, it is preferable for them to take place at the same time.

Intervention Board

Lord Janner of Braunstone asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will publish the next steps review of the Intervention Board.[HL1717]

Lord Donoughue: In accordance with the Government's policy on periodic reviews of executive agencies, agricultural Ministers have agreed that the Intervention Board should commence a thorough evaluation of agency status in March and produce a report in July 1999. In the light of ongoing issues such as devolution and the reform of the common agricultural policy, the reconsideration of the prior options element of the review has been deferred until March 2001.

In order to ensure that all matters are considered fully, comments regarding the performance of the Intervention Board since April 1993, which should be provided by 30 April 1999, would be welcomed from interested parties. The contact point at the Intervention Board for enquiries and correspondence is:

    Mrs. A. K. Parker

    Intervention Board

    Kings House

    Kings Road

    Reading RG1 3BU.

Badger Culling

Lord Brooks of Tremorfa asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What will be the next areas to be brought into the randomised badger culling trial.[HL1718]

Lord Donoughue: Using the criteria set out in their report of last July, the Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB has now identified the third triplet of trial areas. It is located in East Cornwall, and work will begin there shortly.

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Genetically Modified Seeds

Lord Beaumont of Whitley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will place in the Library of the House copies of all application forms and accompanying documents and correspondence which they have received, whenever the application was made, in respect of the entry of genetically modified seeds into

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    the non-statutory provisional seed certification scheme.[HL1613]

Lord Donoughue: I refer the noble Lord to the reply given to him on 1 March 1999 (Official Report, col. WA 165).

The Government are consulting Plant Genetic Systems about the release of the documents which were relevant to the application and I shall make a further reply as soon as possible.

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