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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.
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:
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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