Animal Health Bill
Lord Whitty (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Labour)
My Lords, the purpose of the amendment is to help to allay the concerns expressed in this House and elsewhere about the use of the new slaughter powers. It places in the Bill our commitment to publish a disease control (slaughter) protocol, which will indicate the procedures that the Government will follow if we decide to exercise the new preventive slaughter power and the relevant factors that we will have to take into account when deciding to exercise that new power. The intention is to consult fully on the protocol with all stakeholders. As experience and science change, it could be reviewed regularly.
Another condition is that the new preventive slaughter power could not lawfully be used without the prior publication of the protocols; in other words, we could not use the powers without explaining in what circumstances we would do so. Our intention is that the use of the new slaughter power should be as open and transparent as possible. With the publication of the protocol, coupled with the requirement to publish reasons for using a preventive power, the Bill will achieve the reassurance that has been sought from a number of quarters about how the powers in Clause 1 will be used. I beg to move.