Foot and Mouth Disease

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:27 pm on 26th February 2001.

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Photo of Owen Paterson Owen Paterson Opposition Whip (Commons) 4:27 pm, 26th February 2001

I believe that the Minister terribly misjudged his response to my hon. Friend the Member for South Staffordshire (Sir P. Cormack). At a time of national crisis, which this is, the Minister"s real duty is to report to the House at every necessary opportunity.

None the less, I thank the Minister"s private office because, on Saturday afternoon, its staff were most helpful in arranging a licence to be given to my constituent Mr. Richard Bradshaw, who had 17 decomposing carcases in his yard and could not move them without a licence. However, this morning, anomalies have been revealed in the regime for fallen stock and casualties, in that Mr. Bradshaw has been told that he cannot move cattle that have an OTM22 form; although they have been deemed healthy enough for human consumption, the animals must be left on the farm to decompose for seven days. The arrangements have been made in haste and the Minister is caught on Morton"s fork. Will he give me a clear answer tomorrow on how casualties will be dealt with while the crisis lasts?