Animal Health Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:30 pm on 7th October 2002.

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Photo of Lord Whitty Lord Whitty Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) 4:30 pm, 7th October 2002

My Lords, as the noble Countess knows, that is a ludicrous interpretation of the TSE regulations. Those regulations stem primarily from European legislation, not primary legislation. Dealing with foot and mouth stems from the Animal Health Act 1981 and, therefore, in terms of orders and secondary legislation, we are confined by the terms of that legislation.

We have been considering the measures for a long time. We have the wisdom of three important reports, which broadly support the central thesis of the Bill. We have had plenty of comment from the farming industry, scientists, vets and Members of this House on the appropriateness or otherwise of the measures. Some 300 amendments have been tabled, so obviously a number of noble Lords can see ways of improving the Bill, which I hope that we can now go on to debate. I see no further need for delay.