Animal Health Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:15 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) 5:15 pm, 7th October 2002

This group of amendments covers a number of issues. Most would be covered in the Government's commitment to produce and lay before Parliament a contingency plan, which would deal with issues of a risk assessment of the kind of disease control mechanisms that are required of the structure of the veterinary service, and so on.

I have indicated in my Statement and in my letter to Members of the Committee that I propose to bring forward an amendment relating to contingency planning. Most of these issues could be dealt with in that context. The noble Lord will no doubt be disappointed that, although I say it can be laid before Parliament, my amendment is unlikely to include the affirmative procedure. Nevertheless, perhaps we should discuss that when we have my amendment before us. If we took each amendment separately there would be some difficulty with each. But the requirements and how far we want parliamentary involvement in a contingency plan, which is covered by the next amendment of the noble Baroness, are best dealt with at a later stage. No doubt Members of the Committee will want to comment both on these and other amendments. I therefore ask for the Committee's indulgence and ask it to consider them at that stage.