Animal Health Bill

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

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of The Countess of Mar The Countess of Mar Crossbench 5:15 pm, 7th October 2002

While the noble Lord is considering matters to bring forward on Report, perhaps I may ask him to bear this point in mind. A number of private vets are contracted to DEFRA for specific purposes—for TB, brucellosis testing and that kind of thing, and in the markets for inspecting animals. When I first started in farming I remember that our vet used regularly to carry out a whole farm assessment for us. With the narrowing of profits in farming such assessments have dropped off. In particular, large animal vets have noticed the fall in their incomes because farmers are no longer employing them to carry out such assessments. I recognise the importance of having a vet on one's property to look at one's animals periodically. Can the Minister consider how this practice might be reconstituted in some way or another?