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 The Bishop of Hereford The Bishop of Hereford Bishop 5:15 pm, 7th October 2002

Can the Minister confirm where his contingency plan will appear in the Bill? The shape of this piece of legislation is important. It is quite offensive as it stands because Clause 1 immediately goes into slaughter. We recognise that there will be cases where action has to be taken. The Bill would be more user-friendly and more likely to be welcomed by the farming community if this kind of action in extreme circumstances were set in the context of an overall plan which comes first. Therefore, can the noble Lord tell us where he expects to put his contingency plan and whether there should be some kind of pre-amble before we get to the detail of killing animals or—I hope—vaccinating rather than killing them? My concern is how the Bill is presented and the priority with which these matters are addressed. Can the Minister give us some reassurance about that?