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

In relation to veterinary surveillance, there are recommendations in the Royal Society report which lead us to assess the situation as regards the State Veterinary Service and relations with the private veterinary service. The response to those reports will deal with that issue. It is not really a matter of legislation.

The commitment to produce a clause dealing with contingency planning will not go into full details because a contingency plan is necessarily a living document and one which will feed on experience around the world in dealing with animal diseases, and foot and mouth in particular. But the commitment will be to ensure that we do draw up a contingency plan and that it is laid before Parliament. As to where that will be, to answer the question posed by the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Hereford, it will be pretty early in the Bill, because it will deal with many other issues in the Bill. When the Committee reads the amendment, it will find that it is prior to any of the more contentious issues with which we have been dealing today.