Animal Health Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:45 pm on 7th October 2002.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of The Bishop of Hereford The Bishop of Hereford Bishop 5:45 pm, 7th October 2002

I also support the amendment or something very like it. I hope that the Government will propose a preamble to the Bill that covers the same ground.

The noble Baroness, Lady Byford, might have been firmer in her proposals. I would like subsection (3) to say:

"The Minister shall investigate and"— perhaps—

"may recommend and implement".

Subsection (5) should say:

"The Minister shall collate research".

It must be done and should not remain optional. It is essential that we put it in terms stronger than those in the amendment. There is still time for the Minister to incorporate them in his contingency plan or in the preamble to the Bill and I hope that he will do so.

While I, from this Bench, welcome repentant sinners, I am not sure that the noble Earl is right in believing that this particular repentance could have taken place in 1954. I suspect that only this summer has it become clear that it is possible to distinguish between vaccinated and infected animals. That is the critical difference, so it is a last-minute repentance and we cannot blame the Government for not having repented sooner.