Animal Health Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:00 pm on 7th October 2002.

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Photo of Lord Livsey of Talgarth Lord Livsey of Talgarth Liberal Democrat 6:00 pm, 7th October 2002

This is a well-informed debate and I agree with the right reverend Prelate the Lord Bishop of Hereford that the provision requires more force. I congratulate the noble Baroness, Lady Byford, on a well-researched amendment. It is very detailed and it needs to be in order to be effective. Emergency vaccination is important and where possible the animals should live.

I commend in particular the noble Baroness's remarks about local knowledge. It is vital. In 2001, I was greatly distressed by the fact that local knowledge was completely overridden. People who knew a great deal about their locality—about how much livestock were here, there and everywhere else—were not consulted. That included myself and I forced myself on to the scene at one point because I was so distressed about what was happening. Local knowledge is vital and the proposals in the amendment and the strategy are to be commended. If the amendment is not acceptable to the Minister, it has provided a great deal of food for thought. If necessary, perhaps he can produce an equally detailed amendment covering the same points but drafted differently.