Animal Health Bill

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

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Photo of Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton Government Whip 7:00 pm, 7th October 2002

In moving this amendment, I shall speak also to Amendments Nos. 124, 133, 139, 145, 150, 152, 155, 158, 162-163, 165, 168, 170, 172-173, 175, 177, 179, 181, 186-188, 191, 193, 200, 203, 298 and 300.

I have gone through the list properly in consideration of the point raised by the noble Earl, Lord Onslow, with regard to things being done properly. These technical amendments reflect the recent transfer of functions order whereby the Secretary of State will carry out functions previously fulfilled by the Minister. As a result, we need to amend the provisions relating to scrapie and foot and mouth disease, and other provisions, so that the relevant powers will be transferred to the Secretary of State.

I am sorry that the noble Earl, Lord Onslow, is not in his place. He referred to sinners repenting. I hoped that he would be able to withdraw his unwarranted attack on the officials who drafted the legislation. As the noble Earl knows only too well, and as noble Lords are aware, officials can draft legislation only in the light of the factual and legal position at the time. Because of the timing of the Bill and the delay involved, the officials, when they drafted the legislation, quite properly referred to the position before the transfer of functions order. These amendments are the first occasion on which the Government can put the matter right. I beg to move.