Animal Health Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:30 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) 7:30 pm, 7th October 2002

No. Not all advances in relation to the diagnostic tests have been fully validated but there is an advance which, we hope, will identify diseased animals and determine whether exposed animals were actually subject to the disease. However, it would not provide the basis on which one would carry out a pre-emptive cull. A pre-emptive cull, by definition, does not require us to be able to prove that an animal had the disease. That is precisely the firebreak or wall strategy that Anderson said should be more clearly available to us in legislation but which is not present in the current legislation. We are increasing the scope—I make no bones about that—but we do so in line with what the report suggests.