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 Baroness Mallalieu Baroness Mallalieu Labour 7:30 pm, 7th October 2002

I support the comments of the right reverend Prelate; he conveys exactly my feelings.

Listening to the way in which the Minister responded to this group of amendments, I became profoundly depressed. It seems to me that we are learning nothing from all that occurred last year. It is absolutely crucial to get away from the situation that one farmer described to me: he said that for the first time he understood what Shakespeare meant by the "insolence of office". We are providing powers to do more of the same, although that went wrong. I appreciate that the Minister said that he needs such powers and that he has not got them. However, the circumstances in which they could conceivably be used in future, after all that has happened, must be very limited indeed. We should look beyond simply trying to take powers to justify what went wrong last time and look at ways of avoiding ever having to use them again in such a way.