Veterinary Surgery (Testing for Tuberculosis in Bovines) Order 2005

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:01 pm on 18 November 2005.

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Photo of Baroness Byford Baroness Byford Spokespersons In the Lords, Environment, Food & Rural Affairs 3:01, 18 November 2005

No, no, my Lords, the noble Baroness did. I cannot possibly resist the temptation to come back on that. If only the Government could get their act together on the whole question of how we control the spread of bovine TB in our wildlife population as well as within the cattle population, we would not need so many testers long term. That is as much as I will say today, but I must put that on record. I know that the Government have spent a long time considering ways to control bovine TB in wildlife and what is the connection, but the longer that they delay, the worse the situation gets. I cannot not stress that at this moment.

The noble Baroness talked about para-professionals—another word to add to my veterinary vocabulary. I will be interested to know what the response to that is. If we are to have some super para-professionals who will be moved to do certain things in different ways, where will that stop? But that is for another day.

I thank the noble Lords who have taken part in the debate. As I said, it is important that we get to grips with the disease and stop it from spreading, whether in wildlife or cattle to cattle. I hope that the Minister will reflect on what I said earlier about my fear that the order will make things more difficult for some in large veterinary practices. I beg leave to withdraw the Motion.