Amendment 23

Part of Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill [HL] - Report (Continued) – in the House of Lords at 9:15 pm on 6 December 2021.

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Photo of Lord Hannan of Kingsclere Lord Hannan of Kingsclere Conservative 9:15, 6 December 2021

My Lords, I support my noble friend Lord Moylan’s amendment. Why do we have delegated committees? Why do parliamentary bodies contract out part of their function? The only answer, it seems to me, is that you need very specific accumulated scientific expertise—in the field of economics, or whatever—that you would not reasonably have from a legislative Chamber.

When I made the point on an earlier amendment that there is no such thing as a disinterested expert—we all have our prejudices and opinions and scientists are still human beings—the noble Baroness, Lady Hayman, said that I was Luddite or, worse, “Goveian” in my attack on all experts. But this is surely having it both ways. We cannot say, “We must have this outside committee but there is absolutely no reason for them to base their recommendations on reputable science”. If we are not prepared to require the experts to rule on the basis of where the expertise is, on what possible basis are we creating this committee at all?