Clause 2 - Extension of power to slaughter

Part of Animal Health Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:30 pm on 29 November 2001.

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Photo of Ann Winterton Ann Winterton Conservative, Congleton 2:30, 29 November 2001

I, too, shall be brief and supportive of the two contributions that have already been heard on this group of amendments. I hope that the Minister will be able to give the clarification that has been sought, because we need to know on what grounds he would take those powers to himself.

Two vital issues are at stake. First, slaughter should be made less of a blunt instrument to allow for exceptions where it is warranted, for example in respect of animals that have been neither in contact with, nor exposed to, the disease and are therefore unable to spread it.

Secondly, a full risk assessment should take place to help the Minister to decide whether a policy of slaughter is the best course of action. That raises questions about who should undertake the assessment and the right to appeal in cases where the policy is followed.