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Clause 4 - Slaughter of vaccinated animals

Part of Animal Health Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:30 am on 4th December 2001.

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Photo of Elliot Morley Elliot Morley Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 10:30 am, 4th December 2001

As I have assured the Committee before, the Government are under an obligation to be reasonable in the exercise of any powers. That would also apply to those powers in relation to the slaughter of vaccinated animals.

I gave some examples earlier in the debate of where people might want to consider vaccinating animals and then slaughtering them later, primarily as a disposal option which would deal with welfare and the need for orderly disposal. I want to make it clear to the Committee that vaccinate and slaughter is not an option that I personally support, apart from in very specialised cases. If vaccination is to be used, I would much prefer a vaccinate-and-live policy, but there are circumstances in which we might want to consider vaccinate and slaughter. It is all part of the general philosophy of the Bill, which is to provide as wide-ranging powers as possible, to give the maximum flexibility to any disease control approach.

When we considered vaccination and slaughter in the East Yorkshire pig units, we called in the various stakeholders and had detailed consultations with them to explain the options and reasoning. I would envisage that that approach would always be applied when these options are used as a disease control measure.

I assure the hon. Lady that we do not need to have ''reasonable'' in the Bill, because we are obliged to act in a reasonable way. I would want no other option to be applied.