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Schedule 2 - Scrapie

Part of Animal Health Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 6:30 pm on 4th December 2001.

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Photo of Ann Winterton Ann Winterton Conservative, Congleton 6:30 pm, 4th December 2001

The Minister says that there is provision for compensation in the Bill. However, the proposed new section on compensation states that

''The Minister may make regulations''.

There is more than an element of doubt, because the Minister may not make regulations, depending on the circumstances.

The Minister's comments have not reassured me, nor do I think that they will have reassured my hon. Friends. The Minister will need to make regulations; therefore, ''shall'' is a much more positive word. The hon. Member for South-East Cornwall correctly said that the amendment is modest. However, it is vital because it shifts the balance away from doubt and the possibility that the Minister may not make regulations to a much more positive situation in which he is required to make regulations.

We are not saying what the regulations will be. We are not trying to specify the payment amount, although many people wish that the Bill set it at the proper market value compensation at the time. We leave those elements to one side. The Minister says that the proposed new section's wording gives him flexibility in respect of compensation. What it actually gives him is a cop-out. That is not acceptable, and we wish to press the amendment to a vote.

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 7, Noes 9.