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Schedule 2 - Scrapie

Part of Animal Health Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:00 pm on 4th December 2001.

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Photo of Angela Browning Angela Browning Vice-Chair, Conservative Party 5:00 pm, 4th December 2001

Before my hon. Friend moves too rapidly through this large group of amendments, I would like to draw her attention to two key situations. The inspector may demand that anyone he chooses should assist him, and if that person does not comply, that person commits an offence under the Bill.

Let me give my hon. Friend two examples of how that might work on the ground. First, an employee of the farmer or animal owner might be required, at the inspector's request, but against his own better judgment, to take action against his employer which could lead to litigation. I am not a lawyer, but I would have thought that the employee might be challenged over any action that he might take.

My second example actually occurred during the foot and mouth outbreak. A veterinarian might refuse to do what the inspector wanted because, in his or her judgment, what he or she was being asked to do was wrong.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Mr. Elliot Morley) indicated dissent.