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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 Ann Winterton Ann Winterton Conservative, Congleton 5:00 pm, 4th December 2001

My hon. Friend has raised two important points. The relationship between an employer and employee is a personal one, especially in agriculture. It is disgraceful for a third party to interfere in that relationship by insisting that an employee might be charged if he does not conform with the inspector's demands, when that employee knows that his employer—let us imagine that he is absent—would want a certain course of action to be taken but the inspector has instructed him to do exactly the opposite. That defies common sense—how can the potential for such a situation be drafted in legislation?

My hon. Friend also referred to a veterinarian who refused to slaughter animals because his instructions to do so ran contrary to his professional judgment. In such circumstances, could an inspector insist that a third person who was professionally qualified and was asked to take action against his professional judgment, be required to assist the inspector?