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Schedule 2 - Scrapie

Part of Animal Health Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:15 pm on 4th December 2001.

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Photo of Angela Browning Angela Browning Vice-Chair, Conservative Party 5:15 pm, 4th December 2001

May I take the Minister back to the provisions that worry me? Proposed new section 66A of the 1981 Act is headed:

''Refusal and obstruction of inspector''

and subsection (2) states:

''A person commits an offence if—

(a) he is required to give assistance under section 62C(3), and

(b) he fails to give it.''

Proposed section 62C(3) states:

''The inspector may require any person on the premises to give him such assistance as he reasonably needs for the purpose mentioned in section 62A.''

Proposed new section 62A, under the heading, ''Slaughter: power of entry'', states:

''An inspector may at any time enter any premises for the purpose of . . . ascertaining whether a power conferred by or under this Act to cause an animal to be slaughtered should be exercised, or . . . doing anything in pursuance of the exercise of that power.''

I am sorry; the subject is complicated, but it is important to consider the detail, or one loses track of what the new powers are about. They deal with the right to slaughter under new directions that give inspectors the power to commandeer anyone, and if people refuse they will commit a criminal offence. That must be wrong.