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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 Elliot Morley Elliot Morley Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 5:15 pm, 4th December 2001

I am not sure that it has a European flavour. The form of wording in the Bill is common in a range of legislation, including the Food Safety Act 1990.

It is important to keep the issue in perspective. Sadly, whatever one does to control a disease, someone somewhere will not co-operate. Such people can put many others at risk by spreading the disease and, as we saw during the epidemic, refusing access for the purpose of blood testing. Such behaviour delayed the lifting of the restrictions on the majority of farmers in the area. It is not a reasonable position to take. It is important to protect the rights of minorities, and the law does that. However, it is also important to bear in mind the impact of a disease on the rights of the majority. That is what the Bill is all about.