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Schedule 2 - Scrapie

Part of Animal Health Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:30 pm on 4th December 2001.

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Photo of Bill Wiggin Bill Wiggin Conservative, Leominster 5:30 pm, 4th December 2001

I welcome the amendment. It is a small voice of reason creeping into the Bill, but a very welcome addition. I reiterate the point that the Bill is not a measure for dealing with hardened criminals. At worst, the people concerned simply love their animals and want to protect their livelihood. Considering the nature of the Bill, they have every reason to fear. Therefore, the amendment would be a constructive addition to the Bill. It would allow people to protect their livelihoods, as the hon. Member for Bedford (Mr. Hall) says, and would constitute some recognition of the fact that the House is not run solely by one party, and that we can still improve the drafting of a Bill. The amendment would add a welcome element of transparency to the measure. To be allowed to present sworn information to a justice of the peace is a minor entitlement for farmers, but I hope that the amendment will find its way into the Bill quickly. That would be a positive step.