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Schedule 2 - Scrapie

Part of Animal Health Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:45 pm on 4th December 2001.

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Photo of Ann Winterton Ann Winterton Conservative, Congleton 5:45 pm, 4th December 2001

I, too, would like to reflect on what has been said about the amendments. I commend the hon. Member for Bedford on the way in which he moved them and the thought that he put into drafting them. On Second Reading, and during earlier sittings of the Committee, concerns were expressed about the fact that magistrates would be asked to issue warrants quickly or even overnight. As magistrates usually come from the local community in which the slaughter is to take place, they might feel under pressure. The hon. Gentleman also said that, as often happens, the clerk might have undue influence over whether a warrant should be granted.

The Opposition have tried to express, probably inadequately, our concerns about the lack of balance and the lack of justice in these provisions. The amendments go some way to addressing that problem constructively and positively. I therefore add my support for the amendment to that expressed by my hon. Friends.