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Schedule 2 - Scrapie

Part of Animal Health Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 6:15 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 6:15 pm, 4th December 2001

We cannot use individual examples; there are equal examples of people who did not co-operate. I know of at least one case in which people would not co-operate even though the animals were infected and had the virus. The issues must be dealt with on a general basis without taking individual stories into account.

It is possible that there will in future be greater facilities for blood testing, which should mean that that option could be applied. It certainly could not have been applied at the height of the outbreak, however, because there was not the capacity for blood testing. Circumstances during the outbreak were very different from the situation now, when we are using blood testing. One or two doubtful cases have come to light since 3 September, and blood testing is a way of checking what is going on. We must be proportionate about the circumstances that apply. The amendments change nothing of substance in the Bill, which requires inspectors to act reasonably in seeking any assistance that they need.