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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 Ann Winterton Ann Winterton Conservative, Congleton 6:15 pm, 4th December 2001

I beg to move amendment No. 44, in page 19, line 26, leave out 'may' and insert 'shall'.

This simple amendment would right a wrong with respect to compensation arrangements for scrapie. Under proposed new section 36K:

''The Minister may make regulations providing for the payment by him of compensation in respect of loss suffered or costs incurred as a result of the exercise of a power conferred by or under this Part.''

We propose to substitute the word ''shall'' for ''may'' for obvious reasons. The scheme is statutory, not voluntary, so it is right and proper that the Ministry ''shall'' make regulations

''providing for the payment . . . of compensation in respect of loss suffered or costs incurred''.

I do not understand why ''may'' appears in this part of the Bill. It gives the Minister a discretion, which doubtless the Treasury will appreciate in due course, but my hon. Friends and I do not believe that it is just. If a statutory scheme is introduced, the Ministry should defray the costs incurred through the exercise of the powers. For those reasons, and others that may be proposed by members of the Committee, we ask the Minister to accept the amendment.