Madeleine Moon: We will now hear oral evidence from Animal Defenders International, the Born Free Foundation, and PETA. We have until 11.25 am for this session. Will the witnesses please introduce themselves?
Madeleine Moon: If there are no further questions from Members, I thank the witnesses for their evidence.
Madeleine Moon: Good morning, everyone. We will now hear oral evidence from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the British Veterinary Association, and Freedom for Animals. I remind all Members that questions should be limited to matters within the scope of the Bill, and that we must stick to the timings in the programme order the Committee has agreed. We have until 10.30 am for this...
Madeleine Moon: Thank you. I am happy to take questions.
Madeleine Moon: Can I ask everyone to speak up? This is a dreadful room for acoustics. It would be really helpful. I am certainly struggling at this end of the table. I am sure everyone must be having the same problem.
Madeleine Moon: I was leaning forward to make sure that I could hear everything. My apologies for the room. The microphones are at their maximum, so there is nothing else I can do except ask people to speak up. A lady at the back has also indicated that she cannot hear, so it is not just me. If Members have one or two questions that they want to run together, I am more than happy for them to do so. You do...
Madeleine Moon: Before we proceed, I remind everyone that it can be tempting to think of this session as a personal conversation between the person asking the question and the person replying. The rest of us would like to be involved. When you ask a question, please make sure that I can hear it—and everyone else at this end of the room—and also when giving the replies. Especially with women, there is...
Madeleine Moon: Before I proceed, gentlemen, if any of you are finding it close in here, please feel free to take your jackets off.
Madeleine Moon: The questions are specifically for the witnesses and not for the civil servants.
Madeleine Moon: Our attention should be on the witnesses.
Madeleine Moon: We have five minutes left for this panel. I currently have five Members who wish to ask a question, and I intend to take those who have not yet done so. May I please ask everyone to be succinct?
Madeleine Moon: Single-word answers and quickly, please.
Madeleine Moon: That brings us to the end of the time allotted for the Committee to ask questions—we really do count it down in seconds in this place. I thank the witnesses on behalf of the Committee for their evidence and Committee members for being so tolerant and withdrawing questions at the end.
Madeleine Moon: Before we begin, I have a few preliminary points. Please switch electronic devices to silent. Tea and coffee are not allowed during sittings. We will first consider the programme motion on the amendment paper. We will then consider a motion to enable the reporting of written evidence for publication and a motion to allow us to deliberate in private about our questions before the oral evidence...
Madeleine Moon: Copies of written evidence the Committee receives will be made available in the Committee Room. We may now discuss our lines of questioning. If there are no requests, we will move on to hear oral evidence.
Madeleine Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will seek a guarantee from the Health and Care Professions Council that there will be no further increases to their registration fees for at least the next four years.
Madeleine Moon: I advise Members that under the terms of the House’s long-standing resolution on matters sub judice, they must not refer to specific cases that are currently subject to legal proceedings, including in coroners’ courts. Members may, of course, speak to the general issue.
Madeleine Moon: What assessment she has made of the potential merits of commissioning icebreaker capability to operate exclusively in the Arctic.