Parliamentary Bureau Motions

– in the Scottish Parliament at 5:00 pm on 1st December 2004.

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Photo of George Reid George Reid None 5:00 pm, 1st December 2004

The next item of business is consideration of four Parliamentary Bureau motions.

Motion moved,

That the Parliament agrees that the Food Protection (Emergency Prohibitions) (Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning) (West Coast) (No.13) (Scotland) Order 2004 (SSI 2004/484) be approved.—[Ms Margaret Curran.]

Photo of David Davidson David Davidson Conservative 5:01 pm, 1st December 2004

I was obliged to the Deputy Minister for Health and Community Care when she came to the Health Committee this week and gave us some information about the Executive's wonderful U-turn for the industry. In particular, I welcome the fact that the Executive will make contact with the industry; I believe that the Executive has met representatives of the industry already and that is very welcome. I also welcome the involvement of the marine laboratory in Aberdeen in the production of a robust, safe and secure end-product testing service to be carried out across Scotland.

In the light of the years of disadvantage that our scallop fishers have suffered as a result of the Executive's failure to implement such a robust scheme earlier, what help will the Executive give the industry in the implementation of the new scheme? I look forward to the minister's reply and give notice that we will continue to defend the interests of the fishing community and the health of the nation by not supporting this statutory instrument.

Photo of Rhona Brankin Rhona Brankin Labour

As I have indicated to members, this is absolutely not a U-turn. If Mr Davidson was more in touch with the industry, he would know that discussions have been going on for a considerable time.

The imposition of the orders will continue until 1 January 2006, at which time the emphasis for official controls will move to a system of checks on land in line with new Community legislation. The Food Standards Agency has had a number of very positive meetings with the industry regarding the implications of those changes, and further meetings are scheduled at which a range of issues will be discussed.

The industry is aware that it has, and will continue to have under the new legislation, a duty to carry out its own end-product testing to ensure the safety of its product. I again urge the Tories and the Scottish National Party to support existing public health legislation. We cannot afford to take risks with public health or with the Scottish shellfish industry.

I am aware that the Christmas market is especially important to Scotland's shellfish fishermen. In an effort to help the industry, the Food Standards Agency is operating a priority sampling plan that targets resources on closed areas that are known to be of significant commercial interest. Given that priority, it is hoped that key fishing areas can be reopened, thereby reducing the impact on the industry.

Motions moved,

That the Parliament agrees that the draft Agricultural Holdings (Right to Buy Modifications) (Scotland) Regulations 2004 be approved.

That the Parliament agrees that the draft Budget (Scotland) Act 2004 Amendment (No.2) Order 2004 be approved.

That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 2 Committee be designated as lead committee in consideration of the following instruments— the Civil Legal Aid (Scotland) Amendment (No.2) Regulations 2004 (SSI 2004/491); the Advice and Assistance (Scotland) Amendment (No.3) Regulations 2004 (SSI 2004/492); and the Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986 Amendment Regulations 2004 (SSI 2004/493).—[Ms Margaret Curran.]

Photo of George Reid George Reid None

The questions on the motions will be put at decision time.