On amendment 15, during the stage 2 debate I emphasised that it would be unreasonable for ministers to commit to a provision that prohibits the charging of any fee for the risk assessment or licensing process for animal or bird gatherings. That remains my and Ross Finnie's strongly held view. It is far better to adopt a flexible approach. We are conscious that we do not want to place additional burdens on, for example, local agricultural shows and game fairs. However, if it were judged that charging should become policy—for example for larger gatherings, for which the assessment of risk may involve considerable professional work—that could be achieved by means of secondary legislation under section 84 of the 1981 act. Importantly, such an order would be subject to parliamentary scrutiny.
I emphasise that licensing will not be automatic. Any licensing requirements for gatherings of animals or birds will be dependent on three main factors: the species at the gathering, the location and—of primary importance—the level of risk of disease, as assessed by the state veterinary service. When my officials consult on the secondary legislation that will govern the licensing procedures, they will be alert to the difficulties that are faced by local shows and fairs. I urge the Parliament to agree to amendment 15.
Amendment 16 is a technical amendment that seeks to delete the word "reasonable" from section 5 to bring it into line with other defences in the 1981 act. The requirement for reasonableness in the defences in the 1981 act is implied, so it is not necessary to make explicit provision in that regard. I recommend the approval of amendment 16.
I move amendment 15.
Division number 7
For: Adam, Brian, Arbuckle, Mr Andrew, Baillie, Jackie, Baker, Richard, Ballance, Chris, Ballard, Mark, Barrie, Scott, Boyack, Sarah, Brankin, Rhona, Brown, Robert, Butler, Bill, Byrne, Ms Rosemary, Chisholm, Malcolm, Craigie, Cathie, Crawford, Bruce, Cunningham, Roseanna, Curran, Ms Margaret, Eadie, Helen, Ewing, Fergus, Fabiani, Linda, Ferguson, Patricia, Finnie, Ross, Gibson, Rob, Gillon, Karen, Glen, Marlyn, Godman, Trish, Gordon, Mr Charlie, Gorrie, Donald, Grahame, Christine, Harper, Robin, Harvie, Patrick, Home Robertson, John, Hughes, Janis, Hyslop, Fiona, Ingram, Mr Adam, Jackson, Dr Sylvia, Jackson, Gordon, Jamieson, Cathy, Jamieson, Margaret, Kerr, Mr Andy, Lamont, Johann, Livingstone, Marilyn, Lochhead, Richard, Lyon, George, MacAskill, Mr Kenny, Macdonald, Lewis, MacDonald, Margo, Macmillan, Maureen, Martin, Campbell, Martin, Paul, Mather, Jim, Matheson, Michael, Maxwell, Mr Stewart, May, Christine, McAveety, Mr Frank, McCabe, Mr Tom, McConnell, Mr Jack, McFee, Mr Bruce, McMahon, Michael, McNeill, Pauline, McNulty, Des, Morgan, Alasdair, Muldoon, Bristow, Mulligan, Mrs Mary, Munro, John Farquhar, Murray, Dr Elaine, Neil, Alex, Oldfather, Irene, Peacock, Peter, Peattie, Cathy, Pringle, Mike, Purvis, Jeremy, Radcliffe, Nora, Robison, Shona, Robson, Euan, Ruskell, Mr Mark, Scott, Eleanor, Scott, Tavish, Smith, Elaine, Smith, Iain, Smith, Margaret, Stephen, Nicol, Stevenson, Stewart, Stone, Mr Jamie, Swinburne, John, Swinney, Mr John, Wallace, Mr Jim, Watt, Ms Maureen, Welsh, Mr Andrew, White, Ms Sandra, Whitefield, Karen, Wilson, Allan
Against: Aitken, Bill, Brocklebank, Mr Ted, Brownlee, Derek, Canavan, Dennis, Davidson, Mr David, Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James, Fergusson, Alex, Fraser, Murdo, Johnstone, Alex, McGrigor, Mr Jamie, McLetchie, David, Milne, Mrs Nanette, Mitchell, Margaret, Petrie, Dave, Scott, John, Tosh, Murray