12 November 2001
Tenant concern at animal health bill

By FWi staff

TENANT farmers have warned the government that support for the proposed Animal Health Bill will require a major leap of faith.

The Bill was due to have its second reading on Monday (12 November).

It intends to give ministers far-reaching powers to slaughter farmers livestock in the event of a disease epidemic such as foot-and-mouth.

George Dunn, chief executive of the Tenant Farmers Association, said he was concerned that the Bill would give ministers too much power.

“We understand that speed is of the essence in disease control, and that Ministers need to act swiftly where they believe disease is likely to spread.

He added: We are seeking assurances that those powers will be used to their full extent only in very limited circumstances.”

Mr Dunn said he was concerned that the Bill had been proposed before the governments own inquiries into foot-and-mouth had been completed.

“Once again we will have to seek assurances that the legislation may have to be amended again in the light of the inquiry reports,” he said.