Consultation on Implementing Animal Disease Control Powers

The News Letter (Belfast, Northern Ireland), January 12, 2002 | Go to article overview

Consultation on Implementing Animal Disease Control Powers


ANIMAL Health Minister Elliot Morley yesterday launched a public consultation paper on how new disease control powers provided in the Animal Health Bill will work in practice.

The Bill does not advocate any one approach to disease control but strengthens the four available main elements of culling, vaccination, blood-testing and biosecurity.

Mr Morley said that if culling was to be used it was important to achieve a balance between rapid culling on veterinary grounds as a disease control measure and ensuring that the powers to cull are not exercised in a disproportionate, inconsistent or unfair way.

"Farmers and livestock owners must have confidence in the basis on which those powers are exercised and, where necessary, have the opportunity for a reasonable hearing," he stressed.

The consultation paper, which will go out to a wide range of stakeholders, covers the implementation of new Foot-and-Mouth Disease slaughter powers and the adjusted compensation scheme for infected premises.

The compensation scheme is designed to encourage farmers to maintain high standards of biosecurity in the event of a disease outbreak.

The paper also sets out arrangements for making appeals against Ministerial decisions on the payment of adjusted compensation following a disease risk assessment by inspectors.

It proposes a transparent approach to the slaughter process, including a formal procedure for seeking a formal review of a decision to cull, and plans for the comprehensive use of slaughter notices.

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