13 Schedule 2, page 19, line 45, at end insert—
("1981 c. 22. | Animal Health Act 1981. | Section 17(4).").
§ 14 In the Title, line 3, leave out ("and").
§ 15 Line 4, after ("and") insert ("declarations as to places infected with a disease and").
§ Lord John-Mackie
My Lords, I am rather at a loss to find where the Commons passed Amendment No. 1. I have looked through both the Committee stage and the Report stage and I cannot see Amendment No. 1. It may be due to my lack of knowledge of procedure, but I cannot find Amendment No. 1 passed by the Commons anywhere.
§ Lord Belstead
My Lords, I take it that the noble Lord, Lord John-Mackie, means that he does not know whether it was passed in Committee or on Report or what is the appropriate column number.
§ Lord Belstead
I am very sorry but I do not have that information with me. If the noble Lord would give me a moment or two I think it is possible that a little advice will come to me and I will be able to tell the noble Lord whether Amendment No. 1 was passed in another place in Committee or on Report. Perhaps the noble Lord will bear with me for a moment while I explain why I now move that this House doth agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 1. I hope that at the end of my remarks I can then answer the noble Lord's question.
This amendment and the related amendments refer to new Clause 4 which provides that subsection (4) of Section 17 of the Animal Health Act 1981 shall cease to have effect. The repeal is effected by a reference in Schedule 2 and in the Title. These changes—which, to answer the noble Lord, I am advised were put into the Bill in another place in Standing Committee B on 12th June at column 15—are designed simply to streamline the means by which certain animal health control measures are taken. The subsection originates in ancient legislation going back as far as 1894 and the procedure imposed by the subsection has been cumbersome and could impede the taking of necessary measures quickly to prevent the spread of disease.
Perhaps I may give a topical example. As the House may very well know, all the outbreaks of Newcastle disease in poultry, which this country has been suffering for some months—except for one outbreak, for which investigations are complete—have been linked to raw materials in certain stores at the port of Liverpool. At the present time, as the law stands notices restricting the movement of such material from those stores require the signature of an authorised person from each of the agricultural departments of the United Kingdom. The repeal which I am now suggesting to your Lordships will simplify and speed up the department's ability to take any necessary action by making it possible for the notice to bear only one signature, normally that of a Ministry veterinary officer. I beg to move.
§ Moved, That this House doth agree with the Commons in the said amendment—(Lord Belstead.)
§ Lord John-Mackie
My Lords, I think we would all agree that this is a very necessary amendment because of that unfortunate incident when Newcastle disease was linked to a feeding stuffs place in Liverpool, and we thoroughly agree with the noble Lord in what he says. I am sorry to say that I still cannot find where the Commons passed this amendment at column 15. I have the Hansard here, but I shall take it for granted that it is there somewhere. Perhaps I am going blind in my old age.
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.