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6 Nov 2002 : Column 327—continued

Mr. Martlew: I understand my hon. Friend's comment about fell sheep, but is it not Government policy to tag them? Will we not have to keep a record of them? The animals will suffer stress then; I do not understand the difference.

Mr. Morley: I was talking about the practicality of vaccinating those sheep. All these issues can be addressed, but the Government are trying to strike a balance by recognising that there is an increased role for vaccination. We concede that there have been changes in technology that make the situation easier. Also, we recognise that there may be circumstances in which we want to use stamping-out policies as a first-strike response. By law, we have to do that with respect to infected premises and dangerous contacts.

The Liberal Democrat amendment calls for a vaccinate-to-live policy to be taken into account as a first issue. There may be circumstances where, as part of

6 Nov 2002 : Column 328

a disease control strategy, we may want to use a vaccinate-and-kill policy. For example, there might be an outbreak of foot and mouth disease in an intensive pig unit. In such an outbreak, a considerable plume of virus will be downwind from the unit. There may be another unit, smack bang in that virus plume. That is more than a dangerous contact; it is almost certain that those pigs will develop the virus. That unit may have 10,000 or 20,000 pigs. In relation to disposal and humane culling, we want to control that outbreak. The best of way of doing that is to vaccinate the whole herd and then to cull in a controlled way. The amendment would take away that option.

Andrew George: The Under-Secretary has perhaps not read the amendment correctly. It does not discount that option. The fact that the amendment does not specifically list all of the options that might be considered does not mean that a vaccinate-to-kill policy cannot be pursued by the Secretary of State. On the question of to whom the evidence for the decision-making can be shown, I would regret any Department not wanting transparency in the decision-making process. Whether the evidence is shown or not, it is still open to legal challenge and the Secretary of State could still be challenged by a lawyer on behalf of a farmer.

Mr. Morley: We are open to legal challenge on a range of subjects at any time; that has cost a lot of people a lot of money in recent months and years. I do not dispute the reasonableness with which the hon. Gentleman has made his case, or that he genuinely recognises that there are circumstances in which we might want to take a different approach. However, once we start writing into legislation measures that we regard as flawed, we may find that there are many people who are not as reasonable or as helpful as who want him to challenge us.

The right hon. Member for Skipton and Ripon and the hon. Member for Hexham recognised the balance that the Government are trying to strike by recognising that emergency vaccination has a role, but also that there may be a range of options and circumstances in which we take a different approach.

I want to reassure the hon. Member for Hexham on rare breeds, of which Chillingham cattle is one. During the last outbreak, we sought and obtained permission to use vaccination for rare breeds and some rare zoo animals if the circumstances dictated that that should be the case. In relation to our detailed response to the Follett and the Anderson reports, we have made it clear that vaccination remains an option for breeds. If they are under threat, we can consider vaccination. However, use of vaccination in relation to disease control is a different issue.

The hon. Member for Leominster (Mr. Wiggin) made a very strong case for vaccination, as did my hon. Friend the Member for Carlisle (Mr. Martlew). I strongly disagree with him, however, in relation to his comments about Lords amendment No. 1, with which we cannot agree. As I have emphasised, it is not that we do not agree with the principle. The Government are showing that we recognise the change in circumstances and technology and are responding to the recommendations in the two reports on the basis of the amendment that we have tabled. That has been recognised by the hon.

6 Nov 2002 : Column 329

Member for Hexham, who has first-hand experience of the epidemic in his area, and by the right hon. Member for Skipton and Ripon, who is a former Minister and current Chairman of the Select Committee. I hope that the hon. Member for Leominster gives careful thought to their wise counsel.

In relation to the amendment, we are trying to respond to the debate in Committee. I accept the comments of the hon. Member for St. Ives that we have moved a long way in relation to the original Bill. That reflects the reasonable points made by Members on both sides of the House, and the commitments that we gave in Committee and on Report that we would address them.

Mr. David Kidney (Stafford): As my hon. Friend appreciates, I have been listening quietly to this debate. The right hon. Member for Skipton and Ripon (Mr. Curry) made the point about involving Sir Brian Follett in the future with follow-up reports. My hon. Friend said that the answer is the science committee that he has set up, and that he is all in favour of transparency. Clearly, however, this matter will develop over time, and there is an issue of public confidence for the future. Will he comment a little on what information we will receive in the guise of transparency, and what information the public will receive?

Mr. Morley: First, on the contingency plans, we are making them public and involving a range of stakeholders in the debate and the formulation of those plans. Secondly, in relation to the scientific group, which, as I mentioned, has been set up, we will want to keep in touch with Sir Brian and with Dr. Anderson on the way in which these issues develop. We are also committed to bringing forward and developing the animal health strategy, on which we are consulting with a range of groups. We want all of the documents to be living documents, as we will come back periodically to review and revise them, and to make sure that they address the relevant points for which they are designed. Some exercises and tests will be necessary in relation to the contingency arrangements, too.

We therefore want to involve a range of experts, some of whom are outside the Department, in terms of their advice and involvement in the development of strategies and future plans. A huge amount of work is going on, and we propose to make public the progress on these issues and the time scales for reporting. That is also part of our commitment to transparency and openness.

Mr. Kidney: I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that answer. May I move the discussion on one stage further? One of his objections to the Lords amendment was that it could contravene European law. As we make discoveries, developments, explain matters, and develop policy, what would be the position in Europe? Would we be able to carry Europe with us in making similar changes?

Mr. Morley: I believe so. There has been a change in attitude from the EU and the Office Internationale d'Epizootic. Indeed, the right hon. Member for Skipton and Ripon and my hon. Friend the Member for Carlisle joined me at the conference in Brussels that was co-sponsored by the UK and Holland to look at the whole issue of foot and mouth disease. The experience that we

6 Nov 2002 : Column 330

had in the last outbreak has changed the thinking in all countries; it has also changed the thinking in relation to the international organisation and the European Union. Incidentally, that change makes the vaccination options easier: it addresses some of the issues and problems that we came across in the course of the last epidemic.

I hope that I have demonstrated that the Government have responded to the thrust of the arguments in terms of the role of vaccination, that the Lords amendment is flawed, and that we cannot accept it. I call on the House to support the Government.

It being one and a half hours after the commencement of proceedings, Mr. Deputy Speaker put forthwith the Question already proposed from the Chair, pursuant to Order [this day].

The House divided: Ayes 314, Noes 190.

Division No. 355
[6:15 pm


Abbott, Ms Diane
Adams, Irene (Paisley N)
Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, Bob (Cov'try NE)
Alexander, Douglas
Allen, Graham
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale & Darwen)
Armstrong, rh Ms Hilary
Atherton, Ms Candy
Austin, John
Bailey, Adrian
Baird, Vera
Barnes, Harry
Barron, rh Kevin
Battle, John
Bayley, Hugh
Beckett, rh Margaret
Begg, Miss Anne
Benn, Hilary
Bennett, Andrew
Benton, Joe (Bootle)
Berry, Roger
Best, Harold
Betts, Clive
Blears, Ms Hazel
Blizzard, Bob
Borrow, David
Bradley, rh Keith (Withington)
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Bradshaw, Ben
Brennan, Kevin
Brown, Russell (Dumfries)
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Burnham, Andy
Byers, rh Stephen
Cairns, David
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Caplin, Ivor
Caton, Martin
Cawsey, Ian (Brigg)
Challen, Colin
Chaytor, David
Clapham, Michael
Clark, hon. Dr. Lynda (Edinburgh Pentlands)
Clark, Paul (Gillingham)
Clarke, rh Tom (Coatbridge & Chryston)
Clelland, David
Clwyd, Ann (Cynon V)
Coaker, Vernon
Coffey, Ms Ann
Coleman, Iain
Colman, Tony
Connarty, Michael
Cook, Frank (Stockton N)
Cook, rh Robin (Livingston)
Cooper, Yvette
Cousins, Jim
Cox, Tom (Tooting)
Cranston, hon. Ross
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, John (Hornchurch)
Cummings, John
Cunningham, rh Dr. Jack (Copeland)
Cunningham, Jim (Coventry S)
Cunningham, Tony (Workington)
Curtis-Thomas, Mrs Claire
Darling, rh Alistair
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
David, Wayne
Davidson, Ian
Davies, rh Denzil (Llanelli)
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Dawson, Hilton
Dhanda, Parmjit
Dismore, Andrew
Dobbin, Jim (Heywood)
Doran, Frank
Dowd, Jim (Lewisham W)
Drew, David (Stroud)
Drown, Ms Julia
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Edwards, Huw
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Ennis, Jeff (Barnsley E)
Etherington, Bill
Field, rh Frank (Birkenhead)
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flint, Caroline
Flynn, Paul (Newport W)
Follett, Barbara
Foster, rh Derek
Foster, Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings & Rye)
Foulkes, rh George
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gapes, Mike (Ilford S)
Gardiner, Barry
George, rh Bruce (Walsall S)
Gerrard, Neil
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Gilroy, Linda
Godsiff, Roger
Goggins, Paul
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Grogan, John
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Hamilton, David (Midlothian)
Hanson, David
Harris, Tom (Glasgow Cathcart)
Havard, Dai (Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney)
Healey, John
Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hendrick, Mark
Hepburn, Stephen
Heppell, John
Hermon, Lady
Hesford, Stephen
Hewitt, rh Ms Patricia
Heyes, David
Hill, Keith (Streatham)
Hinchliffe, David
Hodge, Margaret
Hoey, Kate (Vauxhall)
Hoon, rh Geoffrey
Hope, Phil (Corby)
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, rh Alan (Newport E)
Howells, Dr. Kim
Hughes, Beverley (Stretford & Urmston)
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hurst, Alan (Braintree)
Hutton, rh John
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Ingram, rh Adam
Irranca-Davies, Huw
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Jamieson, David
Jenkins, Brian
Johnson, Alan (Hull W)
Johnson, Miss Melanie (Welwyn Hatfield)
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Jones, Kevan (N Durham)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Joyce, Eric (Falkirk W)
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keen, Alan (Feltham)
Keen, Ann (Brentford)
Kemp, Fraser
Khabra, Piara S.
Kidney, David
Kilfoyle, Peter
King, Andy (Rugby)
King, Ms Oona (Bethnal Green & Bow)
Knight, Jim (S Dorset)
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Lawrence, Mrs Jackie
Laxton, Bob (Derby N)
Lazarowicz, Mark
Lepper, David
Leslie, Christopher
Levitt, Tom (High Peak)
Liddell, rh Mrs Helen
Linton, Martin
Llwyd, Elfyn
Love, Andrew
Lucas, Ian (Wrexham)
Luke, Iain (Dundee E)
McAvoy, Thomas
McCabe, Stephen
McCafferty, Chris
McCartney, rh Ian
McDonagh, Siobhain
MacDonald, Calum
McDonnell, John
MacDougall, John
McGuire, Mrs Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
McKenna, Rosemary
McNulty, Tony
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWalter, Tony
Mahmood, Khalid
Mahon, Mrs Alice
Mallaber, Judy
Mandelson, rh Peter
Mann, John (Bassetlaw)
Marris, Rob (Wolverh'ton SW)
Marshall, David (Glasgow Shettleston)
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Marshall-Andrews, Robert
Martlew, Eric
Meacher, rh Michael
Meale, Alan (Mansfield)
Merron, Gillian
Michael, rh Alun
Milburn, rh Alan
Miliband, David
Mitchell, Austin (Gt Grimsby)
Mole, Chris
Morgan, Julie
Morley, Elliot
Mullin, Chris
Munn, Ms Meg
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Murphy, rh Paul (Torfaen)
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
Olner, Bill
Osborne, Sandra (Ayr)
Owen, Albert
Perham, Linda
Picking, Anne
Pickthall, Colin
Pond, Chris (Gravesham)
Pope, Greg (Hyndburn)
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Prescott, rh John
Price, Adam (E Carmarthen & Dinefwr)
Primarolo, rh Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Ken
Purnell, James
Quin, rh Joyce
Quinn, Lawrie
Rammell, Bill
Rapson, Syd (Portsmouth N)
Raynsford, rh Nick
Reed, Andy (Loughborough)
Reid, rh Dr. John (Hamilton N & Bellshill)
Robertson, John (Glasgow Anniesland)
Robinson, Geoffrey (Coventry NW)
Rooney, Terry
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Roy, Frank (Motherwell)
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Ms Christine (City of Chester)
Ryan, Joan (Enfield N)
Salter, Martin
Sarwar, Mohammad
Savidge, Malcolm
Sawford, Phil
Sedgemore, Brian
Sheerman, Barry
Sheridan, Jim
Shipley, Ms Debra
Simon, Siôn (B'ham Erdington)
Singh, Marsha
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, rh Andrew (Oxford E)
Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Soley, Clive
Spellar, rh John
Squire, Rachel
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Steinberg, Gerry
Stewart, David (Inverness E & Lochaber)
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Stinchcombe, Paul
Stoate, Dr. Howard
Strang, rh Dr. Gavin
Stringer, Graham
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Tami, Mark (Alyn)
Taylor, rh Ann (Dewsbury)
Taylor, Dari (Stockton S)
Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)
Thomas, Gareth (Harrow W)
Thomas, Simon (Ceredigion)
Tipping, Paddy
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Paul
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Dr. Desmond (Brighton Kemptown)
Turner, Neil (Wigan)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Tynan, Bill (Hamilton S)
Vis, Dr. Rudi
Walley, Ms Joan
Ward, Claire
Watson, Tom (W Bromwich E)
Watts, David
White, Brian
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, rh Alan (Swansea W)
Williams, Mrs Betty (Conwy)
Wilson, Brian
Winnick, David
Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Wood, Mike (Batley)
Woodward, Shaun
Wray, James (Glasgow Baillieston)
Wright, Anthony D. (Gt Yarmouth)
Wright, David (Telford)
Wright, Tony (Cannock)
Wyatt, Derek

Tellers for the Ayes:

Charlotte Atkins and
Mr. Phil Willis


Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey)
Allan, Richard
Amess, David
Ancram, rh Michael
Arbuthnot, rh James
Bacon, Richard
Baker, Norman
Baldry, Tony
Barker, Gregory
Baron, John (Billericay)
Barrett, John
Beggs, Roy (E Antrim)
Beith, rh A. J.
Bellingham, Henry
Bercow, John
Beresford, Sir Paul
Boswell, Tim
Bottomley, rh Virginia (SW Surrey)
Brady, Graham
Brake, Tom (Carshalton)
Brooke, Mrs Annette L.
Browning, Mrs Angela
Bruce, Malcolm
Burnett, John
Burns, Simon
Burnside, David
Burstow, Paul
Burt, Alistair
Butterfill, John
Cable, Dr. Vincent
Calton, Mrs Patsy
Cameron, David
Campbell, Gregory (E Lond'y)
Carmichael, Alistair
Cash, William
Chapman, Sir Sydney (Chipping Barnet)
Chope, Christopher
Clappison, James
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey
Collins, Tim
Cotter, Brian
Cran, James (Beverley)
Davey, Edward (Kingston)
Davies, Quentin (Grantham & Stamford)
Davis, rh David (Haltemprice & Howden)
Djanogly, Jonathan
Dodds, Nigel
Donaldson, Jeffrey M.
Dorrell, rh Stephen
Doughty, Sue
Duncan, Alan (Rutland)
Duncan Smith, rh Iain
Evans, Nigel
Fabricant, Michael
Flook, Adrian
Forth, rh Eric
Foster, Don (Bath)
Fox, Dr. Liam
Gale, Roger (N Thanet)
Garnier, hon. Edward
George, Andrew (St. Ives)
Gibb, Nick (Bognor Regis)
Gidley, Sandra
Gillan, Mrs Cheryl
Goodman, Paul
Gray, James (N Wilts)
Grayling, Chris
Green, Damian (Ashford)
Green, Matthew (Ludlow)
Greenway, John
Grieve, Dominic
Gummer, rh John
Hancock, Mike
Harris, Dr. Evan (Oxford W & Abingdon)
Harvey, Nick
Hayes, John (S Holland)
Heath, David
Heathcoat-Amory, rh David
Hendry, Charles
Hoban, Mark (Fareham)
Hogg, rh Douglas
Horam, John (Orpington)
Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)
Hunter, Andrew
Jack, rh Michael
Jackson, Robert (Wantage)
Jenkin, Bernard
Johnson, Boris (Henley)
Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham)
Keetch, Paul
Kennedy, rh Charles (Ross Skye & Inverness)
Key, Robert (Salisbury)
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Kirkwood, Archy
Knight, rh Greg (E Yorkshire)
Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Lamb, Norman
Lansley, Andrew
Laws, David (Yeovil)
Leigh, Edward
Letwin, rh Oliver
Lewis, Dr. Julian (New Forest E)
Liddell-Grainger, Ian
Lidington, David
Lilley, rh Peter
Loughton, Tim
Luff, Peter (M-Worcs)
McIntosh, Miss Anne
MacKay, rh Andrew
Maclean, rh David
McLoughlin, Patrick
Malins, Humfrey
Maples, John
Marsden, Paul (Shrewsbury & Atcham)
Mates, Michael
Maude, rh Francis
Mawhinney, rh Sir Brian
May, Mrs Theresa
Mercer, Patrick
Mitchell, Andrew (Sutton Coldfield)
Murrison, Dr. Andrew
Norman, Archie
O'Brien, Stephen (Eddisbury)
Oaten, Mark (Winchester)
Öpik, Lembit
Osborne, George (Tatton)
Ottaway, Richard
Page, Richard
Paice, James
Paterson, Owen
Portillo, rh Michael
Prisk, Mark (Hertford)
Pugh, Dr. John
Randall, John
Reid, Alan (Argyll & Bute)
Rendel, David
Robathan, Andrew
Robertson, Hugh (Faversham & M-Kent)
Robertson, Laurence (Tewk'b'ry)
Robinson, Mrs Iris (Strangford)
Robinson, Peter (Belfast E)
Roe, Mrs Marion
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Sanders, Adrian
Sayeed, Jonathan
Selous, Andrew
Shephard, rh Mrs Gillian
Simmonds, Mark
Simpson, Keith (M-Norfolk)
Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns & Kincardine)
Soames, Nicholas
Spelman, Mrs Caroline
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spink, Bob (Castle Point)
Spring, Richard
Stanley, rh Sir John
Steen, Anthony
Streeter, Gary
Stunell, Andrew
Swayne, Desmond
Swire, Hugo (E Devon)
Syms, Robert
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, John (Solihull)
Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Taylor, Dr. Richard (Wyre F)
Taylor, Sir Teddy
Thurso, John
Tonge, Dr. Jenny
Tredinnick, David
Trend, Michael
Trimble, rh David
Turner, Andrew (Isle of Wight)
Tyler, Paul (N Cornwall)
Tyrie, Andrew
Viggers, Peter
Walter, Robert
Waterson, Nigel
Watkinson, Angela
Webb, Steve (Northavon)
Wiggin, Bill
Wilkinson, John
Willetts, David
Williams, Roger (Brecon)
Willis, Phil
Winterton, Ann (Congleton)
Winterton, Sir Nicholas (Macclesfield)
Yeo, Tim (S Suffolk)
Young, rh Sir George
Younger-Ross, Richard

Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. David Wilshire and
Mr. Mark Francois

Question accordingly agreed to.

6 Nov 2002 : Column 333

Lords amendment disagreed to.

Government amendment (a) in lieu of Lords amendment No. 1 agreed to.

6 Nov 2002 : Column 334

Lords amendments Nos. 2 to 12 agreed to [some with Special Entry].

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