Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Fourth Report


Memorandum by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food

BRUCELLOSIS ORDER 1997 (S.I. 1997/758)

  1. The Committee asked:

    Article 1(2) defines "approved laboratory" as one approved by the Minister and listed in Schedule 1. If the Minister withdraws his approval for a laboratory, explain how those who use it under regulation 7 for testing their milk will be made aware, before Schedule 1 is amended, that the laboratory has ceased to be approved.

  2. Article 7(1)(a) requires specified persons to select an approved laboratory. Article 7(1)(b) requires that person to notify the Minister of the laboratory selected. Accordingly the Ministry will have a record of the users of each laboratory. In the event of an approval being removed the Ministry will notify users of the fact.

  3. The Committee asked:

    Article 1(2) defines "full-term calving" as meaning calving which takes place "271 days or more after service or insemination, or 265 days after implantation or transfer of an embryo". Ought not the words "or more" to follow "265 days" also?

      4. The Ministry accepts that the words should have been added and will amend the Order when the opportunity arises.

  5. The Committee asked:

    Indicate where the noun "reactor" defined as respects bovine animals in article 1(2) (as distinct from the verb "react") is used in the provisions of this Order.

  6. The term is used as a noun in article 6.

  7. The Committee:

    Indicate the purpose which justifies the serving under article 4 of a restriction of movement order. (Article 5 expresses the purpose justifying a movement order under that article as "eradicating brucellosis").

  8. A notice would be served under article 5 if an animal on the premises is under investigation for brucellosis. This could be, for example, because of spontaneous abortion, and, depending on the circumstances brucellosis could be one possible cause. Hence, although there is not yet enough information to diagnose brucellosis, it would be desirable to isolate the animal as a precautionary measure to prevent spread of the disease to other animals; hence the use of the phrase "where he considers it necessary for the purpose of eradicating brucellosis". Article 4 is concerned with a different situation. It is a further step down in the diagnostic process, and a notice would be served where the animal under investigation has shown definite indications of brucellosis, as opposed to showing symptoms where brucellosis is one possible cause. As this would be a matter of clinical judgment for the veterinary surgeon concerned, it was thought better not to spell out in the legislation when such a notice should be served. The Ministry accepts, however, that it would have been better to indicate in some general way when such a notice would be served, and regrets that this was not done. The text will be amended when an opportunity arises.

16th June 1997

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