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Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Thirtieth Report


Memorandum by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food


1. The Joint Committee asked—

    "Given that this Order was made, according to its Explanatory Note, for the purpose of implementing Council Directive 92/102/EEC on the identification and registration of animals, a purpose of which was to establish an identification and registration system suitable for the application and control of Community aid schemes, explain how Article 5, which imposes certain additional obligations on persons who are sheepmeat producers for the purposes of a Council Regulation laying down general rules for the grant of premium, is made for the better execution of, or the purposes set out in, the Animal Health Act 1981, or is otherwise within the powers conferred by that Act."

2. The Sheep and Goats Identification (England) Order 2000 is made under sections 1 and 8(1) of the Animal Health Act 1981. Section 8(1) provides for the making of Orders:

    (a)  for prescribing and regulating the marking of animals;

    (b)  for prohibiting or regulating the movement of animals...."

This must be read in the context of section 1(a), which specifies that Orders may be made "generally for the better execution of this Act, or for the purpose of in any manner preventing the spread of disease".

3. Having looked at this issue, the Ministry acknowledges that the record-keeping obligations in article 5 of the Order have no animal health justification and should not have been imposed by means of sections 1 and 8(1) of the Animal Health Act 1981.

4. The records concerned are required to enable the Ministry to check the accuracy of claims made by the sheepmeat producers for the grant of premiums in accordance with requirements of Council Regulation 3493/90/EC, and section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972 should have been used to implement these requirements.

5. The Ministry will therefore amend the above Order at the earliest opportunity so as to bring into force regulations implementing the record-keeping obligations currently set out in article 5 by means of the powers provided for in section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972.

6 November 2000

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