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6.55 pm

Mr. Peter Luff (Mid-Worcestershire): The hon. Member for Forest of Dean (Diana Organ) spoke of the dangers of hindsight. This is a remarkable Bill in that it is the first example of perfect foresight. It is perfect because not one amendment was deemed necessary during the passage of the Bill—because of the inadequate time that it has had in Committee and now on the Floor of the House. It demonstrates foresight because it comes before the Government's inquiries have produced what they think is necessary to control foot and mouth disease.

This is a first: 19 pages of legislative perfection. But it is just not true. The Bill is not needed; it contains nothing on the important issues about improving liaison with the Environment Agency and the Department of Health concerning disposal techniques. All that the Bill will do is make the contiguous cull easier. The contiguous cull is still a matter of deep controversy in the farming community in my constituency. I am thinking of Nicola and Andrew Morris, who have produced compelling evidence that 85 per cent. of the animals slaughtered in this epidemic had no symptoms of foot and mouth disease. We are making a controversial policy easier.

The Minister is introducing a Bill that is premature, draconian and unwanted. Yet again, this House is going to have to look to another place to do the real business of a democracy and improve a piece of legislation.

13 Dec 2001 : Column 1101

6.56 pm

Mr. Simon Thomas: This was a poor Bill when it was first introduced. It remains a poor Bill as it is unamended, and it does not deserve support. The Minister has been emollient tonight on many issues, but it is not good enough to suggest that amendments may be tabled, or that undertakings may be given, in another place. This House is the representative body for England—and Wales, still. I may not agree with that, but it is. It is important that those amendments should come before this body so that we can discuss them here and with our constituents, whom we are here to represent.

The Government have taken a soft option with this Bill. They had difficulties with the contiguous cull, and with dealing with other aspects of foot and mouth. They have sought to legislate their way out of the situation—as is always their first instinct when they have difficulties—rather than discussing the way forward with the farming communities. The Department that could not get the difference between sheep's and cows' brains right, and could not map out Wales correctly in relation to the contiguous cull, does not deserve to hold these draconian powers.

Finally, it is a travesty that the Bill was introduced without discussion with the National Assembly for Wales. That flies in the face of the undertakings and the protocol that exist between the Government and the National Assembly. It is not right that the National Assembly did not know about the Bill until First Reading. I am talking about the Assembly rather than the Minister's friends in the Administration. It is important to underline the difference between the two. The Bill does not deserve the support of the House, and I hope that it will be voted down.

6.58 pm

Mr. Bacon: The powers in the Bill have been discussed a great deal. Every time the Minister hears something reasonable from the Opposition, he shakes his head. All we have to do is look at what section 32 of the Animal Health Act 1981 says about the animals that can be killed, and what section 87 says about the ways in which those animals can be defined and those powers can be extended. The Minister talks about the fact that that would require an order—big deal! That requires a rubber stamp and takes 90 minutes. The combination of sections 32 and 87 of the 1981 Act and this Bill will mean that the Minister can kill whatever he wants, whenever he wants, without giving any reason for doing so.

Mr. Wiggin: Without paying for it.

Mr. Bacon: The second problem with the Bill, as my hon. Friend the Member for Leominster (Mr. Wiggin) says, is the question of compensation. The people in the farming community in this country are burning, and they are bleeding. Total income from farming has gone down from £5 billion five years ago to less than £2 billion. The income of the average farmer is £5,000 or less, and it is a disgrace that the Government are making farmers pay penalties, in many cases for the mistakes of the Department.

The third problem is human rights. The front page of the Bill says that the


13 Dec 2001 : Column 1102

on human rights. What a ludicrous statement! The Bill is plainly incompatible with article 6, which provides for the right to a fair trial, and with article 8, which provides for the right to respect for private and family life.

The fourth problem is illegal imports. The Minister said that he was minded to listen to us, but he would not accept our reasonable new clause, which required no more of him than simply to return to the House once a year to report what has been going on. He took absolutely no notice.

The problem is that the Bill's real agenda is to make legal what was done that was illegal, namely killing 5 million animals of which 4 million were healthy—

It being Seven o'clock, Mr. Deputy Speaker put the Question already proposed from the Chair, pursuant to Order [4 November].

The House divided: Ayes 331, Noes 189.

Division No. 113
[7 pm


AYES


Abbott, Ms Diane
Adams, Mrs Irene (Paisley N)
Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, Bob (Cov'try NE)
Allen, Graham
Anderson, Rt Hon Donald
(Swansea E)
Armstrong, Rt Hon Ms Hilary
Atherton, Ms Candy
Austin, John
Bailey, Adrian
Baird, Vera
Banks, Tony
Barnes, Harry
Barron, Kevin
Bayley, Hugh
Beard, Nigel
Beckett, Rt Hon Margaret
Begg, Miss Anne
Bell, Stuart
Benn, Hilary
Benton, Joe
Berry, Roger
Best, Harold
Betts, Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blears, Ms Hazel
Blizzard, Bob
Boateng, Rt Hon Paul
Borrow, David
Bradley, Rt Hon Keith (Withington)
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Bradshaw, Ben
Brennan, Kevin
Brown, Rt Hon Nicholas
(Newcastle E & Wallsend)
Brown, Russell (Dumfries)
Browne, Desmond
Bryant, Chris
Burden, Richard
Burnham, Andy
Byers, Rt Hon Stephen
Caborn, Rt Hon Richard
Cairns, David
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Caplin, Ivor
Casale, Roger
Caton, Martin
Cawsey, Ian
Challen, Colin
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Chaytor, David
Clapham, Michael
Clark, Mrs Helen (Peterborough)
Clark, Dr Lynda
(Edinburgh Pentlands)
Clark, Paul (Gillingham)
Clarke, Rt Hon Charles
(Norwich S)
Clarke, Rt Hon Tom (Coatbridge)
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)
Clelland, David
Clwyd, Ann
Coaker, Vernon
Coffey, Ms Ann
Coleman, Iain
Colman, Tony
Connarty, Michael
Corbyn, Jeremy
Corston, Jean
Cousins, Jim
Cranston, Ross
Crausby, David
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, John (Hornchurch)
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try S)
Cunningham, Tony (Workington)
Curtis–Thomas, Mrs Claire
Darling, Rt Hon Alistair
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
David, Wayne
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Davis, Rt Hon Terry
(B'ham Hodge H)
Dawson, Hilton
Dean, Mrs Janet
Denham, Rt Hon John
Dhanda, Parmjit
Dismore, Andrew
Dobbin, Jim
Dobson, Rt Hon Frank
Donohoe, Brian H
Doran, Frank
Dowd, Jim
Drown, Ms Julia
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Edwards, Huw
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Ennis, Jeff
Etherington, Bill
Farrelly, Paul
Field, Rt Hon Frank (Birkenhead)
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Fitzsimons, Mrs Lorna
Flint, Caroline
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Rt Hon Derek
Foster, Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings)
Foulkes, George
Francis, Dr Hywel
Galloway, George
Gapes, Mike
Gardiner, Barry
Gerrard, Neil
Gibson, Dr Ian
Gilroy, Linda
Goggins, Paul
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Grogan, John
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)
Hanson, David
Harman, Rt Hon Ms Harriet
Harris, Tom (Glasgow Cathcart)
Havard, Dai
Healey, John
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hendrick, Mark
Hepburn, Stephen
Heppell, John
Hewitt, Rt Hon Ms Patricia
Heyes, David
Hill, Keith
Hinchliffe, David
Hodge, Margaret
Hoey, Kate
Hood, Jimmy
Hoon, Rt Hon Geoffrey
Hope, Phil
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, Rt Hon Alan (Newport E)
Howarth, George (Knowsley N)
Howells, Dr Kim
Hoyle, Lindsay
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hurst, Alan
Hutton, Rt Hon John
Iddon, Dr Brian
Ingram, Rt Hon Adam
Jackson, Glenda (Hampstead)
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Jamieson, David
Jenkins, Brian
Johnson, Alan (Hull W & Hessle)
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Kevan (N Durham)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Jowell, Rt Hon Tessa
Joyce, Eric
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keen, Alan (Feltham & Heston)
Keen, Ann (Brentford & Isleworth)
Kelly, Ruth
Kennedy, Jane (Wavertree)
Khabra, Piara S
Kidney, David
Kilfoyle, Peter
King, Andy (Rugby & Kenilworth)
King, Ms Oona (Bethnal Green)
Knight, Jim (S Dorset)
Kumar, Dr Ashok
Lammy, David
Laxton, Bob
Lazarowicz, Mark
Lepper, David
Leslie, Christopher
Levitt, Tom
Lewis, Ivan (Bury S)
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony
Love, Andrew
Lucas, Ian
Luke, Iain
Lyons, John
McAvoy, Thomas
McCabe, Stephen
McCartney, Rt Hon Ian
McDonagh, Siobhain
McDonnell, John
MacDougall, John
McFall, John
McGuire, Mrs Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
McKenna, Rosemary
Mackinlay, Andrew
McNulty, Tony
MacShane, Denis
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWalter, Tony
McWilliam, John
Mahmood, Khalid
Mahon, Mrs Alice
Mallaber, Judy
Mandelson, Rt Hon Peter
Mann, John
Marris, Rob
Marshall, David (Shettleston)
Meacher, Rt Hon Michael
Meale, Alan
Merron, Gillian
Miliband, David
Miller, Andrew
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moonie, Dr Lewis
Moran, Margaret
Morgan, Julie
Morley, Elliot
Morris, Rt Hon Estelle
Mullin, Chris
Munn, Ms Meg
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Murphy, Rt Hon Paul (Torfaen)
Naysmith, Dr Doug
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
O'Hara, Edward
Olner, Bill
Organ, Diana
Osborne, Sandra (Ayr)
Owen, Albert
Palmer, Dr Nick
Perham, Linda
Picking, Anne
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter
Plaskitt, James
Pollard, Kerry
Pope, Greg
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Prescott, Rt Hon John
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Ken
Purnell, James
Quin, Rt Hon Joyce
Quinn, Lawrie
Rammell, Bill
Rapson, Syd
Reed, Andy (Loughborough)
Reid, Rt Hon Dr John (Hamilton N)
Robertson, John
(Glasgow Anniesland)
Robinson, Geoffrey (Cov'try NW)
Roche, Mrs Barbara
Rooney, Terry
Ross, Ernie
Roy, Frank
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Ms Christine (Chester)
Ryan, Joan
Salter, Martin
Sarwar, Mohammad
Savidge, Malcolm
Sawford, Phil
Sedgemore, Brian
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheridan, Jim
Shipley, Ms Debra
Simon, Siôn
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, Angela (Basildon)
Smith, Rt Hon Chris (Islington S)
Smith, Geraldine (Morecambe)
Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Soley, Clive
Southworth, Helen
Spellar, Rt Hon John
Squire, Rachel
Starkey, Dr Phyllis
Steinberg, Gerry
Stevenson, George
Stewart, David (Inverness E)
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Stinchcombe, Paul
Stoate, Dr Howard
Strang, Rt Hon Dr Gavin
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Tami, Mark
Taylor, Rt Hon Ann (Dewsbury)
Taylor, Ms Dari (Stockton S)
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)
Timms, Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Touhig, Don
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Paul
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Dr Desmond (Kemptown)
Turner, Neil (Wigan)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Tynan, Bill
Walley, Ms Joan
Ward, Ms Claire
Wareing, Robert N
Watts, David
White, Brian
Whitehead, Dr Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, Rt Hon Alan
(Swansea W)
Wills, Michael
Winnick, David
Wood, Mike
Woodward, Shaun
Worthington, Tony
Wray, James
Wright, Anthony D (Gt Yarmouth)
Wright, David (Telford)
Wright, Tony (Cannock)
Wyatt, Derek

Tellers for the Ayes:


Mr. Fraser Kemp and
Mr. Ian Pearson.


NOES


Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey)
Allan, Richard
Amess, David
Arbuthnot, Rt Hon James
Atkinson, David (Bour'mth E)
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)
Bacon, Richard
Baker, Norman
Baldry, Tony
Barker, Gregory
Baron, John
Barrett, John
Beith, Rt Hon A J
Bellingham, Henry
Bercow, John
Beresford, Sir Paul
Blunt, Crispin
Boswell, Tim
Bottomley, Peter (Worthing W)
Bottomley, Rt Hon Virginia
Brady, Graham
Brake, Tom
Brazier, Julian
Breed, Colin
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, Rt Hon Menzies
(NE Fife)
Carmichael, Alistair
Cash, William
Chapman, Sir Sydney
(Chipping Barnet)
Chidgey, David
Chope, Christopher
Clappison, James
Clarke, Rt Hon Kenneth
(Rushcliffe)
Clifton–Brown, Geoffrey
Collins, Tim
Cotter, Brian
Cran, James
Davey, Edward (Kingston)
Davies, Quentin (Grantham)
Djanogly, Jonathan
Dodds, Nigel
Doughty, Sue
Duncan, Alan (Rutland & Melton)
Fabricant, Michael
Flook, Adrian
Forth, Rt Hon Eric
Foster, Don (Bath)
Fox, Dr Liam
Francois, Mark
Gale, Roger
Garnier, Edward
George, Andrew (St Ives)
Gidley, Sandra
Gillan, Mrs Cheryl
Goodman, Paul
Gray, James
Grayling, Chris
Green, Matthew (Ludlow)
Greenway, John
Grieve, Dominic
Gummer, Rt Hon John
Hammond, Philip
Harris, Dr Evan (Oxford W)
Harvey, Nick
Hawkins, Nick
Hayes, John
Heald, Oliver
Heath, David
Hendry, Charles
Hermon, Lady
Hoban, Mark
Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas
Holmes, Paul
Horam, John
Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Hunter, Andrew
Jack, Rt Hon Michael
Jackson, Robert (Wantage)
Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham)
Keetch, Paul
Kennedy, Rt Hon Charles
(Ross Skye & Inverness W)
Key, Robert
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Kirkwood, Archy
Laing, Mrs Eleanor
Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Lamb, Norman
Lansley, Andrew
Laws, David
Leigh, Edward
Letwin, Oliver
Lewis, Dr Julian (New Forest E)
Liddell–Grainger, Ian
Lidington, David
Llwyd, Elfyn
Loughton, Tim
Luff, Peter
McIntosh, Miss Anne
MacKay, Rt Hon Andrew
Maclean, Rt Hon David
McLoughlin, Patrick
Malins, Humfrey
Mates, Michael
Maude, Rt Hon Francis
Mawhinney, Rt Hon Sir Brian
May, Mrs Theresa
Mercer, Patrick
Moore, Michael
Moss, Malcolm
Murrison, Dr Andrew
Norman, Archie
Oaten, Mark
Öpik, Lembit
Osborne, George (Tatton)
Ottaway, Richard
Page, Richard
Paice, James
Paisley, Rev Ian
Pickles, Eric
Portillo, Rt Hon Michael
Price, Adam
Prisk, Mark
Pugh, Dr John
Reid, Alan (Argyll & Bute)
Rendel, David
Robertson, Hugh (Faversham)
Robinson, Mrs Iris (Strangford)
Robinson, Peter (Belfast E)
Roe, Mrs Marion
Rosindell, Andrew
Ruffley, David
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Sanders, Adrian
Sayeed, Jonathan
Selous, Andrew
Shephard, Rt Hon Mrs Gillian
Shepherd, Richard
Simmonds, Mark
Simpson, Keith (Mid–Norfolk)
Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns)
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spink, Bob
Spring, Richard
Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John
Steen, Anthony
Streeter, Gary
Stunell, Andrew
Swayne, Desmond
Swire, Hugo
Syms, Robert
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, John (Solihull)
Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Taylor, Sir Teddy
Thomas, Simon (Ceredigion)
Thurso, John
Tonge, Dr Jenny
Trend, Michael
Turner, Andrew (Isle of Wight)
Tyrie, Andrew
Viggers, Peter
Walter, Robert
Waterson, Nigel
Watkinson, Angela
Webb, Steve
Whittingdale, John
Widdecombe, Rt Hon Miss Ann
Wiggin, Bill
Willetts, David
Williams, Hywel (Caernarfon)
Williams, Roger (Brecon)
Willis, Phil
Wilshire, David
Winterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)
Winterton, Nicholas (Macclesfield)
Yeo, Tim
Young, Rt Hon Sir George
Younger–Ross, Richard

Tellers for the Noes:


Mr. Laurence Robertson and
Mr. Stephen O'Brien.

Question accordingly agreed to.

13 Dec 2001 : Column 1105

Bill read the Third time, and passed.


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