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email received November 15 2004

I have read with great concern the piece about DEFRA lawyers and the Animal Health Act.

The EU Directive states that susceptible animals on a holding where FMD has been confirmed shall be killed. However, there are no provisions in the directive, from what I can see, for the 'shall' to be placed in any other category in schedule 3. It only applies to a holding where it has been confirmed, not to holdings where FMD is suspected. This provision has been in place for years in the EU directives, from what I have read, so why are DEFRA lawyers only now making such an issue of it? What are they planning?

Are they intending to place the 'shall' in all categories in schedule 3? If so, then it seems as if DEFRA and co are trying to take our own legislation further than the EU Directive, as happened with the TSE regs. Perhaps I have missed something in what I have read.