Sandra Barwick writes of the new Animal Health Bill: "It gives draconian powers to kill cattle, sheep, goats and other ruminants in a wide variety of diseases."

This gives the impression that the Bill's effects are confined to farmers. I am sorry to say that she understates the powers sought in the Bill.

In Part 1 "SLAUGHTER", in sub-paragraph (1)(c) the power to slaughter is extended to [in the wording of the Bill] "any animals the Minister thinks should be slaughtered with a view to preventing the spread of foot-and-mouth disease." In subparagraph (3), it makes it clear that "in applying sub-paragraph (1)(c) above it is immaterial whether or not animals -
(a) are affected with foot-and-mouth disease or suspected of being so affected;
(b) are or have been in contact with animals so affected;
(c) have been exposed to the infection of foot-and-mouth disease;
(d) have been treated with vaccine against foot-and-mouth disease."

In Part 2 "EXTENSION OF POWER TO SLAUGHTER", in sub-paragraph (1) the new Bill adds to the 1981 Act an additional section 32(A) "The Minister may by order amend Schedule 3 for the purpose of -
(a) authorising or requiring the slaughter of animals to be caused with a view to preventing the spread of diseases other than foot-and-mouth disease."

In sub-paragraph (2), (b) it gives the Minister power to include by order "amendments as to slaughter in relation to any disease not referred to in Schedule 3 (apart from the order)."

It is clear that the powers are not limited to "cattle, sheep, goats and other ruminants": and that they extend to any animal and any disease: and it affects everyone that keeps animals including pets of all kinds and any disease.

I should be grateful if you would correct the impression given by Sandra Barwick's article and alert the animal loving public to the way the Bill affects all animals including domestic pets and wild animals.