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Animal Health Act 2002

The Act

4.The Act supplements existing powers under the Animal Health Act 1981 ("the 1981 Act") to slaughter animals to control the spread of FMD by allowing animals to be slaughtered wherever this is necessary to prevent the spread of disease. At present, only animals which are affected or suspected of being affected with the disease, have been in contact with affected animals, or exposed to the disease may be slaughtered.

5.The Act will allow vaccinated animals to be slaughtered and require compensation to be paid of market value of the animals with respect to FMD, and of an amount to be prescribed in an order for other diseases. The Act provides for the preventive slaughter power, and power to slaughter vaccinated animals and pay compensation, to be extended to other animal diseases.

6.The Act provides powers for the Secretary of State to specify, by Order, genotypes in sheep which are more susceptible than other sheep genotypes to infection by TSEs or to becoming carriers of TSEs and it provides powers for Ministers, by regulation, to make provision for the identification of such sheep. Where sheep are identified as being of a genotype specified in the Order the Secretary of State must consider whether there are exceptional circumstances, including the potential impact of the use of breeding restrictions on the survival of the breed, which allow the sheep to be used for breeding. In the absence of exceptional circumstances the Secretary of State must give notice on the keeper of the sheep imposing restrictions on the use of the sheep for breeding and requiring either its castration /sterilisation or slaughter. The Act provides for appeals, compensation and enforcement powers and penalties in relation to these provisions

7.The Act will also provide for the publication of a contingency plan, a disease control (slaughter) protocol, and biosecurity guidance, and will strengthen enforcement powers and increase penalties under the 1981 Act.

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