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Animal Health Act 2002

Part 1: Slaughter

9.Section 1 extends the categories of animals which the Minister may cause to be slaughtered in relation to FMD. Subsection (2) adds a new paragraph to sub-paragraph (1) of paragraph 3 of Schedule 3 to the 1981 Act. This adds to the categories of animals which may be slaughtered because of FMD any animal which the Secretary of State thinks should be slaughtered with a view to preventing the spread of FMD. Subsection (3) adds a new sub-paragraph (1A) which makes it clear that the new power may be exercised whether or not the animals concerned are affected or suspected of being affected with the disease, have been in contact with affected animals, or have been exposed to or vaccinated against the disease.

10.Section 2 enables the Secretary of State to extend to diseases other than FMD the power to cause to be slaughtered for disease control purposes animals other than those affected, suspected of being infected or exposed to disease. Subsection (1) inserts a new section 32A into the 1981 Act. Subsection (1) of the new section gives the Secretary of State power to make an order extending to diseases other than FMD the power to cause animals to be slaughtered and requiring the payment of compensation. Subsection (2) of the new section enables an order to include amendments corresponding to those made by clause 1 of the Act and makes clear that the power may be exercised in respect of diseases not already covered by Schedule 3 to the 1981 Act. The exercise of the power is subject to the affirmative resolution procedure. Subsection (2) extends the powers to seize and dispose of carcasses to apply specifically to animals slaughtered because of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies and to animals slaughtered in pursuance of the exercise of powers by order under new Section 32A.

11.Section 3 provides for a disease control (slaughter) protocol to be produced indicating action that would be taken by inspectors in the exercise of the preventive slaughter power introduced in Section 1. The scope of the protocol may be extended to diseases other than FMD and to other powers by order. The protocol must be consulted upon and published.

12.Section 4 places a duty on the Secretary of State to publish the reasons for using the preventive slaughter power (Section 1). The reasons must include an explanation of why the use of vaccination is not appropriate in the prevailing circumstances, and must be published before the preventive slaughter power is used.

13.Section 5 confers on the Secretary of State the power to cause to be slaughtered animals where they have been vaccinated against FMD or other animal diseases specified by order. Subsection (3) provides a power to take any action required to slaughter the animals or required in connection with the slaughter. Subsection (4) requires the Secretary of State to pay compensation for the slaughtered vaccinated animals. Subsections (5) to (7) provide that compensation will be paid at market value for slaughtered animals vaccinated to prevent the spread of FMD, and for compensation to be prescribed by order for any other disease to which this provision is extended. Subsection (8) provides that an order to extend the power to slaughter vaccinated animals to other animal diseases is subject to affirmative resolution. Subsection (9) provides that an order prescribing an amount for payment of compensation is subject to negative resolution.

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