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Animal Health Act 2002

Genetically susceptible Sheep

16.New section 36B provides power for the Secretary of State by regulations to make provision for the arrangements to enable genotypes in sheep to be established. These arrangements include taking samples from sheep and administering electronic identification devices to them and requiring the keepers of sheep subject to the arrangements to keep records of the genotype of the sheep.

17.New section 36C makes provision where sheep are identified as being of a genotype specified in an Order under section 36A. Subsection (2) requires the Secretary of State to consider whether there are exceptional circumstances, which allow the sheep to be used for breeding. Subsection (3) requires the Secretary of State, in the absence of exceptional circumstances, to give notice on the keeper of the sheep. The effect of the notice is that subsections (7) to (9) apply. These prohibit the use of the sheep, or its semen, eggs or embryos, for breeding or connected purposes, require the destruction of any of its semen, eggs or embryos taken from the sheep and require the keeper of the sheep to arrange either within one month for the sheep to be castrated/sterilised or within 7 months to be slaughtered. Subsection (10) provides that the likelihood of extinction of the breed is taken into account when considering whether there are exceptional circumstances under subsection (2)

18.New section 36D makes provisions for appeals against a restriction notice. The appeal would be heard by an independent person (“an assessor”) appointed by the Secretary of State. An appeal must be brought within 21 days of the service of the restriction notice. In exceptional circumstances there is an extended period for bringing an appeal. If the assessor allows the appeal, he may revoke the restriction notice or direct that a further test in relation to the sheep is carried out. Subsection (7) provides a power for the Secretary of State to make Regulations to supplement the provisions of section 36D. Subsection (8) provides that these regulations may make provision for an appeals procedure, costs of further sampling or tests and recovery of these costs.

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