It is bizarre that at the very time when the agriculture industry and livestock producers in particular are facing the Crisis of Foot and Mouth Disease, this House should be contemplating imposing on them yet a further charge.
In a moment I shall explain why the Bill has been brought forward, but perhaps I may first say something about the Current Foot and Mouth Disease Crisis.
Secondly, I cannot believe that regional government would not have a role to play in the Present Foot and Mouth Disease Crisis.
The tragic Crisis of Foot and Mouth Disease has overshadowed the consequences of classical swine fever.
The classical swine fever outbreak in East Anglia between August and December 2000 may not have had the media impact of the Foot and Mouth Disease Crisis; nor did it affect as many farmers, animals or members of the general public.
The FSA has also instructed the MHS to step up the level of checks on imported meat, in recognition of the likely increase in the volume of imports, due to the effects of the Foot and Mouth Disease Crisis on domestic supplies.
If homeopathy is good enough for humans, is it not good enough for animals in the Foot and Mouth Disease Crisis?
The House goes into recess this afternoon, and during the next 12 days it is certain that many hon. Members on both sides of the House will be questioned about the Foot and Mouth Disease Crisis.
Has the right hon. Gentleman a conception of how broadly defined are the businesses affected by the Foot and Mouth Disease Crisis?
The 10 weeks of the Foot and Mouth Disease Crisis have exposed muddle, incompetence and delay at every level of Government.
Mr. Greenway: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what additional funding for marketing she expects to provide to the English Tourism Council and regional tourist boards in response to the Foot and Mouth Disease Crisis.
The survey came at the height of the Foot and Mouth Disease Crisis, when the parishes in rural England were up to their necks, dealing with a whole range of problems.
Our records show centrally funded budget expenditure for publicity activities that included advertising, press and public relations, for the period June 2001 till March 2002 totalled £3,196,519, this excludes expenditure relating to publicity and communications support in dealing with the Foot and Mouth Disease Crisis.
These three wide-ranging reports confirm that the Government's handling of the Foot and Mouth Disease Crisis, particularly at its onset, was, at best, inept - so inept that the outbreak was much deeper and lasted much longer than it perhaps may have done.
As the House debated at considerable length on many occasions during the desperate days of the acute period of the Foot and Mouth Disease Crisis, we were able to bring in trained veterinary inspectors and veterinarians from Europe to assist our over-pressed colleagues working in that area.
It was increasing at 20 per cent before the Foot and Mouth Disease Crisis.
It is odd that there was a deafening silence from the animal rights lobby and supporters of the Bill when some 9 million cattle were unnecessarily slaughtered, in many cases with unwarranted cruelty, during the Foot and Mouth Disease Crisis.
I say to the noble Lord, Lord Jenkin, that the Chief Scientific Adviser still reports to the Prime Minister and played a major role in dealing with the Foot and Mouth Disease Crisis.
In a previous debate, I mentioned the work of the Addington Fund during and after the Foot and Mouth Disease Crisis, but our contribution is wider than that.
It was explained to me that all the information about bird numbers, on which Defra relies, is collected by volunteers and because of the Foot and Mouth Disease Crisis, they had not been able to supply as much data as usual.
There was a time when we had a Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Agriculture questions and regular debates on the subject - sometimes too regular during the Foot and Mouth Disease Crisis and, previous to that, the BSE epidemic.
I took a delegation to see the former Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food eight years ago when this Government were first elected - of course, that was before the Foot and Mouth Disease Crisis - and he said that TB was the single most important animal health issue that we had to face.
We all recall the precautions taken with empty lorries going into farms for collection during the Foot and Mouth Disease Crisis, yet now half full or almost full lorries of decaying carcases are being taken from one farm to another.