Sue Burton, of the Animal Legislation Information Group, on the progress through the Lords of the revived Animal Death Bill, 16 October 2002.
The Animal Health Bill continued its passage through the House of Lords last week with very little change except that the Government withdrew their clauses on differing levels of compensation. This, of course, was no victory as all farmers will have their own insurance policies and thus it was merely clearing the way for this to happen.
Although Baroness Byford tried to amend the clause that forces owners of animals to help with the slaughtering process so that it read, "may reasonably require" this amendment was defeated.
After going through over 300 amendments the Committee stage closed with many of them being withdrawn NOT moved.
The Lords will now consider the information received from the Report Stage which has been scheduled for the 22 and 29 of October and the 4 of November leaving time for the Bill to become law by the end of the parliamentary session in five weeks time.
It was very clear from speaking to the public outside Westminster during our demonstration that they are totally unaware that the Bill exists nor of the implications of the legislation that is proposed.
Indeed Lord Mitchell who stopped to speak with us before going into the House to vote with the Government said that the public were no longer concerned about Foot and Mouth. We disagree with this and argue that the problem is that the legislation is being brought through without the knowledge of the public behind the smokescreen of the ban on hunting.
Our purpose is to make the public aware of the Bill and its far reaching implications for both our animals and our Countryside, so once again we will be demonstrating in London and handing out information when Report stage begins and we will continue to inform the press and as many people as we can and distribute information leaflets in support of those Lords who are speaking out against the Bill.
His Lordship, the Bishop of Hereford told us that they were doing their best and we appreciate their efforts but fear this legislation will become law despite their efforts.
Can you help us to highlight this Bill? I know we all feel tired out trying to do something and getting nowhere but we need one final spurt -- its our last chance!
1) Contact as many papers, magazines, radio stations etc as possible
2) Inform other lists that you may be on
3) Hand out our leaflets, which explain what is going on
4) Distribute the new Lords lobby cards that are available