These are the reasons why I believe we should have a Judicial Review in Scotland:
The TSE (Scotland) Regulations 2002 No. 255 appears to provide the Minister with powers to slaughter any TSE 'susceptible' animal, which exceeds the terms of both the 1981 Animal Health Act and the EC Regulation 999/2001.
Susceptible animals do not fall into any category within the 1981 Animal Health Act or the EC Regulations and therefore the powers to slaughter susceptible animals, without any proof of disease, appears to be 'ultra vires' of our present superior domestic law and also any EC regulations.
A 'susceptible' animal cannot by definition be classed as suspected of being infectious or capable of spreading disease. All animals may be classed as 'susceptible' but susceptibility to a disease does not mean that an animal is affected by a disease or able to be classed as 'suspected' of being affected by disease.
The 1981 Act confines the Minister's powers of slaughter to animals which are: 'affected or suspected of being affected with disease…or have been exposed to the infection of any such disease' (section 3, page 3)
The EC Regulation 999/2001 gives a definition of 'an animal suspected of being infected by a TSE', but there is no reference to TSE 'susceptible' animals. (section 4, page 5)
In The TSE (Scotland) Regulations 2002 No. 255, Interpretation [paragraph 3 (1)]
(a) any creature, including a fish, kept, fattened or bred for the production of food, wool, skin or fur;
(b) any creature other than a dog kept for use in the farming of land; and
(c) any equine animal;
"TSE susceptible animal" means any animal (whether it is a farmed animal or not) capable of being affected by a TSE;
The TSE (Scotland) Regulations 2002 No. 255, paragraph 7 (2) (j) appears to provide the Minister and officials with powers to slaughter ANY animal because all animals may be classed as being 'susceptible'.
Therefore it follows that every healthy animal may be at risk of being slaughtered merely because they fall into a category of being 'susceptible'.
The TSE regulations also give an Inspector powers to obtain a warrant to force an owner to comply with the slaughter of his/her animals deemed to be 'susceptible' and there is no provision for appeal - Paragraph 4 (4).
This would appear to be an infringement of an individual's rights under the Human Rights Act 1998 Articles 6 and 8.
In paragraphs 4 (2) (k) and (l), an Inspector is provided with power to examine and take copies of, 'any record, in whatever form the record may be held' and 'to have access to, and check the operation of, any computer and any associated apparatus or material which is or has been used in connection with any record'.
Many farmers/animal keepers keep their personal business records, such as bank account details and addresses on their computers. These powers would seem to infringe the right to a personal and family life under the Human Rights Act 1998, Article 8.
Background on the Scottish Parliamentary Committee which deals with Statutory Instruments can be found at:
The original draft letter from the Scottish Parliament seeking opinions is at: