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Agriculture: Animal Diseases

Volume 692: debated on Monday 4 June 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the inquiries that they pursue in the event of outbreaks of non-United Kingdom animal diseases include seeking to recover costs from any person who is deemed to be responsible. [HL3837]

Yes. We always carry out investigations into the reasons behind outbreaks of exotic notifiable disease (that is, those not endemic to the United Kingdom). Where there is evidence of non-compliance with animal health legislation, the appropriate authority will consider whether legal proceedings should be instigated and this includes the recovery of costs. Where there is a failure to act in a reasonable manner to control disease, my department will also seek to recover its disease control costs.

My department is working with the livestock industry on how the roles, responsibilities and costs of providing animal health and welfare could be balanced better. The scope of the work includes the strengthening of the available steps where there are failures in responsibility.