Lords Amendment: In page10, line 47, at end insert:
"or awaiting removal after being exposed for sale".
The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Mr. James Scott-Hopkins)
I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.When we discussed this Clause on Report the hon. and learned Member for Cardigan (Mr. Bowen) was anxious for an assurance that the new powers we proposed to take would enable us to give some measure of protection to animals not only while exposed for sale but while awaiting collection after being sold. My right hon. Friend agreed to have another look at this point. It is pigs, dairy cows and calves which are the animals about which there was the most concern. There was concern about their accommodation while remaining waiting after being sold. We are satisfied that the powers originally sought tare sufficient, but there was certainly this concern that such animals should be moved to a suitable holding pens while awaiting transport, and we were anxious to ensure that such accommodation should be of a reasonable standard. For this reason my right hon. Friend sought an Amendment in another place to extend (the powers to cover the holding of animals awaiting transit, and an Amendment was made to the Clause. I hope that it will be acceptable to and welcomed by those hon. Members on both sides who are so keenly and rightly concerned about animal suffering.
Mr. Frederick Peart (Workington)
I accept what the Minister has said. We had a lengthy discussion on this and whether the Clause would apply to animals not only exposed for sale in the market but afterwards. I am glad the Minister has responded. In principle, I agree with him.
Mr. John Morris (Aberavon)
I am very glad the Government have seen fit to have this Amendment made. It was the hon. and learned Member for Cardigan (Mr. Bowen) who drew attention to this matter. I supported him. The Minister was quite adamant at that time, and said there was no gap in the legislation. He had to be pressed by the hon. and learned Gentleman and me again and again before eventually he agreed under considerable pressure that there might be a gap and he would have a look to see. He said that on the information and technical advice which he had obtained in the course of discussions he was satisfied he had adequate powers, but it was obvious to anyone who scrutinised the drafting of the Clause as it was then that there was a gap in the provisions for the animals between their being exposed for sale and their being in transit. That is a position well known to many of us who have to go from time to time to marts, that animals, after being sold, are sometimes not moved for many hours afterwards. I am glad that this gap has now been stopped. I must point out that this is a case of very bad drafting and I wish the Government had seen fit earlier to ensure that this did not happen.
Question put and agreed to.