HC Deb 27 July 2000 vol 354 cc1225-6
5. Mr. David Watts (St. Helens, North)

What representations he has received concerning the Fur Farming (Prohibition) Bill. [131265]

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Mr. Elliot Morley)

On your last Question Time, Madam Speaker, may I associate myself with my right hon. Friend's remarks? We shall miss your shepherding of MAFF questions.

In excess of 3,000 representations have been received about the Bill, all but a few of which have been from members of the public and animal welfare organisations supporting the banning of fur farming.

Mr. Watts

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply. Given the fact that the Bill was included in Labour's manifesto and that it has the overwhelming support of the British people, will he assure me that he will not allow Opposition Members to frustrate the Bill and stop it passing all its stages in the House and the other place?

Mr. Morley

The House passed the Bill without a vote against it. It has had its Second Reading in the other place, and it will, of course, receive proper debate and scrutiny. It is clear that the measure is widely supported in this country; and, indeed, given some of the problems in the fur farming sector, it has certain advantages to that sector as well.

Mr. Malcolm Moss (North-East Cambridgeshire)

In the light of the recent report of the Lords Select Committee on Delegated Powers and Deregulation, which points up an important human rights implication for the inclusion of income losses in any compensation scheme for fur farmers, what steps is the Minister taking to ensure that the Fur Farming (Prohibition) Bill, which is currently in the other place, guarantees that mink farmers will be compensated for losses of income by the compensation scheme?

Mr. Morley

I am aware of the Scrutiny Committee recommendations in the other place and my colleague, Baroness Hayman, will of course consider that issue carefully. We take the opinions of such Committees seriously. The Bill will be debated in Committee, which is the appropriate place to consider all those aspects.