§ Lord Houghton of Sowerby
My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill be now read a third time. There has been widespread interest in the Bill in your Lordships' House and elsewhere. I crave just two minutes to record my appreciation of the work that has been done.
The Badgers Bill came from the Commons better than anything we have received before. But we have improved on it. It goes back better than anything that has gone back before. That was made possible by a unique combination of interest and individuals in your Lordships' House which in the past have been incompatible, or even in conflict. They have been brought together to produce what is almost a totally agreed Bill. It is quite an achievement for your Lordships' House to be party to it. Such controversial matters as we encountered in the past which obstructed progress on the passage of the Bill have now been resolved.
I thank all who have worked behind the scenes assiduously and in a good spirit to produce a Bill which will be more severe against the digger and the baiter, yet tolerant to those in the countryside and those who want reasonable opportunities to exercise their rights and activities. Overall it offers better protection for the badger.
The noble Lord, Lord Mancroft, who has been my partner in this work, used his influence on one side. I, as best I could, used my influence on the other. With the skilful presiding Minister, the noble Viscount, Lord Astor, we have produced the best Bill yet on badgers.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read a third time.—(Lord Houghton of Sowerby.)
§ On Question, Bill read a third time.
§ Moved, That the Bill do now pass.—(Lord Houghton of Sowerby.)
§ On Question, Bill passed, and returned to the Commons with amendments.