§ Baroness Nicol
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they are aware that the application of paragraph 3.1 of the Code of Practice for the Control of Salmonella during the Storage, Handling and Transport of Raw Materials intended for incorporation into Animal Feedingstuffs, issued by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, which requires birds to be excluded from facilities used for the storage of raw materials intended for incorporation into animal feedingstuffs, is causing farmers to take steps to exclude barn owls from traditional nesting and roosting sites; and what supplementary advice they propose making available to farmers on how to reconcile their responsibilities under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 for the conservation of barn owl, with the requirements of this code.
§ The Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Baroness Trumpington)
TheCode of Practice for the Control of Salmonella during the Storage, Handling and Transport of Raw Materials intended for incorporation into Animal Feedingstuffs is an important part of the Government's comprehensive package of measures to control salmonella in eggs and poultry. These measures are necessary to protect public health.
We recognise that in applying the code, barn owls may be excluded from traditional nesting and roosting 96WA sites. It is an offence against Section 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to disturb nesting birds, but it is not an offence to exclude birds prior to this taking place. Where building of nests or nesting has commenced, Section 4 of the Act permits disturbance for the purpose of preserving public health and safety and preventing the spread of disease. For birds listed in Section 1 of the Act, this would require a licence issued by the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.
We are proposing to amend the code to include advice to this effect.