HC Deb 04 April 2001 vol 366 c200W
Mr. Cash

To ask the Prime Minister what emergency powers he has to take action to halt the spread of foot and mouth disease, and which such powers he has exercised. [156121]

The Prime Minister

The Animal Health Act 1981 and the Foot and Mouth Disease Order 1983 provide the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food with a wide range of powers to control the disease. These include powersto detain the movement of animals and other things while conducting a veterinary inquiry into suspected disease to slaughter animals affected or suspected of being affected by disease or which have been in contact with infected animals or which have in any way been exposed to the infection of the disease to impose disease control rules to be observed within an infected place to impose infected area restrictions around an infected premises in accordance with EU rules to apply restrictions to animals exposed to disease to order the cleansing and disinfection of premises and vehicles to control the disposal of manure, slurry and litter in an infected area to require stray animals to be controlled in an infected area to control milk produced in an infected area to close footpaths ant prevent entry onto land (including roads) or premises in an infected area to prohibit certain sporting and recreational activities (such as hunting and point to point meetings) in an infected area to apply movement controls to or from slaughterhouses to apply movement restrictions on animals and other controls within a controlled area (which at present covers the whole of Great Britain) to prohibit hunting and stalking in a controlled area to prohibit the holding of fairs, markets, shows or other gatherings of animals. All these powers have been exercised at various junctures since the date of the first confirmation of the disease. They have been supplemented by the following measures: within a controlled area, the power to allow the Minister (or a local authority with the prior agreement of the Minister) to close roads granting a temporary casing of the drivers hours rules for various types of operation affected by foot and mouth (including the transport of animal feed, livestock, agricultural products, disinfectant and milk) restriction of exports to member states of certain products amended rules as regards the closure of footpaths and prohibited areas disinfection of tyres of road vehicles transported out of the UK establishment of a flat rate valuation for slaughtered animals. The scope of powers available is kept under constant review in the light of developments.