§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Mr. Elliot Morley)
I have today laid before Parliament Defra's Foot and Mouth Disease Contingency Plan, in accordance with Section 18 of the Animal Health Act 2002 which came into force on 24 March 2003.
This Plan sets out the operational arrangements Defra will put in place to deal with any occurrence of foot and mouth disease.
It replaces the version placed on Defra's website on 6 November 2002, announced to the House in a statement made on the Government's response to the Foot and Mouth Disease Inquiry reports.
Defra's Contingency Plan is very much a "living document". It will be subject to ongoing revision taking on the latest scientific advice, developments in policy and comments from operational partners and stakeholders.
To meet the provisions of the Animal Health Act, the Plan will also be subject to formal annual review.
Copies of the Contingency Plan are available in the Libraries of both Houses.