BHS ALARMED BY ANIMAL HEALTH BILL
The British Horse
Society has expressed grave reservations about the Animal
Health Bill currently going through Parliament.
The proposals allow
for significant new powers to be granted to slaughter
animals that are healthy, have not been in contact with, or exposed to,
disease. The proposals further allow for forced entry to premises to carry
out this slaughter. This does not only apply to FMD, but to any other
disease that the Minister sees fit to include.
Horses are not susceptible
to FMD, nor are they carriers of the disease in
the biological sense. As the proposals stand they could be included in
slaughter policy if the Ministry decided that they could contribute to
spread of the disease. At the beginning of the FMD outbreak Ministry vets
were telling people that horses would have to be put down on a farm infected
with FMD, and it took the British Horse Society two weeks to get the
Ministry to put out a statement contradicting this advice. If they got
wrong once, could they get it wrong again?
in this Bill are very worrying for every horse owner" said
Kay Driver, BHS chief executive. "It is the duty of the British Horse
Society to look after horses and ponies in this country, and we support
their owners in every way. We regularly make representation at the highest
level and shall now be working to ensure that no proposals get through
will allow horses to be slaughtered needlessly."