Dear Ms. --------d,

Thank you for your fax dated 2nd May, 2002 which has been passed to me.

The Liberal Democrats were greatly concerned at aspects of the proposed Animal Health (Amendment) Bill which arose out of the foot and mouth crisis. We believed it was being rushed through without proper consultation. Amongst other matters, we questioned the Government's right to cull any animal without proof of disease. As you will know, these powers were debated in the House of Lords and the Bill collapsed.

The TSE (England) Regulations 2002 were introduced on 19th April, 2002 to bring us in line with current EU requirements which came into force last year for the protection of human and animal health and specifically to eliminate BSE. The Regulations were debated in the House of Lords on 15th May, 2002. There were amendments agreed resulting in the TSE (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2002 which came into force on 27th May, 2002. These include an undertaking by the Government that representations can be made against a notice of intended slaughter of animals.

Thank you for taking the trouble to contact me.

Yours sincerely,

J B******t, M.P.