From page 5 of the "MERITS OF STATUTORY INSTRUMENTS COMMITTEE" pdf http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200506/ldselect/ldmerit/178/178.pdf
Merits of Statutory Instruments Committee
34th Report of Session 2005-06
B. Welfare of Animals (Slaughter or Killing) (Amendment) (England)
Regulations 2006 (SI 2006/1200)
Summary: These Regulations permit ventilation shutdown as a method of killing
birds for the purpose of disease control. The Government have made these
Regulations as a matter of urgency due to an outbreak of avian influenza in
These Regulations are drawn to the special attention of the House on
the ground that they give rise to issues of public policy likely to be of
interest to the House.
8. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) have
made these Regulations under section 2(2) of the European Communities
Act 1972. An Explanatory Memorandum (EM) has been provided.
9. The EM explains that the Regulations amend the Welfare of Animals
(Slaughter or Killing) Regulations 1995 (SI 1995/731),3 to permit ventilation
shutdown (VSD) as a method of killing birds for the purpose of disease
control. It states that VSD involves sealing a poultry shed and turning off the
2Takeover Bids (13th Report, 1995-96, HL Paper 100) and If At First You Dont SucceedTakeover
Bids Again (28th Report, 2002-03, HL Paper 128).
3SI 1995/731 gives effect to Council Directive 93/119/EC on the protection of animals at the time of
slaughter or killing.
MERITS OF STATUTORY INSTRUMENTS COMMITTEE 3
ventilation, and that it will kill birds over a period of 30-60 minutes (most
likely as a result of hyperthermia). It adds that VSD will only be the method
of choice where more humane methods are not available.
10. The Regulations were brought into force the day after laying. The EM states
that DEFRA had previously planned to amend SI 1995/731 to permit VSD
should the need arise. In the event, the Department saw the need to breach
the 21-day rule because of an outbreak of avian influenza in the most densely
poultry-populated part of England,4 which meant that VSD had to be
available without delay to enable a rapid cull if necessary.
11. In our 13th Report (HL Paper 61), we reported on the Avian Influenza
(Preventive Measures) Regulations 2005 (SI 2005/2989), which DEFRA
introduced to provide the basis for protective measures to be taken against
the threat of avian influenza. SI 2005/2989 was laid on 28 October 2005 and
brought into force on the same day.
12. In our 16th Report (HL Paper 76), we published correspondence with Mr
Ben Bradshaw, Minister for Local Environment, Marine and Animal
Welfare, relating to the powers taken by DEFRA under SI 2005/2989. We
asked whether DEFRA considered that the Government had the powers that
it needed to deal effectively with any incidence of avian influenza, and we
were told that work was in hand to ensure that the relevant legislation was
ready to respond to any developments. It is clear, however, that such work
had not been carried through to making the amendment to the Welfare of
Animals (Slaughter or Killing) Regulations 1995 (SI 1995/731) which has
now been effected by these Regulations.
13. We believe that the House will be interested in DEFRAs decision to make
this urgent amendment to the Welfare of Animals (Slaughter or Killing)
Regulations 1995, to permit ventilation shutdown as a method of killing
birds in order to control disease (most immediately, avian influenza).
4Further information about this outbreak is given on DEFRAs website, including a press release of 28 April
2006 entitled Confirmation of type of avian influenza in chickens: Dereham, Norfolk. See:
Archive July and August 2005
Archive Jan 2005 - July 2005
Archive Oct 2004 - Dec 2004
Archive August 2004 -October
OTHER WARMWELL ARCHIVES(opens in new window)