Animal Welfare (30 Mar 2017)
Simon Hart: The hon. Gentleman makes a good point. The Wooler report, which has been much talked about and which has helped us to reach our conclusions, raises exactly the point that he makes. There is a transitional period, but it is fair to say that concerns have been expressed—not by people such as me who might be accused of having a partisan view, but by more arm’s-length...

Animal Welfare (30 Mar 2017)
Simon Hart: I, too, thank the various members of the public and numerous organisations that provided evidence to the Select Committee with such conviction and passion. Animal welfare is an emotive issue, but Committee members were extremely grateful for the help we got in reaching our conclusions. I shall touch briefly on three areas of interest. First, our inquiry revealed that this was about a lot more...

Animal Welfare (30 Mar 2017)
Simon Hart: My hon. Friend makes an interesting point. I need to listen to “The Archers” a bit more often. From what I gather, the programme is covering quite a lot of contemporary issues at the moment, but he makes a good point. In conclusion, let me bring to the attention of the House the letter written by the Attorney General’s Office in the name of the Solicitor General to my right...

Badger Culling — [Mr Gary Streeter in the Chair] (27 Mar 2017)
Simon Hart: I am sorry to bore Members with this, but that is an annual figure. The hon. Lady needs to look at it over the lifetime, rather than as a single figure.

Badger Culling — [Mr Gary Streeter in the Chair] (27 Mar 2017)
Simon Hart: It is 10 years.

Badger Culling — [Mr Gary Streeter in the Chair] (27 Mar 2017)
Simon Hart: My hon. Friend made my next point for me. I absolutely recognise that there is a discrepancy between those two numbers, but the problem is that we are trying to compare a non-identical set of figures and a non-identical timeline of events leading up to the particular measurement of the figures—I do not think I put that very clearly. It is misleading to compare the numbers acquired over...

Badger Culling — [Mr Gary Streeter in the Chair] (27 Mar 2017)
Simon Hart: I did not expect there to be time for me to speak—I am a late entry—so I am extremely grateful to you, Mr Streeter. I thank the hon. Member for Newport West (Paul Flynn) and other Members who have spoken for approaching the issue in such a reasonable and measured way. Most of us have spent many hours debating this topic in this Chamber, and debates have not always been conducted...

Badger Culling — [Mr Gary Streeter in the Chair] (27 Mar 2017)
Simon Hart: My hon. Friend makes a good point. I am unlucky enough to represent a constituency in one of the areas in the UK with the most herd breakdowns, where TB is most prevalent, and farmers in my area would absolutely endorse my hon. Friend’s comments. Rather conveniently, I was about to come to the Wales comparison. As the hon. Member for Newport West will recall, not many years ago the...

Badger Culling — [Mr Gary Streeter in the Chair] (27 Mar 2017)
Simon Hart: I think that you, Mr Paisley, would come after us if we went down the road of discussing the merits of devolution and having a different set of policies in Wales, which I suspect might be the only way to achieve those aims. However, I have no problem with proper evaluation, and I suspect that the Government have none, particularly given the importance of science, of which we are rightly...

Badger Culling — [Mr Gary Streeter in the Chair] (27 Mar 2017)
Simon Hart: I suspect that the Minister will deal with the second part of that intervention. As for the first part, I will say only that the Irish Government would not deem their approach to the eradication of bovine TB quite the failure that the hon. Gentleman portrays it to be. On the cost of culls and/or vaccination, I agree that both figures are eye-wateringly significant, but very little attention...


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