The previous Animal Health Act of 19?? contained sufficient powers for Veterinary Inspectors to enter premises in certain cases. Entirely due to the dreadful handling of the 2001 Foot and Mouth outbreak farmers and animal owners were obviously reluctant to have their healthy animals slaughtered just on the say so of computer operators at Imperial College in London.
Needless to say Imperial College had'nt a clue about virology or the spread of F&M virus but using computer modelling decided which livestock should be slaughtered and consequently the owners objected. DEFRA going along with the computer experts then got the Labour Government to update the then Animal Health Act which gave them the draconian powers contained in the new Act of 2002. As a retired Veterinary Surgeon and Ministry of Agriculture ,Fisheriesand Food Divisional Veterinary Inspector I do claim some knowledge on the subject.
Why does this idea matter?
These powers are so all embacing that they really have no limits and are out of place in a democratic society. Indeed I would go so far as to state that they are the eqivalent of those in a communist state and would not have been out of place in East Germany or the USSR