Part of Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 10:45 am ar 16 Tachwedd 2021.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 10:45, 16 Tachwedd 2021

We all agree that those carrying out inspections should be competent to do so. With his depth of knowledge, my hon. Friend the Member for Penrith and The Border reminded us that vets have established competency standards. It is important that the regulations use the right terminology—competency, experience and expertise—as they are developed.

We have provided flexibility in the Bill about who can undertake inspections. The aim of that was to avoid creating delays to licence processing, which could be bad for primates awaiting inspection. We are looking to support training for vets and inspectors so that they have the right knowledge to carry out inspections. We hope that the training will increase the pool of people local authorities can call upon. I say once again that primates vary enormously: someone with expertise in one type of primate may well not be competent to deal with another.

We will certainly include material on the selection of inspectors as part of our guidance for local authorities—the list that the hon. Member for Cambridge wanted—and we intend to ensure that local authorities are given details of suitably qualified inspectors, including specialist vets and vets who have undergone primate training.

Local authorities already undertake a lot of that work for us in the space of zoo inspection and dangerous wild animal inspection. They can already request information on competent zoo inspectors from the Animal and Plant Health Agency. We do not need to include that in the Bill, but I will look carefully, having heard the debate, at the language that we use in regulation. I respectfully ask that the amendment be withdrawn.