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B1298 - Agricultural use of Antibiotics Bill 2017 Watch

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    B1298 - Agricultural use of Antibiotics Bill 2017, TSR Government


    Agricultural use of Antibiotics Bill 2017



    An Act to prevent the use of antibiotics on healthy livestock.

    BE IT ENACTED by The Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, in accordance with the provisions of the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-


    PART I.
    ANTIBIOTICS FOR AGRICULTURAL USE


    1 Restrictions on the use of antibiotics on livestock-

    (a) If any person gives, or causes to be given, antibiotics to any animal with the intent of being used in the production of food (within the definitions given by Sec 2 of The Agricultural use of Antibiotics Act 2017) except upon the order of a duly qualified medical practitioner, or in case of 'urgent sickness' he shall, on summary conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale; where,
    (i) In this Act 'urgent sickness' is defined as any illness that a reasonable person would consider that the time spent seeking the advice of a veterinarian would cause undue distress to the animal.

    (b) If any business causes antibiotics to be given to any animal with the intent of being used in the production of food (within the definitions given by Sec 2 of The Agricultural use of Antibiotics Act 2017) except upon the order of a duly qualified medical practitioner, or in case of 'urgent sickness' he shall, on summary conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding level 2% of the net worth of the business in question or £10,000 if this value falls below that amount; where,
    (i) In this Act 'urgent sickness' is defined as any illness that a reasonable person would consider that the time spent seeking the advice of a veterinarian would cause undue distress to the animal.

    2 Exemptions and definitions-

    (a) Sec 1 of the Agricultural use of Antibiotics Act 2017 will not be in effect where-

    (i) the issuing of antibiotics was done under the advice of a veterinarian; or,

    (ii) the person or business who administered the antibiotics believed that the need was so urgent that seeking the advice of a veterinarian would lead to undue distress to the animal; or,

    (iii) the issuing was due to an outbreak of disease amongst animals on the same or adjacent farm; and,

    (iv) the establishment in question has not been exempt from being prosecuted by sec 2(a)(iii) in the last 6 months; and also,

    (v) A vetenarians advice must be saught within 2 days of the discovery of the outbreak.

    (b) The Secretary of State responsible for issues of rural or agricultural affairs can suspend all prosecutions under this act in times of disease outbreak for up to 6 months at a time.




    PART II.
    COMMENCEMENT, SHORT TITLE AND EXTENT


    3 This Act may be cited as the Agricultural use of Antibiotics Act 2017

    4 This Act shall come into force on 1st April 2018

    5 This Act extends to Great Britain and Northern Ireland


    notesThis article lays out the academic basis for this position. That piece focuses on Sweden who took this step about 30 years ago. If this bill gets accepted I'll get some data for Denmark who I think has already done this as well. Essentially the argument goes that by giving antibiotics to all animals as a matter of course (80% of antibiotics in the US are used on livestock) we are helping to create the antibiotic-resistant strains of diseases such as MRSA and we are quickly running out of antibiotics that can be effective in these cases.
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    I believe I will be voting in favour of this.
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    Makes sense

    Aye
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    From a biological point of view, id est the bioacculumation of de facto toxins, this bill does make sense.

    However, I am dubious whether unlimited fines is the correct course of action; though more complicated, why not incur fines directly proportional to revenue (as this bill only applies to businesses with the intent of food production) e.g. 5% of pre-tax revenue.
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    I do think the punishments are quite harsh, despite the sensitive topic. Highlighting the lvl 5 fine.
    Abstain for now, and will probably remain so.
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    (Original post by TCFactor)
    I do think the punishments are quite harsh, despite the sensitive topic. Highlighting the lvl 5 fine.
    Abstain for now, and will probably remain so.
    If you reduce the fine to level 4 (max £2500), it will be extremely low for an offence which will usually be committed by businesses and not an effective deterrent.
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    aye
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    Aye. I would echo the comments about unlimited fines, as an alternative would be for the individual to be banned from farming for a defined period. If a pharmacist gives drugs to someone without a prescription that are restricted to prescription only, what sentence can they get?
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    (Original post by barnetlad)
    Aye. I would echo the comments about unlimited fines, as an alternative would be for the individual to be banned from farming for a defined period. If a pharmacist gives drugs to someone without a prescription that are restricted to prescription only, what sentence can they get?
    IIRC that extends to a custodial sentence.

    Unlimited fines don't mean 'unreasonable', and it is contextual. The purpose is to allow corporate offenders to be fined appropriately, while individuals are given more of a "slap on the wrist" fine. It's much like the ICO's discretion under the Data Protection Act: while it has the power to impose fines of up to £500,000, in practice the larger fines are only given to serious, and deliberate corporate violations (and have never actually exceeded £400,000), whereas it's very rare for an individual to receive a fine of more than £1,000 (off the top of my head, a recent case where an employee of a council was responsible for fairly severe data breaches relating to social care patients' data, they ended up paying about £600).

    On the other hand, a ban from farming is likely to permanently destroy an employee's livelihood since their employer (in addition to the misconduct that violations are likely to amount to) would be able to dismiss for SOSR and it would make it very difficult to get another job in the sector. It's a far greater punishment. Corporates are very severely damaged by bans too, as especially in the agricultural sector it's not really possible to 'take a period off' from one's farming schedule.
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    Aye
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    This bill is in cessation.
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    This bill has entered division.
 
 
 
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