The fight to defeat the Animal Death Bill is now entering the end-game. Here, Jean Dixon invites you to join a protest on 4 November 2002 outside Downing Street.
Jean Dixon writes Parliament reconvened after the summer recess on 15 October. This period of parliament is called "the spillover" because it deals with matters that have "spilt over" from before the summer recess. The "spillover" period ends on 7 November, and the next session of parliament begins with the Queens Speech on 13 November.
The Animal Death Bill is still unresolved. On the 22 October, the Lords defeated the Government for the second time. Peers voted by a majority of 48 for an amendment that demanded a higher priority for vaccination over slaughter in dealing with any future animal disease outbreak.
The third reading of the Animal Death Bill is in the Lords on Monday 4 November.
I have been in touch with the Metropolitan Police who have agreed to allow me, and any supporters who want to join me, to picket the entrance to Downing Street from between 12-2pm on Monday the 4th.
I will then deliver a petition to the door of 10 Downing Street around 1.30pm. I have already taken 39,000. I shall also be delivering a protest letter on behalf of all those people who signed the petition.
If there is anyone who has any of my signatures from the postal petition, please can they either send them to me before the end of this week or bring them themselves. As there is the facility for up to 6 people to get to the door of number 10 anyone who has anything that they would like to present to Mr Blair is welcome to join me. However, in order to comply with policing arrangements would those who wish to come please contact me by either e-mail or phone, as numbers are limited.
It is hoped that we will reconstruct the memorial service that we had outside DEFRA so I will send interested parties the sheets that were printed for the service at Skipton. I also have the lobby cards for both The Lords and the Commons together with printed information sheets about the Bill and these will be sent post-free on request. They are intended to be given to those members of the public who are unaware of the current legislation and the sheet can be stuck in a shop window or in your car.
If you cannot come then please write to you own MP at the House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA, or the House of Lords, or to any of the newspapers. This is the critical time to voice your opposition to the continuation of the culling policy.
I am asking as many people as possible to join us in our final protest against the continued policy of culling healthy animals. Although the Lords managed to get through their amendment for vaccination to take precedence over culling, there is no doubt that this will be overturned when the Bill goes back to the Commons.
It will go back to the Commons on the 6th. However, the Commons has to decide and then send it back to the Lords. Since the "spillover" parliamentary period, dealing with legislation such as the Animal Death Bill, which has been left over or unresolved from the last parliamentary session, is to end on 7 November, it may be that the Bill will run out of time. Fingers crossed.
My thanks to everyone who has supported me throughout this campaign. Those who have been to London already and those who came to the party conferences in Brighton and Blackpool.