Clause 3 - Responsibility for animals

Part of Animal Welfare Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 12:00 pm ar 17 Ionawr 2006.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Ben Bradshaw Ben Bradshaw Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Local Environment, Marine and Animal Welfare) 12:00, 17 Ionawr 2006

Not if that person had taken reasonable measures to ensure that the animal's welfare needs had been met. If they had satisfied   themselves that the dog was going to a bona fide trainer, the trainer would be responsible for the suffering. If the owner was present when it happened and was watching, however, that would be a different matter.

The concept of responsibility is already clarified by clause 3 and does not need further clarification. Someone who owns an animal or is temporarily responsible for it will already be classified as responsible for it for the purposes of clause 4(2). If the intention of amendment No. 96 is to restrict the definition of ''responsibility'' for the purposes of clause 4(2), it is misguided.

A person can be considered responsible for an animal in more ways than by owning it or having temporary responsibility for it. For example, while a racehorse is in a trainer's stables and the trainer is in charge of it, the trainer would be responsible for the horse. However, that would not necessarily be temporary, nor would the trainer necessarily own the horse. Amendment No. 96 means that the trainer could not commit an offence of permitting someone else to cause the horse unnecessary suffering. I do not think that that is an acceptable outcome. On that basis, I urge the hon. Member for Leominster to withdraw the amendment.