Clause 22 - Inspections in connection with licences

Part of Animal Welfare Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 6:00 pm ar 24 Ionawr 2006.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Norman Baker Norman Baker Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 6:00, 24 Ionawr 2006

The amendments are designed to tease out from the Minister the relationship between clauses 22 and 46, because it is not clear to me, although it might be clear to everybody else. The amendments would ensure that an inspector with a warrant had access to a licensable premises that was also a private dwelling for the purpose of carrying out an inspection without necessarily giving 24 hours’ notice of entry. That would aid the enforcement of the law, which I think is desirable.

Clause 22(3) specifically excludes entry into a private dwelling, unless 24 hours’ notice is given. However, clause 46 sets out four conditions. Under the fourth condition, which is set out in subsection (5), it is permissible to secure a warrant without 24 hours’ notice where

“it would defeat the object of entering the premises, or ... entry is required as a matter of urgency.”

It is certainly my view that inspectors should be able to secure a warrant without the occupier knowing in advance, which is how I read clause 46, and also where the matter is urgent. That seems to be at variance with clause 22(3). These amendments attempt to correct that. It would be helpful if the Minister could clarify the relationship between the two clauses and specify exactly what the inspector’s powers are.