Clause 22 - Inspections in connection with licences

Part of Animal Welfare Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 6:15 pm ar 24 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) 6:15, 24 Ionawr 2006

Let me try to assist hon. Members. If I have misunderstood their queries about the clauses, I may have to write to them, but I am slightly mystified, as are my officials. Clauses 22 and 23 contain powers of entry to carry out routine inspections. They are not concerned with situations in which an animal is in   distress or in which an offence has been or is being committed. They are for routine, not emergency, inspections. I ask hon. Members to forgive me if I have got this wrong, but we do not find it easy to envisage a situation in which one would want to rush to a magistrates court for a warrant to conduct a routine inspection.

If there is a reasonable belief that an animal is in distress on the premises, the power to enter under clause 17 will be available. If one believes that an offence is being, or has been committed, on the premises, including carrying on a licensable or registerable activity without having licensed or registered it, a warrant for entry can be applied for under clause 20. In the absence of a need to act under clauses 17 or 20, we cannot see that the situation would be sufficiently urgent to require an ability to apply for a warrant.