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

I am not sure that that is the case, but I will write to the hon. Gentleman about that. Does he want me to finish reading my speaking note as it may help to clarify some of the other issues that he raised? I am not sure that I understood the point that he was making. I beg the Committee’s forgiveness.

The power in clause 24 was included on the basis that, in relation to farm premises, it may be difficult to satisfy the requirement of the clause, but that it would none the less be reasonable to conduct an inspection. A farmer may have had problems in the past, but on this occasion the inspector might not have a reasonable belief that an offence is being committed sufficient to satisfy the provisions in clause 20, perhaps because he had been denied access to the premises and the premises were sufficiently large that he could not see from a distance the condition of the animals. In that situation, it would still be reasonable for the inspector to inspect the premises.

In an equivalent situation on a licensed or registered premises, the inspector would have the additional leverage of threatening the withdrawal of the licence. This leverage is not available in the case of farms and it is important that the Bill fills that gap. This is where the difference between the clauses stems from. I hope that that has helped to clarify matters.