Schedule 3 - Hunting with dogs: prohibition

Part of Hunting Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:00 am on 25th January 2001.

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Photo of John Maples John Maples Conservative, Stratford-on-Avon 11:00 am, 25th January 2001

Surely another problem for gamekeepers or farmers is that, under the exemptions in paragraph 7, they must prove their innocence. The Bill reverses the burden of proof: the person charged must prove that their activity falls under one of the exemptions. That is an unreasonable way of loading the question. The amendments in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Aylesbury (Mr. Lidington), which I understand the right hon. Gentleman supports, would remove that problem and make it clear that, in some instances, such activity was not an offence under the Bill.