Clause 3 - Responsibility for animals

Part of Animal Welfare Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:45 am on 17 January 2006.

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Photo of Ben Bradshaw Ben Bradshaw Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Local Environment, Marine and Animal Welfare) 11:45, 17 January 2006

I will come on to that point in a moment.

An owner who temporarily shares responsibility for the animal with another—for example, the owner of a boarding establishment—should be able to rely on the responsibility of the boarding kennel owner to secure his animal's needs, as long as he has taken all reasonable steps to ensure that he is passing on responsibility to a suitable person. Further, clause 3(1) specifies that it is possible to be responsible for an animal on a temporary basis. Therefore, to answer the point raised by the hon. Gentleman, if someone were to take possession of an animal unlawfully, they would in most cases be considered to be responsible for it. They would, after all, almost certainly be ''in charge'' of it on a temporary basis.