Clause 30 - Disqualification

Animal Welfare Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:00 am on 26 January 2006.

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Photo of Bill Wiggin Bill Wiggin Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) 9:00, 26 January 2006

I beg to move amendment No. 58, in clause 30, page 15, line 11, at end insert

‘(e)from riding, driving or using animals.’.

Welcome back to the Committee, Mrs. Humble. The amendment was suggested by the International League for the Protection of Horses and is intended to tighten up the disqualification powers. Although its advocates are pleased with the disqualification provisions already in the Bill, it has been pointed out to me that the provisions to disqualify convicted offenders from riding, driving or using animals are noticeably absent. The Bill contains provisions to place restrictive sanctions on the activities of those who have committed an offence under this legislation: subsection (2) prohibits them from owning, keeping or controlling animals. The amendment would be a logical extension of those provisions.

For example, if someone has committed a cruelty offence against a horse, it is only right that when they are punished, the magistrate has the option of prohibiting them from engaging in any form of contact with such animals in future. The amendment is brief, but it would be helpful to add to the Bill a reference to riding, driving or using animals.

Photo of Ben Bradshaw Ben Bradshaw Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Local Environment, Marine and Animal Welfare)

The Government have some sympathy with the reasoning behind the amendment, although we are concerned about enforceability. We would like to reflect on the matter between now and Report.

Photo of Bill Wiggin Bill Wiggin Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

I am grateful for that tremendously positive opening to this morning’s proceedings. On that basis of co-operation, I am more than content to beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 30 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 31 ordered to stand part of the Bill.