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Schedule 5 - Enforcement powers in connection with wildlife

Part of Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 6:00 pm on 28th June 2005.

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Photo of James Paice James Paice Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) 6:00 pm, 28th June 2005

I am still genuinely puzzled. According to the schedule, inspectors will carry out investigations that, although not criminal investigations, may be part of prosecutions. They will examine specimens, take samples and so on, and will, at least, be expected to give evidence on that, and it is highly likely that they will be expected to produce the specimens or samples. It is unclear whether, if they have not been collected and gathered under PACE, there might not be at least an excuse for legal challenge by the defendant or his lawyers or, at worst, that the evidence might be non-admissible because it has not been gathered under PACE. That is my confusion, and I hope that the Minister can clear it up.