Section 4 — Arrest, search and seizure

Part of Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 – in the Scottish Parliament at 4:15 pm on 13th February 2002.

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Photo of John Young John Young Conservative 4:15 pm, 13th February 2002

Some have said that I must feel like a fox surrounded by hounds. I emphasise that I am surrounded by very nice hounds.

I regret that David Mundell has lodged amendments that were rejected previously by the Rural Development Committee. His amendment 13 was defeated by seven votes to four in committee and his amendment 15 was withdrawn in the face of opposition from the Executive and the SSPCA. I am not sure why he has chosen to lodge the amendments again at stage 3. I am sure that David will forgive me if I express my gratitude to the Presiding Officers for not selecting some of his other more imaginative amendments.

Amendment 13 would restrict the ability of a constable to search vehicles. It is curious that David wants to do that. For some 43 years I have been a paid-up member of the Conservative party. I have always found the party to be a vigorous supporter of law and order. I hope that David will reconsider the matter.

I oppose amendment 15 for the same reason that the Executive and the SSPCA opposed it at stage 2. As the minister said, the police have a duty of care. The SSPCA does not believe that a criminal dog owner should be able to prevent the humane or mercy killing of a dog.