Register of persons competent to shoot deer – inserted section 17A of the 1996 Act
190.Section 17A of the 1996 Act contains an enabling power which permits Minsters to introduce a requirement that any person shooting deer, or supervising the shooting of deer, must be named on a register as competent to do so. Subsection (4) creates an offence of shooting deer in contravention of requirements set under the enabling power, subject to an exception in subsection (5) which allows the killing of a deer which is injured or diseased or killing dependant young which has been, or is about to be, deprived of its mother.
191.Regulations made under the enabling power may also provide that persons who are registered as competent can be considered “fit and competent” for the purposes of authorisations to shoot deer at night, or during close seasons (subsection (1)(c)).
192.In the event that a competence requirement is introduced, regulations may also require those persons named on the competence register to submit a regular cull return (subsection (1)(d)). “Cull return” is defined in subsection (7) as a return showing the number of deer of each species and of each sex which have been killed. Subsection (6) creates an offence of failing to submit a cull return in accordance with regulations or submitting a return which is materially false or misleading. This offence would replace the offence under section 40(4) of the 1996 Act.
193.Subsection (2) allows regulations to include supplementary, incidental or consequential provision and lists examples of the type of provision this might include.
194.Subsection (9) of section 30 of the Act sets maximum penalties for the new offences in section 17A(4) and (6).