206.Under section 12(1A) of the 1992 Act, certain offences can be prosecuted either on indictment or summarily. These offences are primarily those related to badger digging and baiting and include the offences of causing a dog to enter a sett and selling a live badger. These offences are “relevant offences” within the meaning of sections 45(6) and 47(6) of the Criminal Proceedings etc. (Reform) (Scotland) Act 2007, which means that the maximum penalties on summary conviction are a 12 month sentence of imprisonment and/or a fine of the statutory maximum (which is set under section 225(8) of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 and is currently £10,000). The maximum penalty for conviction on indictment is a 3 year sentence of imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine. Offences covered by section 12(1) of the 1992 Act can only be prosecuted summarily . The maximum penalties for these offences range from a fine of level 3 on the standard scale (for offences under section 1(5) of the 1992 Act) to a level 5 fine (currently set at £5,000 by section 225(2) of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995) and/or a six month sentence of imprisonment (for the offence of killing a badger as well as for most other offences under the 1992 Act).
207.Subsection (9) amends section 12 of the 1992 Act to extend the list of offences which can be prosecuted either on indictment or summarily. The effect is to allow the offences of illegally killing, injuring or taking a badger, possessing all or part of a dead badger, knowingly permitting or causing these offences, knowingly permitting or causing cruelty to a badger and knowingly permitting or causing the sale or possession of a live badger to be prosecuted summarily or on indictment.
208.Subsection (9) also amends section 12 of the 1992 Act to state that the maximum penalties for summary conviction for offences which can be tried either summarily or on indictment are a 12 month sentence of imprisonment and/or a fine of the statutory maximum. The effect is to ensure that the new offences which can be tried either way will be subject to the same penalties as the existing either way offences under the 1992 Act.