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Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses (Scotland) Act 2018

Schedule 1: Enforcement powers

Entry and associated powers

22.Paragraph 2 allows an inspector to enter any premises (other than domestic premises) if there are reasonable grounds for believing that an offence has been or is being committed at the premises. However, this power may be exercised only for the purpose of ascertaining whether or not an offence under section 1 of the Act has been or is being committed at the premises.

23.Paragraph 3 confers power on a sheriff or justice of the peace to grant a warrant, stating the conditions which must be satisfied first. By virtue of section 45 of the Courts Reform (Scotland) Act 2014, the power to grant a warrant under paragraph 3 extends to a summary sheriff as well. There must be reasonable grounds to believe that an offence under section 1 is being or has been committed at particular premises, or that evidence relating to the commission of such an offence will be found at premises. In addition, a warrant will not be granted unless the sheriff or justice is satisfied that an inspector or constable has been refused permission to enter the premises (or that such permission is expected to be refused). Alternatively a warrant may also be granted if the sheriff or justice is satisfied that the premises are unoccupied or the owner is temporarily away from the premises. (Where a summary sheriff is considering an application for a warrant under paragraph 3, the conditions described above relating to the granting of the warrant apply to the summary sheriff in the same ways as they do for the sheriff or a justice of the peace).

24.Paragraph 4 makes provision for what a warrant authorises an inspector or a constable to do - namely, to enter the premises to which the warrant relates, to search for or examine any animal and to search for, examine and seize any equipment, document or other thing tending to provide evidence of the commission of, or participation in, an offence under section 1 of the Act. These powers under warrant are exercisable in respect of any premises, including domestic premises (as defined in paragraph 1).

25.Paragraph 5 enables an inspector or constable, in certain circumstances, to exercise the same powers as are mentioned in paragraph 4, but without the need for a warrant. While the powers in paragraph 4 are exercisable only in relation to premises specified in a warrant, the powers in paragraph 5 may be exercised in respect of any premises (so long as they are not domestic premises). The condition that must be satisfied before the powers under paragraph 5 may be exercised is that the inspector or constable must believe that delay would frustrate the purpose for which the power is to be exercised. For example, if an inspector suspects that a wild animal is being exhibited to the public, he or she may, without a warrant, enter circus premises to search for the animal and look for and seize any evidence of the offence if it is known that the circus is moving to its next destination the following day.

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Text created by the Scottish Executive department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills

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