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Welfare of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 2011

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PART 1 N.I.INTRODUCTORY

Animals to which this Act appliesN.I.

1  (1)  In this Act, except in subsections (4) and (6), “animal” means a vertebrate other than man.

(2) Nothing in this Act applies to an animal while it is in its foetal or embryonic form.

(3) The Department may by regulations for all or any of the purposes of this Act—

(a)extend the definition of “animal” so as to include invertebrates of any description;

(b)amend subsection (2) to extend the application of this Act to an animal from such earlier stage of its development as may be specified in the regulations.

(4) The power under subsection (3) may only be exercised if the Department is satisfied, on the basis of scientific evidence, that animals of the kind concerned are capable of experiencing pain or suffering.

(5) Before making regulations under subsection (3), the Department must consult such persons appearing to the Department to represent relevant interests as the Department considers appropriate.

(6) In this section, “vertebrate” means any animal of the Sub-phylum Vertebrata of the Phylum Chordata and “invertebrate” means any animal not of that Sub-phylum.

Protected animalsN.I.

2  An animal is a “protected animal” for the purposes of this Act if—

(a)it is of a kind which is commonly domesticated in Northern Ireland,

(b)it is under the control of man whether on a permanent or temporary basis, or

(c)it is not living in a wild state.

Responsibility for animalsN.I.

3  (1)  In this Act, references to a person responsible for an animal are to a person responsible for an animal whether on a permanent or temporary basis.

(2) In this Act, references to being responsible for an animal include being in charge of it.

(3) For the purposes of this Act, a person who owns an animal shall always be regarded as being a person who is responsible for it.

(4) For the purposes of this Act, a person shall be treated as responsible for any animal for which a person under the age of 16 years, of whom the first mentioned person has actual care and control, is responsible.

(5) For the purposes of this Act, a person does not relinquish responsibility for an animal by reason only of abandoning it.

PART 2 N.I.PROTECTION OF ANIMALS

Prevention of harmN.I.

Unnecessary sufferingN.I.

4  (1)  A person commits an offence if—

(a)an act of that person, or a failure of that person to act, causes an animal to suffer,

(b)that person knew, or ought reasonably to have known, that the act, or failure to act, would have that effect or be likely to do so, and

(c)the suffering is unnecessary.

(2) A person commits an offence if—

(a)that person is responsible for an animal,

(b)an act, or failure to act, of another person causes the animal to suffer,

(c)the first-mentioned person permitted that to happen or failed to take such steps (whether by way of supervising the other person or otherwise) as were reasonable in all the circumstances to prevent that happening, and

(d)the suffering is unnecessary.

(3) The considerations to which it is relevant to have regard when determining for the purposes of this section whether suffering is unnecessary include—

(a)whether the suffering could reasonably have been avoided, terminated or reduced;

(b)whether the conduct which caused the suffering was in compliance with any relevant statutory provision or any relevant provisions of a licence or code of practice issued under a statutory provision;

(c)whether the conduct which caused the suffering was for a legitimate purpose, such as—

(i)the purpose of benefiting the animal; or

(ii)the purpose of protecting a person, property or another animal;

(d)whether the suffering was proportionate to the purpose of the conduct concerned;

(e)whether the conduct concerned was in all the circumstances that of a reasonably competent and humane person.

(4) Nothing in this section applies to the destruction of an animal in an appropriate and humane manner.

Prohibited proceduresN.I.

5  (1)  A person commits an offence if—

(a)that person carries out a prohibited procedure on a protected animal;

(b)that person causes such a procedure to be carried out on such an animal.

(2) A person commits an offence if—

(a)that person is responsible for an animal,

(b)another person carries out a prohibited procedure on the animal, and

(c)the first-mentioned person permitted that to happen or failed to take such steps (whether by way of supervising the other person or otherwise) as were reasonable in all the circumstances to prevent that happening.

(3) A person commits an offence if that person takes a protected animal, or causes a protected animal to be taken, from a place in Northern Ireland for the purpose of having a prohibited procedure carried out on the animal at a place outside Northern Ireland.

(4) In this section references to the carrying out of a prohibited procedure on an animal are to the carrying out of a procedure which involves interference with the sensitive tissues or bone structure of the animal.

(5) This section does not apply—

(a)in relation to—

(i)any procedure carried out by a veterinary surgeon;

(ii)any procedure carried out for the diagnosis of disease;

(iii)any procedure carried out for the purposes of medical treatment of an animal;

(iv)any other procedure which is specified in regulations made by the Department;

(b)to the removal of the whole or any part of a dog's tail (which is dealt with in section 6).

(6) Before making regulations under subsection (5), the Department must consult such persons appearing to the Department to represent relevant interests as the Department considers appropriate.

Docking of dogs' tailsN.I.

6  (1)  A person commits an offence if that person—

(a)removes the whole or any part of a dog's tail; or

(b)causes the whole or any part of a dog's tail to be removed by another person.

(2) A person commits an offence if—

(a)that person is responsible for a dog,

(b)another person removes the whole or any part of the dog's tail, and

(c)the first-mentioned person permitted that to happen or failed to take such steps (whether by way of supervising the other person or otherwise) as were reasonable in all the circumstances to prevent that happening.

(3) A person does not commit an offence under subsection (1) or (2) if the whole or any part of a dog's tail is removed—

(a)by a veterinary surgeon for the purpose of medical treatment; or

(b)in order to prevent or remove an immediate danger to the life of the dog in circumstances where it is not reasonably practicable to have the tail, or, as the case may be, any part of the tail, removed by a veterinary surgeon.

(4) Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply if the dog is a certified working dog that is not more than 5 days old.

(5) For the purposes of subsection (4), a dog is a certified working dog if a veterinary surgeon has certified, in accordance with regulations made by the Department, that the first and second conditions mentioned below are met.

(6) The first condition referred to in subsection (5) is that there has been produced to the veterinary surgeon such evidence as the Department may by regulations require for the purpose of showing that the dog is likely to be used for work in connection with law enforcement, lawful pest control or the lawful shooting of animals.

(7) The second condition referred to in subsection (5) is that the dog is of a breed specified in Schedule 1 for the purposes of this subsection.

(8) The Department may by regulations add to, or remove, breeds of dog from the list in Schedule 1.

(9) It is a defence for a person accused of an offence under subsection (1) or (2) to show that that person reasonably believed that the dog was one in relation to which subsection (4) applies.

(10) A person commits an offence if that person—

(a)owns a subsection (4) dog, and

(b)fails to take reasonable steps to secure that, before the dog is 8 weeks old, it is identified as a subsection (4) dog in accordance with regulations made by the Department.

(11) A person commits an offence if that person takes a dog, or causes a dog to be taken, from a place in Northern Ireland for the purpose of having the whole or any part of its tail removed, otherwise than for the purpose of medical treatment administered by a veterinary surgeon.

(12) A person commits an offence if—

(a)that person shows a dog at an event for which that person pays a fee or to which members of the public are admitted on payment of a fee,

(b)the dog's tail has been wholly or partly removed (in Northern Ireland or elsewhere), and

(c)the removal took place after the coming into operation of this section.

(13) Where a dog is shown only for the purpose of demonstrating its working ability, subsection (12) does not apply if the dog is a subsection (4) dog.

(14) It is a defence for a person accused of an offence under subsection (12) to show that that person reasonably believed—

(a)that the event was not one for which that person paid a fee or to which members of the public were admitted on payment of a fee;

(b)(b) that the removal took place before the coming into operation of this section; or

(c)that the dog was one in relation to which subsection (13) applies.

(15) A person commits an offence if that person knowingly gives false information to a veterinary surgeon in connection with the giving of a certificate for the purposes of this section.

(16) The Department may by regulations make provision about the functions of inspectors in relation to—

(a)certificates for the purposes of this section, and

(b)the identification of dogs as subsection (4) dogs.

(17) Before making regulations under this section, the Department must consult such persons appearing to the Department to represent any interests concerned as the Department considers appropriate.

(18) In this section “subsection (4) dog” means a dog whose tail has, after the coming into operation of this section, been wholly or partly removed without contravening subsection (1), because of the application of subsection (4).

Administration of poisons, etc.N.I.

7  (1)  A person commits an offence if, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, that person—

(a)administers any poisonous or injurious drug or substance to a protected animal, knowing it to be poisonous or injurious; or

(b)causes any poisonous or injurious drug or substance to be taken by a protected animal, knowing it to be poisonous or injurious.

(2) A person commits an offence if—

(a)that person is responsible for an animal,

(b)without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, another person administers a poisonous or injurious drug or substance to the animal or causes the animal to take such a drug or substance, and

(c)the first-mentioned person permitted that to happen or, knowing the drug or substance to be poisonous or injurious, failed to take such steps (whether by way of supervising the other person or otherwise) as were reasonable in all the circumstances to prevent that happening.

(3) In this section, references to a poisonous or injurious drug or substance include a drug or substance which, by virtue of the quantity or manner in which it is administered or taken, has the effect of a poisonous or injurious drug or substance.

Fighting etc.N.I.

8  (1)  A person commits an offence if that person—

(a)causes an animal fight to take place, or attempts to do so;

(b)knowingly receives money for admission to an animal fight;

(c)knowingly publicises a proposed animal fight;

(d)provides information about an animal fight to another with the intention of enabling or encouraging attendance at the fight;

(e)makes or accepts a bet on the outcome of an animal fight or on the likelihood of anything occurring or not occurring in the course of an animal fight;

(f)takes part in an animal fight;

(g)owns or has in his or her possession anything designed or adapted for use in connection with an animal fight with the intention of its being so used;

(h)keeps or trains an animal for use in connection with an animal fight;

(i)keeps, uses or manages, or permits or assists in the keeping or use or management of, any premises for use for an animal fight.

(2) A person commits an offence if, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, that person is present at an animal fight.

(3) A person commits an offence if, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, that person—

(a)knowingly supplies a photograph, image or video recording of an animal fight;

(b)knowingly publishes a photograph, image or video recording of an animal fight;

(c)knowingly shows a photograph, image or video recording of an animal fight to another; or

(d)possesses a photograph, image or video recording of an animal fight, knowing it to be such a recording, with the intention of supplying it.

(4) Subsection (3) does not apply—

(a)in the case of paragraph (a), to the supply of a video recording for inclusion in a programme service;

(b)in the case of paragraph (b) or (c), to the publication or showing of a video recording by means of its inclusion in a programme service;

(c)in the case of paragraph (d), by virtue of intention to supply for inclusion in a programme service.

(5) In this section—

animal fight” means an occasion on which a protected animal is placed with an animal, or with a human, for the purpose of fighting, wrestling or baiting;

programme service” has the same meaning as in the Communications Act 2003 (c. 21);

video recording” means a recording, in any form, from which a moving image may by any means be reproduced and includes data stored on a computer disc or by other electronic means which is capable of conversion into a moving image.

(6) In this section—

(a)references to supplying or publishing a video recording are to supplying or publishing a video recording in any manner, including, in relation to a video recording in the form of data stored electronically, by means of transmitting such data;

(b)references to showing a video recording are to showing a moving image reproduced from a video recording by any means.

Promotion of welfareN.I.

Ensuring welfare of animalsN.I.

9  (1)  A person commits an offence if that person does not take such steps as are reasonable in all the circumstances to ensure that the needs of an animal for which that person is responsible are met to the extent required by good practice.

(2) For the purposes of this Act, an animal's needs shall be taken to include—

(a)its need for a suitable environment,

(b)its need for a suitable diet,

(c)its need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns,

(d)any need it has to be housed with, or apart from, other animals, and

(e)its need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.

(3) The circumstances to which it is relevant to have regard when applying subsection (1) include, in particular—

(a)any lawful purpose for which the animal is kept, and

(b)any lawful activity undertaken in relation to the animal.

(4) This section does not apply to the destruction of an animal in an appropriate and humane manner.

Improvement noticesN.I.

10  (1)  If an inspector is of the opinion that a person is failing to comply with section 9(1), the inspector may serve on that person a notice which—

(a)states that the inspector is of that opinion;

(b)specifies the respects in which the inspector considers the person is failing to comply with that provision;

(c)specifies the steps the inspector considers need to be taken in order to comply with the provision;

(d)specifies a period for the taking of those steps; and

(e)explains the effect of subsections (2) to (6).

(2) Where a notice under subsection (1) (“an improvement notice”) is served, no proceedings for an offence under section 9(1) may be instituted before the end of the period specified for the purposes of subsection (1)(d) (“the compliance period”) in respect of—

(a)the non-compliance which gave rise to the notice, or

(b)any continuation of that non-compliance.

(3) If the steps specified in an improvement notice are taken at any time before the end of the compliance period, no proceedings for an offence under section 9(1) may be instituted in respect of—

(a)the non-compliance which gave rise to the notice; or

(b)any continuation of that non-compliance prior to the taking of the steps specified in the notice.

(4) Where an improvement notice is served, no proceedings for an offence under subsection (6) may be instituted before the end of the compliance period.

(5) An inspector may extend, or further extend, the compliance period specified in an improvement notice.

(6) A person on whom an improvement notice has been served commits an offence if, without reasonable excuse, that person fails in a material regard to comply with the notice.

Regulations for securing welfare of animalsN.I.

11  (1)  The Department may by regulations make such provision as it thinks fit for the purposes of, and in connection with, securing the welfare of—

(a)animals for which a person is responsible; or

(b)the progeny of such animals.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), regulations under that subsection may, in particular—

(a)make provision imposing specific requirements for the purpose of securing that the needs of animals are met;

(b)make provision to facilitate or improve co-ordination in relation to the carrying out by different persons of functions relating to the welfare of animals.

(3) Power to make regulations under subsection (1) includes power—

(a)to provide that breach of a provision of the regulations is an offence;

(b)to apply a relevant post-conviction power in relation to conviction for an offence under the regulations;

(c)to make provision for fees or other charges in relation to the carrying out of functions under the regulations.

(4) Regulations under subsection (1) may provide that an offence specified in the regulations is to be treated as a relevant offence for the purposes of section 22.

(5) Before making regulations under subsection (1), the Department must consult such persons appearing to it to represent any relevant interests as it considers appropriate.

Licensing or registration of activities involving animalsN.I.

12  (1)  A person must not carry on an activity to which this subsection applies except under the authority of a licence for the purposes of this section.

(2) Subsection (1) applies to an activity which—

(a)involves animals for which a person is responsible, and

(b)is specified for the purposes of the subsection by regulations made by the Department.

(3) A person must not carry on an activity to which this subsection applies unless registered for the purposes of this section.

(4) Subsection (3) applies to an activity which—

(a)involves animals for which a person is responsible, and

(b)is specified for the purposes of the subsection by regulations made by the Department.

(5) Regulations under subsection (2) or (4) may only be made for the purpose of securing the welfare of animals for which a person is responsible, or the progeny of such animals.

(6) A person commits an offence if that person contravenes subsection (1) or (3).

(7) The Department may by regulations make provision about licences or registration for the purposes of this section.

(8) Regulations under subsection (7) may repeal Articles 12 and 13 of the Dogs (Northern Ireland) Order 1983 (NI 8) (which impose registration requirements in relation to dog breeding establishments).

(9) Before making regulations under this section, the Department must consult such persons appearing to it to represent any relevant interests as the Department considers appropriate.

(10) Schedule 2 (which makes provision about regulations under this section) has effect.

Prohibition on keeping certain animalsN.I.

13  (1)  The Department may by regulations prohibit the keeping at—

(a)domestic premises; or

(b)other premises,

of any animals of a kind specified in the regulations.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1)(b)—

(a)“other premises”—

(i)does not include the premises of a zoo licensed or regulated by the Department of the Environment under any statutory provision;

(ii)otherwise, means premises of such type as are described in the regulations;

(b)animal” does not include a dangerous wild animal within the meaning of the Dangerous Wild Animals (Northern Ireland) Order 2004 (NI 16).

(3) Regulations under subsection (1) must be made for the purposes of securing the welfare of animals.

(4) Power to make regulations under subsection (1) includes power—

(a)to provide that a breach of a provision of the regulations is an offence;

(b)to apply a relevant post-conviction power in relation to conviction for an offence under the regulations.

(5) Regulations under subsection (1) may provide that an offence specified in the regulations is to be treated as a relevant offence for the purposes of section 22.

(6) In determining whether to make regulations under subsection (1) in relation to a type of premises, the Department must have regard to whether (and the extent to which) adequate provision for the welfare of animals of the kind in question—

(a)is capable of being made, and

(b)is likely to be made,

at that type of premises.

(7) Before making regulations under subsection (1), the Department must consult—

(a)such persons appearing to it to represent relevant interests, and

(b)such other persons,

as the Department considers appropriate.

(8) In this section, “zoo” means a permanent establishment where animals of wild species are kept primarily for exhibition to the public.

AbandonmentN.I.

14  (1)  A person commits an offence if, without reasonable excuse, that person abandons an animal for which that person is responsible.

(2) A person commits an offence if, without reasonable excuse, that person—

(a)leaves unattended an animal for which that person is responsible, and

(b)fails to make adequate provision for its welfare.

(3) The considerations to which regard is to be had in determining, for the purposes of subsection (2), whether such provision has been made include—

(a)the kind of animal concerned and its age and state of health;

(b)the length of time for which it is, or has been, left;

(c)what it reasonably requires by way of—

(i)food and water;

(ii)shelter and warmth;

(iii)adequate light and ventilation.

Transfer of animals by way of sale or prize to persons under 16N.I.

15  (1)  A person commits an offence if that person sells an animal to a person whom that person has reasonable cause to believe to be under the age of 16 years.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), selling an animal includes transferring, or agreeing to transfer, ownership of the animal in consideration of entry by the transferee into another transaction.

(3) Subject to subsections (4) to (6), a person commits an offence if—

(a)that person enters into an arrangement with a person whom that person has reasonable cause to believe to be under the age of 16 years, and

(b)the arrangement is one under which that person has the chance to win an animal as a prize.

(4) A person does not commit an offence under subsection (3) if—

(a)that person enters into the arrangement in the presence of the person with whom the arrangement is made, and

(b)that person has reasonable cause to believe that the person with whom the arrangement is made is accompanied by a person who—

(i)is not under the age of 16 years; and

(ii)has care and control of the person who is under the age of 16 years.

(5) A person does not commit an offence under subsection (3) if—

(a)that person enters into the arrangement otherwise than in the presence of the person with whom the arrangement is made, and

(b)the first-mentioned person has reasonable cause to believe that a person who has actual care and control of the person with whom the arrangement is made has consented to the arrangement.

(6) A person does not commit an offence under subsection (3) if that person enters into the arrangement in a family context.

Codes of practiceN.I.

16  (1)  The Department may issue, and may from time to time revise, codes of practice for the purpose of providing practical guidance in respect of any provision made by or under this Act.

(2) Where the Department proposes to issue (or revise) a code of practice under subsection (1), it shall—

(a)prepare a draft of the code (or revised code),

(b)consult such persons about the draft as appear to the Department to represent any interests concerned as it considers appropriate, and

(c)consider any representations made by them.

(3) The Department must publish the code, and any revision of it, in such manner as it considers appropriate.

(4) A person's failure to comply with a provision of a code of practice issued under this section shall not of itself render that person liable to proceedings of any kind.

(5) In any proceedings against a person for an offence under this Act or an offence under regulations under section 11, 12 or 13—

(a)failure to comply with a relevant provision of a code of practice issued under this section may be relied upon as tending to establish liability, and

(b)compliance with a relevant provision of such a code of practice may be relied upon as tending to negative liability.

PART 3 N.I.ANIMALS IN DISTRESS

Powers in relation to animals in distressN.I.

17  (1)  If an inspector or a constable reasonably believes that a protected animal is suffering, the inspector or constable may take, or arrange for the taking of, such steps as appear to the inspector or constable to be immediately necessary to alleviate the animal's suffering.

(2) Subsection (1) does not authorise destruction of an animal.

(3) If a veterinary surgeon certifies that the condition of a protected animal is such that it should in its own interests be destroyed, an inspector or a constable may—

(a)destroy the animal where it is or take it to another place and destroy it there; or

(b)arrange for the doing of any of the things mentioned in paragraph (a).

(4) An inspector or a constable may act under subsection (3) without the certificate of a veterinary surgeon if it appears to the inspector or constable—

(a)that the condition of the animal is such that there is no reasonable alternative to destroying it, and

(b)that the need for action is such that it is not reasonably practicable to wait for a veterinary surgeon.

(5) An inspector or a constable may take a protected animal into possession if a veterinary surgeon certifies—

(a)that it is suffering, or

(b)that it is likely to suffer if its circumstances do not change.

(6) An inspector or a constable may act under subsection (5) without the certificate of a veterinary surgeon if it appears to the inspector or constable—

(a)that the animal is suffering or that it is likely to do so if its circumstances do not change, and

(b)that the need for action is such that it is not reasonably practicable to wait for a veterinary surgeon.

(7) The power conferred by subsection (5) includes power to take into possession dependent offspring of an animal taken into possession under that subsection.

(8) Where an animal is taken into possession under subsection (5), an inspector or a constable may—

(a)remove it, or arrange for it to be removed, to a place of safety;

(b)care for it, or arrange for it to be cared for—

(i)on the premises where it was being kept when it was taken into possession, or

(ii)at such other place as the inspector or, as the case may be, the constable thinks fit;

(c)mark it, or arrange for it to be marked, for identification purposes.

(9) A person acting under subsection (8)(b)(i), or under an arrangement under that provision, may make use of any equipment on the premises.

(10) A veterinary surgeon may examine and take samples from an animal for the purpose of determining whether to issue a certificate under subsection (3) or (5) with respect to the animal.

(11) If a person exercises a power under this section otherwise than with the knowledge of a person who is responsible for the animal concerned, that person must, as soon as reasonably practicable after exercising the power, take such steps as are reasonable in the circumstances to bring the exercise of the power to the notice of such a person.

(12) A person commits an offence if that person intentionally obstructs a person in the exercise of power conferred by this section.

(13) A magistrates' court may, on application by a person who incurs expenses in acting under this section, order that that person be reimbursed by such person as it thinks fit.

(14) For the purposes of Articles 143 (appeals) and 146 (cases stated) of the Magistrates' Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1981 (NI 26)—

(a)an order made under subsection (13) shall be deemed to be an order in proceedings to which Article 143 applies; and

(b)the person affected by the order shall be deemed to be a party to those proceedings.

Power of entry for section 17 purposesN.I.

18  (1)  An inspector or a constable may enter premises for the purpose of searching for a protected animal and of exercising any power under section 17 in relation to it if the inspector or constable reasonably believes—

(a)that there is a protected animal on the premises, and

(b)that the animal is suffering or, if the circumstances of the animal do not change, it is likely to suffer.

(2) Subsection (1) does not authorise entry to any part of premises which is used as a private dwelling.

(3) An inspector or a constable may (if necessary) use reasonable force in exercising the power conferred by subsection (1), but only if it appears to the inspector or constable that entry is required before a warrant under subsection (4) can be obtained and executed.

(4) Subject to subsection (5), a lay magistrate may, on the application of an inspector or constable, issue a warrant authorising an inspector or a constable to enter premises for the purpose mentioned in subsection (1), if necessary using reasonable force.

(5) The power to issue a warrant under subsection (4) is exercisable only if the lay magistrate is satisfied by complaint on oath—

(a)that there are reasonable grounds for believing that there is a protected animal on the premises and that the animal is suffering or is likely to suffer if its circumstances do not change, and

(b)that section 46 is satisfied in relation to the premises.

Orders in relation to animals taken under section 17(5)N.I.

19  (1)  A magistrates' court may order any of the following in relation to an animal taken into possession under section 17(5)—

(a)that specified treatment be administered to the animal;

(b)that possession of the animal be given up to a specified person;

(c)that the animal be sold;

(d)that the animal be disposed of otherwise than by way of sale;

(e)that the animal be destroyed.

(2) If an animal is taken into possession under section 17(5) when it is pregnant, the power conferred by subsection (1) shall also be exercisable in relation to any offspring that results from the pregnancy.

(3) The power conferred by subsection (1) shall be exercisable on application by—

(a)the owner of the animal, or

(b)any other person appearing to the court to have a sufficient interest in the animal.

(4) A court may not make an order under subsection (1) unless—

(a)it has given the owner of the animal an opportunity to be heard; or

(b)it is satisfied that it is not reasonably practicable to communicate with the owner.

(5) Where a court makes an order under subsection (1), it may—

(a)appoint a person to carry out, or arrange for the carrying out, of the order;

(b)give directions with respect to the carrying out of the order;

(c)confer additional powers (including power to enter premises where the animal is being kept) for the purpose of, or in connection with, the carrying out of the order;

(d)order a person to reimburse the expenses of carrying out the order.

(6) In determining how to exercise its powers under this section, the court must have regard, amongst other things, to the desirability of protecting the animal's value and avoiding increasing any expenses which a person may incur or be ordered to reimburse.

(7) A person commits an offence if that person intentionally obstructs a person in the exercise of any power conferred by virtue of this section.

(8) If the owner of the animal is subject to a liability by virtue of section 17(13) or subsection (5)(d) of this section, any amount to which the owner is entitled as a result of sale of the animal may be reduced by an amount equal to that liability.

Orders under section 19: appealsN.I.

20  (1)  For the purposes of Articles 143 (appeals) and 146 (cases stated) of the Magistrates' Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1981 (NI 26)—

(a)an order made under section 19(1) shall be deemed to be an order in proceedings in which Article 143 applies; and

(b)the owner of the animal to which the order relates shall be deemed to be a party to those proceedings.

(2) Nothing may be done under an order under section 19(1) unless—

(a)the period for giving notice of appeal against the order has expired, and

(b)if the order is the subject of an appeal, the appeal has been determined or withdrawn.

(3) Where the effect of an order is suspended under subsection (2)—

(a)no directions given in connection with the order shall have effect, but

(b)the court may give directions about how any animal to which the order applies is to be dealt with during the suspension.

(4) Directions under subsection (3)(b) may, in particular—

(a)appoint a person to carry out, or arrange for the carrying out, of the directions;

(b)require any person who has possession of the animal to deliver it up for the purposes of the directions;

(c)confer additional powers (including power to enter premises where the animal is being kept) for the purpose of, or in connection with, the carrying out of the directions;

(d)provide for the recovery of any expenses which are reasonably incurred in carrying out the directions.

(5) Where a court decides on an application under section 19(3)(a) not to exercise the power conferred by subsection (1) of that section, the applicant may appeal against the decision to the county court.

(6) For the purposes of Article 143 (appeals) and 146 (cases stated) of the Magistrates' Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1981 (NI 26)—

(a)an order made under section 19(5)(d) shall be deemed to be an order in proceedings to which Article 143 applies; and

(b)the person against whom the order is made shall be deemed to be a party to those proceedings.

PART 4 N.I.ENFORCEMENT

Enforcement powersN.I.

Seizure of animals involved in fighting offencesN.I.

21  (1)  A constable may seize an animal if it appears to the constable that it is one in relation to which an offence under section 8(1) or (2) has been committed.

(2) A constable may enter and search premises for the purpose of exercising the power under subsection (1) if the constable reasonably believes—

(a)that there is an animal on the premises, and

(b)that the animal is one in relation to which the power under subsection (1) is exercisable.

(3) Subsection (2) does not authorise entry to any part of premises which is used as a private dwelling.

(4) Subject to subsection (5), a lay magistrate may, on the application of a constable, issue a warrant authorising a constable to enter and search premises, if necessary using reasonable force, for the purpose of exercising the power under subsection (1).

(5) The power to issue a warrant under subsection (4) is exercisable only if the lay magistrate is satisfied by complaint on oath—

(a)that there are reasonable grounds for believing that there is on the premises an animal in relation to which an offence under section 8(1) or (2) has been committed, and

(b)that section 46 is satisfied in relation to the premises.

(6) In this section, references to an animal in relation to which an offence under section 8(1) or (2) has been committed include an animal which took part in an animal fight in relation to which such an offence was committed.

Entry and search under warrant in connection with offencesN.I.

22  (1)  Subject to subsection (2), a lay magistrate may, on the application of an inspector or constable, issue a warrant authorising an inspector or a constable to enter premises, if necessary using reasonable force, in order to search for evidence of the commission of a relevant offence.

(2) The power to issue a warrant under subsection (1) is exercisable only if the lay magistrate is satisfied by complaint on oath—

(a)that there are reasonable grounds for believing—

(i)that a relevant offence has been committed on the premises, or

(ii)that evidence of the commission of a relevant offence is to be found on the premises, and

(b)that section 46 is satisfied in relation to the premises.

(3) In this section, “relevant offence” means an offence under any of sections 4 to 10, 12(6), 14 and 33(9).

Inspection of records required to be kept by holder of licenceN.I.

23  (1)  An inspector may require the holder of a licence to produce for inspection any records which the holder is required to keep by a condition of the licence.

(2) Where records which a person is so required to keep are stored in electronic form, the power under subsection (1) includes power to require the records to be made available for inspection—

(a)in a visible and legible form; or

(b)in a form from which they can readily be produced in a visible and legible form.

(3) An inspector may inspect and take copies of any records produced for inspection in pursuance of a requirement under this section.

Inspection in connection with licencesN.I.

24  (1)  An inspector may carry out an inspection in order to check compliance with—

(a)the conditions subject to which a licence is granted;

(b)provision made by or under this Act which is relevant to the carrying on of an activity to which a licence relates.

(2) An inspector may, for the purpose of carrying out an inspection under subsection (1), enter—

(a)premises specified in a licence as premises on which the carrying on of an activity is authorised;

(b)premises on which the inspector reasonably believes an activity to which a licence relates is being carried on.

(3) Subsection (2) does not authorise entry to any part of premises which is used as a private dwelling unless 24 hours' notice of the intended entry is given to the occupier.

Inspection in connection with registrationN.I.

25  (1)  An inspector may carry out an inspection in order to check compliance with any provision made by or under this Act which is relevant to the carrying on of an activity to which a registration for the purposes of section 12 relates.

(2) An inspector may, for the purpose of carrying out an inspection under subsection (1), enter premises on which the inspector reasonably believes a person registered for the purposes of section 12 is carrying on an activity to which the registration relates.

(3) Subsection (2) does not authorise entry to any part of premises which is used as a private dwelling unless 24 hours' notice of the intended entry is given to the occupier.

Inspection of premises to check compliance with regulations made under section 13N.I.

26  (1)  An inspector may carry out an inspection in order to—

(a)check compliance with regulations under section 13;

(b)ascertain whether any offence under regulations made under that section has been or is being committed.

(2) An inspector may enter premises which the inspector reasonably believes to be premises on which animals of a kind specified in regulations made under section 13 are kept in order to carry out an inspection under subsection (1).

(3) Subsection (2) does not authorise entry to any part of premises which is used as a private dwelling.

(4) Subject to subsection (5), a lay magistrate may, on the application of an inspector, issue a warrant authorising an inspector to enter premises, if necessary using reasonable force, in order to carry out an inspection under subsection (1).

(5) The power to issue a warrant under subsection (4) is exercisable only if the lay magistrate is satisfied by complaint on oath—

(a)that it is reasonable to carry out an inspection on the premises, and

(b)that section 46 is satisfied in relation to the premises.

Inspection of farm premisesN.I.

27  (1)  An inspector may carry out an inspection in order to—

(a)check compliance with regulations under section 11 which relate to animals bred or kept for farming purposes;

(b)ascertain whether any offence under or by virtue of this Act has been or is being committed in relation to such animals.

(2) An inspector may enter premises which the inspector reasonably believes to be premises on which animals are bred or kept for farming purposes in order to carry out an inspection under subsection (1).

(3) Subsection (2) does not authorise entry to any part of premises which is used as a private dwelling.

(4) Subject to subsection (5), a lay magistrate may, on the application of an inspector, issue a warrant authorising an inspector to enter premises, if necessary using reasonable force, in order to carry out an inspection under subsection (1).

(5) The power to issue a warrant under subsection (4) is exercisable only if the lay magistrate is satisfied by complaint on oath—

(a)that it is reasonable to carry out an inspection on the premises, and

(b)that section 46 is satisfied in relation to the premises.

Inspection relating to Community obligationsN.I.

28  (1)  An inspector may carry out an inspection in order to check compliance with regulations under section 11 which implement a Community obligation.

(2) An inspector may enter any premises in order to carry out an inspection under subsection (1).

(3) Subsection (2) does not authorise entry to any part of premises which is used as a private dwelling.

ProsecutionsN.I.

Power of councils to prosecute offencesN.I.

29  A council may prosecute proceedings for any offence under this Act.

Time limits for prosecutionsN.I.

30  Summary proceedings for an offence under or by virtue of this Act other than such an offence which is also triable on indictment under section 31(2) may be commenced at any time—

(a)within the period of three years from the commission of the offence; or

(b)within the period of 12 months from the date on which evidence which the prosecutor thinks is sufficient to justify a prosecution comes to the knowledge of the prosecutor.

Post-conviction powersN.I.

PenaltiesN.I.

31  (1)  A person guilty of an offence under any of sections 6(10) and (12), 8(3), 9, 10(6), 12(6), 14, 15, 17(12), 19(7), 33(9), 40(7) and 50(3) or paragraph 17 of Schedule 3 or any regulations made under section 11, 12(7) or 13, where breach of those regulations is an offence, shall be liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale or both.

(2) A person guilty of an offence under any of sections 4, 5, 6(1), (2), (11) and (15), 7 and 8(1) and (2) shall be liable—

(a)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months, or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or both;

(b)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years, or to a fine, or both.

DeprivationN.I.

32  (1)  If the person convicted of an offence under any of sections 4, 5, 6(1), (2), (11) and (15), 7, 8(1) and (2), 9, 10(6), 12(6) and 14 is the owner of an animal in relation to which the offence was committed, the court by or before which that person is convicted may, instead of or in addition to dealing with that person in any other way, make an order depriving that person of ownership of the animal and for its disposal.

(2) Where the owner of an animal is convicted of an offence under section 33(9) because ownership of the animal is in breach of a disqualification under section 33(2), the court by or before which that person is convicted may, instead of or in addition to dealing with that person in any other way, make an order depriving that person of ownership of the animal and for its disposal.

(3) Where the animal in respect of which an order under subsection (1) or (2) is made has any dependent offspring, the order may include provision depriving the person to whom it relates of ownership of the offspring and for its disposal.

(4) Where a court makes an order under subsection (1) or (2), it may—

(a)appoint a person to carry out, or arrange for the carrying out of, the order;

(b)require any person who has possession of an animal to which the order applies to deliver it up to enable the order to be carried out;

(c)give directions with respect to the carrying out of the order;

(d)confer additional powers (including power to enter premises where an animal to which the order applies is being kept) for the purpose of, or in connection with, the carrying out of the order;

(e)order the offender to reimburse the expenses of carrying out the order.

(5) Directions under subsection (4)(c) may—

(a)specify the manner in which an animal is to be disposed of; or

(b)delegate the decision about the manner in which an animal is to be disposed of to a person appointed under subsection (4)(a).

(6) Where a court decides not to make an order under subsection (1) or (2) in relation to an offender, it must state its reasons for the decision.

(7) Subsection (6) does not apply where the court makes an order under section 33(1) in relation to the offender.

(8) In subsection (1), the reference to an animal in relation to which an offence was committed includes, in the case of an offence under section 8, an animal which took part in an animal fight in relation to which the offence was committed.

(9) In this section, references to disposing of an animal include destroying it.

DisqualificationN.I.

33  (1)  If a person is convicted of an offence to which this section applies, the court by or before which that person is convicted may, instead of or in addition to dealing with that person in any other way, make an order disqualifying that person under any one or more of subsections (2) to (4) for such period as it thinks fit.

(2) Disqualification under this subsection disqualifies a person—

(a)from owning animals,

(b)from keeping animals,

(c)from participating in the keeping of animals, and

(d)from being party to an arrangement under which that person is entitled to control or influence the way in which animals are kept.

(3) Disqualification under this subsection disqualifies a person from dealing in animals.

(4) Disqualification under this subsection disqualifies a person—

(a)from transporting animals, and

(b)from arranging for the transport of animals.

(5) Disqualification under subsection (2), (3) or (4) may be imposed in relation to animals generally, or in relation to animals of one or more kinds.

(6) The court by which an order under subsection (1) is made may specify a period during which the offender may not make an application under section 42(1) for termination of the order.

(7) The court by which an order under subsection (1) is made may—

(a)suspend the operation of the order pending an appeal; or

(b)where it appears to the court that the offender owns or keeps an animal to which the order applies, suspend the operation of the order, and of any order made under section 34 in connection with the disqualification, for such period as it thinks necessary for enabling alternative arrangements to be made in respect of the animal.

(8) Where a court decides not to make an order under subsection (1) in relation to an offender, it must state its reasons for the decision.

(9) A person who breaches a disqualification imposed by an order under subsection (1) commits an offence.

(10) This section applies to an offence under any of sections 4, 5, 6(1), (2), (11) and (15), 7, 8(1) and (2), 9, 10(6), 12(6) and 14 and subsection (9) of this section.

Seizure of animals in connection with disqualificationN.I.

34  (1)  Where—

(a)a court makes an order under section 33(1), and

(b)it appears to the court that the person to whom the order applies owns or keeps any animal contrary to the disqualification imposed by the order,

it may order that all animals that person owns or keeps contrary to the disqualification be taken into possession.

(2) Where a person is convicted of an offence under section 33(9) because of owning or keeping an animal in breach of disqualification under section 33(2), the court by or before which that person is convicted may order that all animals that that person owns or keeps in breach of the disqualification be taken into possession.

(3) An order under subsection (1) or (2), so far as relating to any animal owned by the person subject to disqualification, shall have effect as an order for the disposal of the animal.

(4) Any animal taken into possession in pursuance of an order under subsection (1) or (2) that is not owned by the person subject to disqualification shall be dealt with in such manner as the court may order.

(5) A court may not make an order for disposal under subsection (4) unless—

(a)it has given the owner of the animal an opportunity to be heard, or

(b)it is satisfied that it is not reasonably practicable to communicate with the owner.

(6) Where a court makes an order under subsection (4) for the disposal of an animal, the owner may—

(a)in the case of an order made by a magistrates' court, appeal against the order to the county court;

(b)in the case of an order made by the Crown Court, appeal against the order to the Court of Appeal.

(7) In this section, references to disposing of an animal include destroying it.

Section 34: supplementaryN.I.

35  (1)  The court by which an order under section 34 is made may—

(a)appoint a person to carry out, or arrange for the carrying out of the order;

(b)require any person who has possession of an animal to which the order applies to deliver it up to enable the order to be carried out;

(c)give directions with respect to the carrying out of the order;

(d)confer additional powers (including power to enter premises where an animal to which the order applies is being kept) for the purpose of, or in connection with, the carrying out of the order;

(e)order the person subject to disqualification, or another person, to reimburse the expenses of carrying out the order.

(2) Directions under subsection (1)(c) may—

(a)specify the manner in which an animal is to be disposed of; or

(b)delegate the decision about the manner in which an animal is to be disposed of to a person appointed under subsection (1)(a).

(3) In determining how to exercise its powers under section 34 and this section, the court must have regard, amongst other things, to—

(a)the desirability of protecting the value of any animal to which the order applies, and

(b)the desirability of avoiding increasing any expenses which a person may be ordered to reimburse.

(4) In determining how to exercise a power delegated under subsection (2)(b), a person must have regard, amongst other things, to the things mentioned in subsection (3)(a) and (b).

(5) If the owner of an animal ordered to be disposed of under section 34 is subject to a liability by virtue of subsection (1)(e), any amount to which the owner is entitled as a result of sale of the animal may be reduced by an amount equal to that liability.

Destruction in the interests of an animalN.I.

36  (1)  The court by or before which a person is convicted of an offence under any of sections 4, 5, 6(1), (2), (11) and (15), 7, 8(1) and (2), 9, 10(6) and 14 may order the destruction of an animal in relation to which the offence was committed if it is satisfied, on the basis of evidence given by a veterinary surgeon, that it is appropriate to do so in the interests of the animal.

(2) A court may not make an order under subsection (1) unless—

(a)it has given the owner of the animal an opportunity to be heard; or

(b)it is satisfied that it is not reasonably practicable to communicate with the owner.

(3) Where a court makes an order under subsection (1), it may—

(a)appoint a person to carry out, or arrange for the carrying out of, the order;

(b)require a person who has possession of the animal to deliver it up to enable the order to be carried out;

(c)give directions with respect to the carrying out of the order (including directions about how the animal is to be dealt with until it is destroyed);

(d)confer additional powers (including power to enter premises where the animal is being kept) for the purpose of, or in connection with, the carrying out of the order;

(e)order the offender or another person to reimburse the expenses of carrying out the order.

(4) Where a court makes an order under subsection (1), each of the offender and, if different, the owner of the animal may—

(a)in the case of an order made by a magistrates' court, appeal against the order to the county court;

(b)in the case of an order made by the Crown Court, appeal against the order to the Court of Appeal.

(5) Subsection (4) does not apply if the court by which the order is made directs that it is appropriate in the interests of the animal that the carrying out of the order should not be delayed.

(6) In subsection (1), the reference to an animal in relation to which an offence was committed includes, in the case of an offence under section 8(1) or (2), an animal which took part in an animal fight in relation to which the offence was committed.

Destruction of animals involved in fighting offencesN.I.

37  (1)  The court by or before which a person is convicted of an offence under section 8(1) or (2) may order the destruction of an animal in relation to which the offence was committed on grounds other than the interests of the animal.

(2) A court may not make an order under subsection (1) unless—

(a)it has given the owner of the animal an opportunity to be heard; or

(b)it is satisfied that it is not reasonably practicable to communicate with the owner.

(3) Where a court makes an order under subsection (1), it may—

(a)appoint a person to carry out, or arrange for the carrying out of, the order;

(b)require a person who has possession of the animal to deliver it up to enable the order to be carried out;

(c)give directions with respect to the carrying out of the order (including directions about how the animal is to be dealt with until it is destroyed);

(d)confer additional powers (including power to enter premises where the animal is being kept) for the purpose of, or in connection with, the carrying out of the order;

(e)order the offender or another person to reimburse the expenses of carrying out the order.

(4) Where a court makes an order under subsection (1) in relation to an animal which is owned by a person other than the offender, that person may—

(a)in the case of an order made by a magistrates' court, appeal against the order to the county court;

(b)in the case of an order made by the Crown Court, appeal against the order to the Court of Appeal.

(5) In subsection (1), the reference to an animal in relation to which the offence was committed includes an animal which took part in an animal fight in relation to which the offence was committed.

Reimbursement of expenses relating to animals involved in fighting offencesN.I.

38  (1)  The court by or before which a person is convicted of an offence under section 8(1) or (2) may order the offender or another person to reimburse any expenses incurred by the police in connection with the keeping of an animal in relation to which the offence was committed.

(2) In subsection (1), the reference to an animal in relation to which the offence was committed includes an animal which took part in a fight in relation to which the offence was committed.

Forfeiture of equipment used in offencesN.I.

39  (1)  Where a person is convicted of an offence under any of sections 4, 5, 6(1) and (2), 7 and 8, the court by or before which that person is convicted may order any qualifying item which is shown to the satisfaction of the court to relate to the offence to be—

(a)forfeited, and

(b)destroyed or dealt with in such manner as may be specified in the order.

(2) The reference in subsection (1) to any qualifying item is—

(a)in the case of a conviction for an offence under section 4, to anything designed or adapted for causing suffering to an animal;

(b)in the case of a conviction for an offence under section 5, to anything designed or adapted for carrying out a prohibited procedure on an animal;

(c)in the case of a conviction for an offence under section 6(1) or (2), to anything designed or adapted for removing the whole or any part of a dog's tail;

(d)in the case of a conviction for an offence under section 7, to anything designed or adapted for administering any drug or substance to an animal;

(e)in the case of a conviction for an offence under section 8(1) or (2), to anything designed or adapted for use in connection with an animal fight;

(f)in the case of a conviction for an offence under section 8(3), to a photograph, image or video recording of an animal fight, including anything on or in which the photograph, image or recording is kept.

(3) The court shall not order anything to be forfeited under subsection (1) if a person claiming to be the owner of it or otherwise interested in it applies to be heard by the court, unless the person has been given an opportunity to show cause why the order should not be made.

(4) An expression used in any of paragraphs (a) to (f) of subsection (2) has the same meaning as in the provision referred to in that paragraph.

Orders under section 32, 34, 36, 37 or 39: pending appealsN.I.

40  (1)  Nothing may be done under an order under section 32, 34, 36 or 37 with respect to an animal or an order under section 39 unless—

(a)the period for giving notice of appeal against the order has expired,

(b)the period for giving notice of appeal against the conviction on which the order was made has expired, and

(c)if the order or conviction is the subject of an appeal, the appeal has been determined or withdrawn.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to an order under section 36(1) if the order is the subject of a direction under subsection (5) of that section.

(3) Where the effect of an order is suspended under subsection (1)—

(a)no requirement imposed or directions given in connection with the order shall have effect, but

(b)the court may give directions about how any animal to which the order applies is to be dealt with during the suspension.

(4) Directions under subsection (3)(b) may, in particular—

(a)authorise the animal to be taken into possession;

(b)authorise the removal of the animal to a place of safety;

(c)authorise the animal to be cared for either on the premises where it was being kept when it was taken into possession or at some other place;

(d)appoint a person to carry out, or arrange for the carrying out, of the directions;

(e)require any person who has possession of the animal to deliver it up for the purposes of the directions;

(f)confer additional powers (including power to enter premises where the animal is being kept) for the purpose of, or in connection with, the carrying out of the directions;

(g)provide for the recovery of any expenses in relation to removal or care of the animal which are incurred in carrying out the directions.

(5) Any expenses a person is directed to pay under subsection (4)(g) shall be recoverable summarily as a civil debt.

(6) Where the effect of an order under section 32 is suspended under subsection (1) the person to whom the order relates may not sell or part with any animal to which the order applies.

(7) Failure to comply with subsection (6) is an offence.

Orders with respect to licencesN.I.

41  (1)  If a person is convicted of an offence under any of sections 4, 5, 6(1), (2), (11) and (15), 7 to 9, 10(6), 12(6), 14 and 15, the court by or before which that person is convicted may, instead of or in addition to dealing with that person in any other way—

(a)make an order cancelling any licence held by that person; and

(b)make an order disqualifying that person, for such period as it thinks fit, from holding a licence.

(2) Disqualification under subsection (1)(b) may be imposed in relation to licences generally or in relation to licences of one or more kinds.

(3) The court by which an order under subsection (1)(b) is made may specify a period during which the offender may not make an application under section 42(1) for termination of the order.

(4) The court by which an order under subsection (1) is made may suspend the operation of the order pending an appeal.

Termination of disqualification under section 33 or 41N.I.

42  (1)  A person who is disqualified by virtue of an order under section 33 or 41 may apply to the court which made the order for the termination of the order.

(2) No application under subsection (1) may be made—

(a)before the end of the period of one year beginning with the date on which the order is made,

(b)where a previous application under that subsection has been made in relation to the same order, before the end of the period of one year beginning with the date on which the previous application was determined, or

(c)before the end of any period specified under section 33(6), 41(3) or subsection (5) of this section in relation to the order.

(3) On an application under subsection (1), the court may—

(a)terminate the disqualification,

(b)vary the disqualification so as to make it less onerous, or

(c)refuse the application.

(4) When determining an application under subsection (1), the court must have regard to the character of the applicant, the conduct of the applicant since the imposition of the disqualification and any other circumstances of the case.

(5) Where the court refuses an application under subsection (1), it may specify a period during which the applicant may not make a further application under that subsection in relation to the order concerned.

(6) The court may order an applicant under subsection (1) to pay all or part of the costs of the application.

Orders made on conviction for reimbursement of expensesN.I.

43  Where an order is made under section 32(4)(e), 35(1)(e), 36(3)(e), 37(3)(e) or 38(1), the expenses that are required by the order to be reimbursed shall not be regarded for the purposes of the Magistrates' Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1981 (NI 26) as a sum adjudged to be paid by a summary conviction, but shall be recoverable summarily as a civil debt.

Orders for reimbursement of expenses: right of appeal for non-offendersN.I.

44  (1)  Where a court makes an order to which this section applies, the person against whom the order is made may—

(a)in the case of an order made by a magistrates' court, appeal against the order to the county court;

(b)in the case of an order made by the Crown Court, appeal against the order to the Court of Appeal.

(2) This section applies to—

(a)an order under section 35(1)(e) against a person other than the person subject to disqualification, and

(b)an order under section 36(3)(e), 37(3)(e) or 38(1) against a person other than the offender.

PART 5 N.I.GENERAL

InspectorsN.I.

45  (1)  In this Act, “inspector”, in the context of any provision, means—

(a)in so far as that provision relates to farmed animals, a person appointed to be an inspector for the purposes of that provision by the Department;

(b)in so far as that provision relates to other animals, a person appointed to be an inspector for the purposes of that provision by a council.

(2) In subsection (1), “farmed animal” means any animal bred or kept for the production of food, wool or skin or for other farming purposes.

(3) The Department may by regulations amend the definition of “farmed animal” in subsection (2).

(4) Before making regulations under subsection (3), the Department must consult such persons appearing to the Department to represent relevant interests as the Department considers appropriate.

(5) In appointing a person to be an inspector for the purposes of this Act, a council must have regard to guidance issued by the Department.

(6) The Department may, in connection with guidance under subsection (5), draw up a list of persons whom the Department considers suitable for appointment by a council to be an inspector for the purposes of this Act.

(7) A person may be included in a list under subsection (6) as suitable for appointment as an inspector for all the purposes of this Act or only for such one or more of those purposes as may be specified in the list.

(8) Each council must furnish to the Department, at such times and in such manner as the Department may direct—

(a)such information relating to the exercise of the council's functions under this section; and

(b)such information relating to the exercise of functions by inspectors appointed by the council for the purposes of this Act,

as the Department may require.

(9) An inspector shall not be liable in any civil or criminal proceedings for anything done in the purported performance of the inspector's functions under this Act if the court is satisfied that the act was done in good faith and that there were reasonable grounds for doing it.

(10) Relief from liability of an inspector under subsection (9) shall not affect any liability of any other person in respect of the inspector's act.

Conditions for grant of warrantN.I.

46  (1)  This section is satisfied in relation to premises if any of the following four conditions is met.

(2) The first condition is that the whole of the premises is used as a private dwelling and the occupier has been informed of the decision to apply for a warrant.

(3) The second condition is that any part of the premises is not used as a private dwelling and that each of the following applies to the occupier of the premises—

(a)the occupier has been informed of the decision to seek entry to the premises and of the reasons for that decision;

(b)the occupier has failed to allow entry to the premises on being requested to do so by an inspector or a constable;

(c)the occupier has been informed of the decision to apply for a warrant.

(4) The third condition is that—

(a)the premises are unoccupied or the occupier is absent, and

(b)notice of intention to apply for a warrant has been left in a conspicuous place on the premises.

(5) The fourth condition is that it is inappropriate to inform the occupier of the decision to apply for a warrant because—

(a)it would defeat the object of entering the premises, or

(b)entry is required as a matter of urgency.

Powers of entry, inspection and search: supplementaryN.I.

47  Schedule 3 (which makes supplementary provision in relation to powers of entry, inspection and search) has effect.

Power to stop and detain vehiclesN.I.

48  (1)  A constable in uniform or, if accompanied by such a constable, an inspector may stop and detain a vehicle for the purpose of entering and searching it in the exercise of a power conferred—

(a)by section 18(1), or

(b)by a warrant under section 18(4) or 22(1).

(2) A constable in uniform may stop and detain a vehicle for the purpose of entering and searching it in the exercise of a power conferred—

(a)by section 21(2), or

(b)by a warrant under section 21(4).

(3) If accompanied by a constable in uniform, an inspector may stop and detain a vehicle for the purpose of entering it and carrying out an inspection in the exercise of a power conferred—

(a)by section 24(2), 25(2), 26(2), 27(2) or 28(2), or

(b)by a warrant under section 26(4) or 27(4).

(4) A vehicle may be detained for as long as is reasonably required to permit a search or inspection to be carried out (including the exercise of any related power under this Act) either at the place where the vehicle was first detained or nearby.

Power to detain vessels, etc.N.I.

49  (1)  Where an inspector appointed by the Department certifies in writing that the inspector is satisfied that an offence under or by virtue of this Act is being or has been committed on board a vessel in port, the vessel may be detained.

(2) A certificate under subsection (1) must—

(a)specify each offence to which it relates, and

(b)set out the inspector's reasons for being satisfied that each offence to which it relates is being or has been committed.

(3) An inspector who detains a vessel in reliance on a certificate under subsection (1) must as soon as is reasonably practicable give a copy of it to the master or person in charge of the vessel.

(4) A vessel may be detained under subsection (1) until the Department otherwise directs.

(5) The Department may by regulations—

(a)apply this section to aircraft or hovercraft, with such modifications as the Department thinks fit, or

(b)make such other provision for the detention of aircraft or hovercraft in relation to offences under or by virtue of this Act as the Department thinks fit.

Obtaining of documents in connection with carrying out orders, etc.N.I.

50  (1)  Where—

(a)an order under section 19(1), 32(1) or (2), 34(1) or (2) or 36(1) has effect, and

(b)documents which are relevant to the carrying out of the order or any directions given in connection with it are in the possession of, or under the control of, the owner of an animal to which the order relates,

the owner must, if so required by a person authorised to carry out the order, deliver the documents to that person as soon as practicable and in any event before the end of the period of 10 days beginning with the date on which the owner is notified of the requirement.

(2) Where—

(a)directions under section 40(3)(b) have effect, and

(b)documents which are relevant to the carrying out of the directions are in the possession of, or under the control of, the owner of an animal to which the directions relate,

the owner must, if so required by a person authorised to carry out the directions, deliver the documents to that person as soon as practicable and in any event before the end of the period of 10 days beginning with the date on which the owner is notified of the requirement.

(3) A person who fails without reasonable excuse to comply with subsection (1) or (2) commits an offence.

Offences by bodies corporateN.I.

51  For the purposes of this Act, section 20(2) of the Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954 (c. 33) applies with the omission of the words “the liability of whose members is limited” and where the affairs of a body corporate are managed by its members, applies in relation to the acts or defaults of a member in connection with that member's functions of management as if that member were a director of the body corporate.

Scientific researchN.I.

52  (1)  Nothing in this Act applies to anything lawfully done under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 (c. 14).

(2) No power of entry, inspection or search conferred by or under this Act, except for any such power conferred by section 27, may be exercised in relation to a place which is—

(a)designated under section 6 of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 as a scientific procedure establishment; or

(b)designated under section 7 of that Act as a breeding establishment or as a supplying establishment.

(3) Section 9 does not apply in relation to an animal which—

(a)is being kept, at a place designated under section 6 of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 as a scientific procedure establishment, for use in regulated procedures,

(b)is being kept, at a place designated under section 7 of that Act as a breeding establishment, for use for breeding animals for use in regulated procedures,

(c)is being kept at such a place, having been bred there for use in regulated procedures, or

(d)is being kept, at a place designated under section 7 of that Act as a supplying establishment, for the purpose of being supplied for use elsewhere in regulated procedures.

(4) In subsection (3), “regulated procedure” has the same meaning as in the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986.

Hunting, coursing and fishingN.I.

53  (1)  Nothing in this Act applies in relation to anything which occurs in the normal course of hunting or coursing any animal, not being a protected animal, unless—

(a)the animal is released in an injured, mutilated or exhausted condition; or

(b)the animal is hunted or coursed in an enclosed space from which it has no reasonable chance of escape.

(2) Nothing in this Act applies in relation to anything which occurs in the normal course of fishing.

Application to the CrownN.I.

54  (1)  Subject to the following provisions of this section, this Act and regulations and orders made under it bind the Crown to the full extent authorised or permitted by the constitutional laws of Northern Ireland.

(2) No contravention by the Crown of any provision of this Act or any regulation or order made under this Act makes the Crown criminally liable; but the High Court may, on the application of any person appearing to the Court to have an interest, declare unlawful an act or omission of the Crown which constitutes such a contravention.

(3) Despite subsection (2), this Act applies to persons in the public service of the Crown as it applies to other persons.

PART 6 N.I.SUPPLEMENTARY

Orders and regulationsN.I.

55  (1)  No regulations (except for regulations made under section 49(5)) shall be made under this Act unless a draft of the regulations has been laid before, and approved by resolution of, the Assembly.

(2) Any regulations made by the Department under section 49(5) shall be subject to negative resolution.

(3) Any order or regulations made by the Department under this Act may contain such supplementary, consequential, transitional or saving provisions as the Department considers necessary or expedient.

InterpretationN.I.

56  (1)  In this Act—

animal” has the meaning given by section 1(1);

council” means a district council;

the Department” means the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development;

premises” includes any place and, in particular, includes—

(a)

any vehicle, vessel, aircraft or hovercraft;

(b)

any tent or movable structure;

protected animal” has the meaning given by section 2;

statutory provision” has the meaning given by section 1(f) of the Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954 (c. 33);

suffering” means physical or mental suffering;

veterinary surgeon” means a person who is for the time being registered in the register of veterinary surgeons.

(2) In this Act, references to the occupier of premises, in relation to any vehicle, vessel, aircraft or hovercraft, are to the person who appears to be in charge of the vehicle, vessel, aircraft or hovercraft, and “unoccupied” shall be construed accordingly.

(3) In this Act, references to a part of premises which is used as a private dwelling include any yard, garden, garage or outhouse which is used for purposes in connection with it.

(4) In this Act, references to responsibility, in relation to an animal, are to be read in accordance with section 3.

(5) In this Act, references to the needs of an animal are to be read in accordance with section 9(2).

(6) In this Act, references to a “relevant post-conviction power” are to a power conferred by—

(a)section 32, 33, 34, 36, 39 or 41; or

(b)Article 10(2) of the Dangerous Wild Animals (Northern Ireland) Order 2004 (NI 16) (power to cancel licence under Order and disqualify from carrying on licensable activity).

Minor and consequential amendments and repealsN.I.

57  (1)  The statutory provisions set out in Schedule 4 have effect subject to the minor and consequential amendments specified in that Schedule.

(2) The statutory provisions set out in Schedule 5 are repealed to the extent specified in that Schedule.

Transitional provisionN.I.

58  (1)  Without prejudice to section 55(3), the Department may by order subject to negative resolution make such transitional provision or savings as are considered necessary or expedient in connection with the coming into operation of any provision of this Act.

(2) Section 33(9) shall apply in relation to a disqualification imposed by an order under section 27 of the Welfare of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 1972 (c. 7) (power to disqualify persons convicted of cruelty to animals) as it applies in relation to a disqualification imposed by an order under section 33(1).

(3) In relation to a person convicted of an offence under section 33(9) by virtue of breaching a disqualification imposed by an order under section 27 of the Welfare of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 1972, section 34(2) shall have effect with the substitution for the words from “owning” to “keeps” of “having custody of an animal in breach of disqualification under section 27 of the Welfare of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 1972, the court by or before which that person is convicted may order that all animals of which that person has custody”.

(4) Section 42 shall apply in relation to a person who is disqualified by virtue of an order under section 27 of the Welfare of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 1972 as it applies in relation to a person who is disqualified by virtue of an order under section 33 or 41.

(5) In its application by virtue of subsection (4), section 42(2)(c) shall have effect with the omission of the words “section 33(6), 41(3) or”.

CommencementN.I.

59  This Act, except section 56, this section and section 60, shall come into operation on such day or days as the Department may by order appoint.

Short titleN.I.

60  This Act may be cited as the Welfare of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 2011.

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