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Explanatory Memorandum to Dangerous Wild Animals (Northern Ireland) Order 2004

Article 6: Power to Seize and to Destroy Or Dispose of Animals Without Compensation.

This Article provides the Department with powers to seize and dispose of a DWA in certain circumstances, without liability for compensation.

Paragraph (1) provides powers to any person authorised by the Department under the provisions of paragraphs (4) or (7) of Article 5 to seize a DWA where he believes the DWA is being kept without a licence or the conditions of an existing licence are not being complied with.

Paragraphs (2) & (3) provide a right of appeal for a keeper, or a licence-holder as the case may be, whose DWA has been seized. Such an appeal must be made to a court of summary jurisdiction within 21 days from the date of seizure.

Paragraph (4) provides the Department with powers for dealing with a seized DWA, which can be retained, destroyed or otherwise disposed of, subject to the restrictions provided for by paragraphs , (8) (9)and (11).

Paragraphs (5) and (6) empower the Department to designate and pay a suitable person to keep any seized DWA on its behalf for an agreed period.

Paragraph (7) exempts the designated person or body from the requirement to obtain a licence during the agreed retention period.

Paragraph (8) prevents the Department from acting to destroy or dispose of a DWA it has seized until after 21 days from the date of seizure or until the outcome of any appeal has been determined.

Paragraph (9) requires any act of destruction of a DWA seized by the Department to be carried out by or under the supervision of a veterinary surgeon, in order to ensure the humane treatment of the DWA. It is intended that destruction will normally only be considered after all other alternatives have been fully explored.

Paragraph (10) provides exemption from the provisions of paragraphs (8) and (9) where action is required to prevent the animal causing serious danger to the public.

Paragraph (11) prevents the Department from selling or otherwise disposing of a seized DWA for animal experimentation purposes.

Paragraph (12) provides for the clear assignment of ownership where an animal is disposed of by the Department under paragraph (4).

Paragraph (13) exempts the Department from any liability to pay compensation to any person in the exercise of its powers under this Article and without prejudice to paragraphs (12) and (13) of Article 5.

Paragraph (14) enables the Department to recover its costs incurred in exercising its powers under this Article as a civil debt against the keeper of the DWA or the licence holder, as appropriate.

Paragraph (15) makes it an offence for any person to deliberately obstruct any person authorised by the Department in the exercise of the power of seizure.

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