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

Article 9: Protection of Existing Keepers

Paragraphs (1) to (3) make transitional arrangements for any person in possession of a DWA at the date when Article 3(1) comes into operation. Provided they are not disqualified under the provisions of the Order, such persons will able to keep their DWA for a period of 90 days without a licence, while they make suitable arrangements to meet the new licensing requirements or make alternative arrangements for the keeping of their DWA. Their DWA may be held for a period longer than 90 days i.e. until 7 days after a decision is made by the Department to grant or refuse a licence, or until the outcome of any appeal is determined, provided an application for a licence was made within the 90 day period of transition.

Paragraphs (4) and (5) make provision for persons in possession of a DWA to surrender them to the Department at premises designated by it during the transitional period i.e the period between Article 9 coming into operation and when it first becomes unlawful to hold an animal without a licence, as outlined above..

Paragraph (6 ) enables the Department to retain , destroy or otherwise dispose of any DWA surrendered to it.

Paragraphs (7) to (10) empower the Department to designate and pay a suitable person to keep any surrendered DWA on its behalf for an agreed period without the need for that person to obtain a licence.

Paragraph (11) prohibits the Department from destroying any surrendered DWA unless the destruction is carried out by or under the supervision of a veterinary surgeon.

Paragraph (12) provides exemption from paragraph (11) with regard to any action that has to be taken to prevent a surrendered DWA from presenting a serious and immediate danger to public safety.

Paragraph (13) prohibits the Department from disposing of any surrendered DWA for animal experimentation purposes.

Paragraph (14) confers legal ownership of a surrendered DWA to any person to whom the Department sells or gives it.

Paragraph (15) exempts the Department from any liability to pay compensation to any person in respect of any animal surrendered to it under this Article.

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