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Slaughterhouses Act 1974

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Licensing of private slaughterhouses and knackers' yards

1Slaughterhouses and knackers' yards to be licensed

(1)It shall be an offence—

(a)for the occupier of any premises to use them as a slaughterhouse or knacker's yard, or to permit them to be so used, unless he holds a licence under this section authorising him to keep those premises as a slaughterhouse or, as the case may be, a knacker's yard, or

(b)for any person other than the occupier to use any premises as a slaughterhouse or knacker's yard, unless the occupier holds such a licence in respect of those premises.

(2)Licences under this section (in this Part of this Act referred to as " licences") shall be granted by the local authority, subject to and in accordance with the provisions of this Part.

(3)Where any premises used or to be used for the confinement of animals awaiting slaughter in a slaughterhouse or knacker's yard are situated outside the curtilage of the premises used or to be used for the slaughter, separate licences may be granted authorising the use of those premises for the purposes of the confinement and the slaughter respectively.

(4)In relation to the use of any premises for or in connection with the slaughter of horses, a licence shall be of no effect unless it expressly authorises the use of the premises for that purpose.

2Slaughterhouse licences and applications for such licences

(1)Where a local authority receive from the occupier of, or a person proposing to occupy, any premises an application for the grant or renewal of a licence authorising him to occupy those premises as a slaughterhouse, then, subject to the following provisions of this section and to sections 3 and 6 below, the authority—

(a)shall grant or, as the case may be, renew the licence in accordance with the application if they are satisfied that the requirements mentioned in subsection (2) below are, or within a reasonable time will be, complied with in respect of the premises ; and

(b)shall refuse to grant or, as the case may be, renew the licence if they are not so satisfied.

(2)The requirements referred to in subsection (1)(a) above are the requirements relating to slaughterhouses—

(a)of regulations under section 13 of the Food and Drugs Act 1955;

(b)of byelaws, if any, made by the authority under section 12 below; and

(c)of construction regulations under section 38 below.

(3)The reference in subsection (2)(c) above to the requirements of construction regulations under section 38 below shall, in relation to an application which does not state expressly that it is for a slaughterhouse licence containing an authorisation in respect of horses under section 1(4) above, be construed as excluding such of those requirements as relate only to horses; but any licence granted or renewed in pursuance of such an application shall not contain such an authorisation.

(4)A local authority shall not grant or renew a slaughterhouse licence until an officer of the authority has inspected the premises named in the application and has made a report on those premises.

(5)A local authority may require a person who applies for the grant or renewal of a slaughterhouse licence to give to them, before his application is considered, information as to any other licence in respect of a slaughterhouse or knacker's yard which he holds or has held, either in their district or in the district of another local authority; and if an applicant who is so required gives the authority any information which is false in a material respect, he shall be guilty of an offence.

(6)The Minister may by regulations—

(a)require slaughterhouse licences and applications for the grant or renewal of such licences to be in such form and to contain such particulars of all premises to which the licence or application relates as may be prescribed by the regulations;

(b)require local authorities to keep such records of all slaughterhouse licences granted by them, including the particulars mentioned in paragraph (a) above, and to furnish the Minister with such information in connection with the grant of slaughterhouse licences as may be so prescribed;

and each local authority shall make any such records or copies thereof available during reasonable hours at some convenient place or places in their district for inspection by any person without charge.

(7)Regulations under subsection (6) above shall be made by statutory instrument which shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

3Certain applications for slaughterhouse licence to be refused forthwith

(1)Where—

(a)a local authority receive an application for the grant or renewal of a slaughterhouse licence in respect of any premises, being an application to which this section applies, and

(b)it appears to the authority that the proposed slaughterhall forms part of a building another part of which, being a part within the curtilage of those premises, is, or is proposed to be, used or adapted for use as a dwelling,

then, subject to section 6 below, the authority shall refuse the application forthwith unless they are satisfied that, if the licence is granted or renewed, no part of that building within the curtilage of those premises will be used as a dwelling at any time while the licence is in force.

(2)This section applies to any application—

(a)for the grant of a new slaughterhouse licence; or

(b)for the grant or renewal of a slaughterhouse licence in respect of premises—

(i)in respect of which a new slaughterhouse licence has been granted since 1st August 1958; or

(ii)in the case of which a holder of a slaughterhouse licence in respect of those premises has been convicted of an offence under section 11(1) below.

(3)In subsection (2) above " new ", in relation to a slaughterhouse licence, means in respect of premises in respect of which such a licence was not in force at, or at any time less than 12 months before, the date when the application for the licence was made.

4Knacker's yard licences and applications for such licences

(1)Where a local authority receive from the occupier of, or a person proposing to occupy, any premises an application for the grant or renewal of a licence authorising him to occupy those premises as a knacker's yard, then, subject to subsections (3) and (4) below, the authority may grant or, as the case may be, renew the licence.

(2)Without prejudice to subsection (1) above and subject to section 6 below, a local authority may refuse to grant or, as the case may be, renew a knacker's yard licence in respect of any premises if they are not satisfied that the requirements relating to knackers' yards—

(a)of regulations under section 13 of the Food and Drugs Act 1955, or

(b)of byelaws, if any, made by the authority under section 12 below,

are complied with in respect of those premises, or will be complied with before the date on which the licence or renewed licence conies into force.

(3)Subject to section 6 below, a local authority shall refuse to grant or, as the case may be, renew a knacker's yard licence in respect of any premises unless they are satisfied that the requirements relating to knackers' yards of construction regulations under section 38 below are complied with in respect of those premises, or will be complied with before the date on which the licence or renewed licence comes into force.

(4)A local authority shall not grant or renew a knacker's yard licence until an officer of the authority has inspected the premises named in the application and has made a report on those premises.

(5)A local authority may require a person who applies for the grant or renewal of a knacker's yard licence to give to them, before his application is considered, information as to any other licence in respect of a slaughterhouse or knacker's yard which he holds or has held, either in their district or in the district of another local authority; and if an applicant who is so required gives the authority any information which is false in a material respect, he shall be guilty of an offence.

5Notification of refusal of licence

(1)If a local authority refuse to grant or renew a licence, they shall forthwith give notice to the applicant of their decision in the matter, and a statement of the grounds on which that decision was based shall—

(a)in the case of a refusal of a slaughterhouse licence under section 3 above, be included in the notice ;

(b)in any other case, if so required by the applicant within 14 days from the date of the decision, be given to him by the authority not later than 48 hours after they receive the requirement.

(2)Every notice under subsection (1) above shall state the right of appeal to a magistrates' court for which provision is made by section 6(1) below and the time within which such an appeal may be brought.

(3)For the purposes of this section and sections 6 and 7 below, a refusal by a local authority—

(a)to grant a licence with an authorisation in respect of horses under section 1(4) above, or

(b)to renew a licence with such an authorisation,

shall be treated as a refusal to grant or, as the case may be, as a refusal to renew a licence.

6Appeals against refusal of licence

(1)A person aggrieved by the refusal of a local authority to grant or renew a licence may appeal to a magistrates' court, and that court may—

(a)in the case of a refusal of a slaughterhouse licence under section 3 above, if satisfied that the authority acted unreasonably in refusing the application on the grounds stated in the notice, declare the refusal to be of no effect;

(b)in any other case, vary or reverse the authority's decision.

(2)The procedure on an appeal to a magistrates' court under subsection (1) above shall be by way of complaint for an order, and the Magistrates' Courts Act 1952 shall apply to the proceedings.

(3)The time within which such an appeal may be brought shall be 21 days from the date on which notice of the authority's refusal was served upon the person desiring to appeal, and for the purpose of this subsection the making of the complaint shall be deemed to be the bringing of the appeal.

(4)A person aggrieved by an order, determination or other decision of a magistrates' court under subsection (1) above may appeal to the Crown Court.

7Right to continue to use premises pending appeal

Where a decision of a local authority refusing a licence, or a decision of a magistrates' court on appeal against such a decision, makes it unlawful for a person to use any premises for a purpose for which he or his immediate predecessor had been lawfully using them at the date when the decision of the authority was given, he may continue to use them for that purpose until the time for appealing has expired and, if an appeal is lodged, until the appeal is finally disposed of or abandoned or has failed for want of prosecution.

8Effect of court's decision

Where on an appeal under section 6 above a court declares a refusal of a slaughterhouse licence under section 3 above to be of no effect, or varies or reverses any other decision of a local authority, it shall be the duty of the authority to give effect to the order of the court.

9Duration of licences

A licence shall remain in force for such period not exceeding 13 months as may be fixed by the local authority, but may from time to time be renewed by them for a period not exceeding 13 months at any one time.

10Temporary continuance of licence on death

Where a person who holds a licence dies, the licence shall, unless previously cancelled, enure for the benefit of his personal representative, or of his widow or any other member of his family, until the expiration of two months from his death, or until the expiration of such longer period as the local authority may allow.

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