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Slaughterhouses Act 1974

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20 Powers of entry.E+W

(1)Subject to the provisions of this section, an authorised officer of a council shall, on producing, if so required, some duly authenticated document showing his authority, have a right to enter any premises at all reasonable hours—

(a)for the purpose of ascertaining whether there is or has been on, or in connection with, the premises any contravention of the provisions of this Part of this Act or of any byelaws made under it, being provisions which the council are required or empowered to enforce, and

(b)generally for the purpose of the performance by the council of their functions under this Part of this Act or under any such byelaws;

but admission to any premises used only as a private dwellinghouse shall not be demanded as of right unless 24 hours’ notice of the intented entry has been given to the occupier.

(2)If a justice of the peace, on sworn information in writing,—

(a)is satisfied that there is reasonable ground for entry into any premises for any such purpose as mentioned in subsection (1) above, and

(b)is also satisfied either—

(i)that admission to the premises has been refused, or a refusal is apprehended and that notice of the intention to apply for a warrant has been given to the occupier, or

(ii)that an application for admission, or the giving of such a notice, would defeat the object of the entry, or that the case is one of urgency, or that the premises are unoccupied or the occupier temporarily absent,

the justice may by warrant under his hand, which shall continue in force for a period of one month, authorise the council by any authorised officer to enter the premises, if need be by force.

(3)An authorised officer entering any premises by virtue of this section, or of a warrant issued under it, may take with him such other persons as may be necessary, and on leaving any unoccupied premises which he has entered by virtue of such a warrant shall leave them as effectively secured against trespassers as he found them.

(4)If any person who, in compliance with the provisions of this section, or of a warrant issued under it, is admitted into a factory or workplace discloses to any person any information obtained by him in the factory or workplace with regard to any manufacturing process or trade secret, he shall, unless the disclosure was made in the performance of his duty, be liable to a fine not exceeding [F1level 3 on the standard scale] or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months.

(5)Nothing in this section shall authorise any person, except with the permission of the local authority under the [F2Animal Health Act 1981], to enter any cowshed or other place in which an animal affected with any disease to which that Act applies is kept and which is situated in a place declared under that Act to be infected with such a disease.

(6)In this section “authorised officer”, in relation to a council, means an officer of the council authorised by them in writing, either generally or specially, to act in matters of any specified kind or in any specified matter.

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