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(1)Subject to subsection (2) of this section, for the purposes of this Act a person is a keeper of an animal if he has it in his possession; and if at any time an animal ceases to be in the possession of a person, any person who immediately before that time was a keeper thereof by virtue of the preceding provisions of this subsection continues to be a keeper of the animal until another person becomes a keeper thereof by virtue of those provisions.
(2)Where an animal is in the possession of any person for the purpose of—
(a)preventing it from causing damage,
(b)restoring it to its owner,
(c)undergoing veterinary treatment, or
(d)being transported on behalf of another person,
the person having such possession shall not by virtue only of that possession be treated for the purposes of this Act as a keeper of the animal.
(3)In this Act expressions cognate with “keeper” shall be construed in accordance with subsections (1) and (2) of this section.
(4)In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, the following expressions have the meanings hereby respectively assigned to them, that is to say—
“circus” includes any place where animals are kept or introduced wholly or mainly for the purpose of performing tricks or manoeuvres;
“damage” includes the death of, or injury to, any person;
“dangerous wild animal” means any animal of a kind for the time being specified in the first column of the Schedule to this Act;
“F1. . . a district council, a London borough council or the Common Council of the City of London, [F2in relation to Wales, a county council or county borough council,] and, in relation to Scotland, [F3a council constituted under section 2 of the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994];” means in relation to England
“premises” includes any place;
“veterinary practitioner” means a person who is for the time being registered in the supplementary veterinary register;
“veterinary surgeon” means a person who is for the time being registered in the register of veterinary surgeons;
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F4
(5)The second column of the Schedule to this Act is included by way of explanation only; in the event of any dispute or proceedings, only the first column is to be taken into account.
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