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Salmon Act 1986

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32 Handling [F1fish] in suspicious circumstances.E+W+S

(1)Subject to subsections (3) and (4) below, a person shall be guilty of an offence if, at a time when he believes or it would be reasonable for him to suspect that a relevant offence has at any time been committed in relation to [F2any fish to which this section applies] , he receives [F3that fish] , or undertakes or assists in its retention, removal or disposal F4..., or if he arranges to do so.

[F5(1A)This section applies to—

(a)salmon, trout, eels, lampreys, smelt and freshwater fish; and

(b)fish of such other description as may be specified for the purposes of this section by order under section 40A of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975.]

(2)For the purposes of this section an offence is a relevant offence in relation to [F6a fish to which this section applies] if—

(a)it is committed by taking, killing or landing [F7, or selling,] [F8that fish] , either in England and Wales or in Scotland; or

(b)[F9that fish] is taken, killed or landed, [F10or sold,] either in England and Wales or in Scotland, in the course of the commission of the offence.

(3)It shall be immaterial for the purposes of subsection (1) above that a person’s belief or the grounds for suspicion relate neither specifically to a particular offence that has been committed nor exclusively to a relevant offence or to relevant offences; but it shall be a defence in proceedings for an offence under this section to show that no relevant offence had in fact been committed in relation to the [F11fish] in question.

(4)A person shall not be guilty of an offence under this section in respect of conduct which constitutes a relevant offence in relation to any [F12fish to which this section applies] or in respect of anything done in good faith for purposes connected with the prevention or detection of crime or the investigation or treatment of disease.

(5)A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable—

(a)on summary conviction, [F13to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum] ;

(b)on conviction on indictment, [F14to a fine] .

(6)The M1Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975 shall have effect as if—

F15(a). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(b)in sections 33(2) (warrants to enter suspected premises), 36(1) (water bailiffs to be constables for the purpose of enforcing Act) and 39(1) (border rivers) and in paragraph 39(1)(a) of Schedule 3 (prosecution by water authorities) and Part II of Schedule 4 (procedure on prosecutions), the references to that Act included references to this section.

(7)In this section “offence”, in relation to the taking, killing or landing [F16 , or selling,] of [F17 a fish to which this section applies] either in England and Wales or in Scotland, means an offence under the law applicable to the place where [F18the fish] is taken, killed or landed [F19or sold] .

[F20(8)In this section “salmon”, “trout”, “eels”, “smelt”, “fish” and “freshwater fish” have the same meanings as in the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975.]

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