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Animal Welfare Act 2006


Section 54: Power to stop and detain vehicles

201.Where there is a right of entry for constables and inspectors under the Act, the definition of premises includes vehicles and various moveable structures (see definition in section 62(1)). In order to facilitate searches of this kind, section 54 creates powers to stop and detain vehicles.

202.Subsection (1) allows a constable, or an inspector if he is accompanied by a constable, to stop and search vehicles to search for animals in distress and gather evidence where there is reasonable suspicion that a relevant offence has been committed. Subsection (3) allows an inspector, if accompanied by a constable in uniform, to stop and detain a vehicle in order to search it in connection with the exercise of his powers of inspection in relation to licensed activities, registration, inspection of farm premises and compliance with EC obligations. These subsections also apply where the constable or inspector is acting under a relevant warrant.

203.Subsection (2) allows a constable to stop and detain a vehicle for the purposes of seizing an animal used in connection with a fighting offence if he reasonably believes that it contains such an animal or he is acting under a warrant for these purposes.

204.Subsection (4) provides that the vehicle can be detained for as long as is reasonably required to enable a search or inspection to be carried out (including the exercise of any other related power, e.g. to take tests or samples).

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