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Animal Welfare Act 2006

Animals in distress

Section 19: Powers of entry for section 18 purposes

92.This section confers powers of entry for the purposes of section 18. It authorises an inspector or police constable to enter onto premises to deal with a protected animal that is believed to be suffering or likely to suffer if remedial action is not taken. Obstruction of a person exercising such a power is an offence (paragraph 16 of Schedule 2).

93.Subsection (1) confers a power to enter to search for a suffering animal which the constable or inspector reasonably believes to be there.

94.Subsection (2) provides that the power of entry does not extend to any part of premises which is used as a private dwelling. For example, an inspector could enter the parts of a building used as an office but not those parts which are used for residential purposes unless he first obtains a warrant from a justice of the peace under subsection (4).

95.Subsection (3) authorises the use of reasonable force to effect entry without a warrant, where entry is needed urgently before a warrant can be obtained, for example if an animal is suffering so much that it would be inappropriate to delay. Where there is no such urgency, if force is required to gain entry, a warrant must be obtained from a justice of the peace, as provided for by subsection (4).

96.Subsection (5) sets out the criteria that an application must meet before a justice of the peace may grant a warrant. There must be reasonable grounds for believing that there is a protected animal on the premises, that is either suffering or likely to do so, and one of the four conditions in section 52 must be met.

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