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Animal Welfare Act 2006

Enforcement Powers

Section 26: Inspection in connection with licences

119.This section concerns powers of inspection in relation to activities for which it is necessary to obtain a licence under section 13(1). It provides that routine inspections may be carried out to check that licence conditions are being complied with. Currently, in relation to some activities that require a licence, inspections can only be made when inspectors suspect an offence has been committed.

120.Subsection (1) sets out the purposes for which the power of inspection may be exercised. Inspectors can check that any licence conditions are being complied with. They are also able to check that the general requirements of the Act and any secondary legislation made under it are also being complied with.

121.Subsection (2) confers powers to enter and inspect licensed premises and premises where the inspector reasonably believes a licensed activity is going on. In both cases, the inspector may enter a private dwelling only if he gives 24 hours’ notice (subsection (3)).

122.There is no power for an inspector to apply for a warrant under this section. Powers to apply for a warrant to enter will be available elsewhere in the Act if the inspector reasonably believes that an animal in distress is to be found on the premises (under section 19(4)) or if he reasonably believes an offence has been committed on the premises (under section 23(1)). Other than in these situations, secondary legislation under which the licensing regimes are adopted will give an inspector the power to revoke a licence, or amend its conditions, should a request to enter premises in order to carry out an inspection be unreasonably refused.

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