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Game Laws Amendment (Scotland) Act 1877

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Game Laws Amendment (Scotland) Act 1877

1877 CHAPTER 28

An Act to amend the Laws relating to Game in Scotland.

[2nd August 1877]

Be it enactedby the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

1Short title and extent of Act

This Act may be cited for all purposes as "The Game Laws" Amendment (Scotland) Act, 1877," and shall apply to Scotland only.

2Commencement of Act

This Act shall commence and come into operation on the first day of January one thousand eight hundred and seventy-eight, which day is hereafter referred to as the commencement of this Act.

3Interpretation

In this Act, unless there be something in the subject or context repugnant to such construction,

(1)The word "lessor" shall mean the grantor of any lease of land for any term not less than two years, and also the person or persons for the time in the right and subject to the obligations of the grantor with respect to such lease;

(2)The word "lessee" shall mean the grantee of any lease of land for any term not less than two years, and also the person or persons for the time in the right and subject to the obligations of the grantee with respect to such lease ;

(3)The word " sheriff " shall include sheriff substitute;

(4)The word " game " shall include all the animals enumerated in the Game Acts or any of them ;

(5)The word "crop" shall include grass, whether intended for hay or pasture, except where grown upon muirlands;

(6)The term "Small Debt Acts" shall mean the Act of the seventh year of "William the Fourth and the first year of Victoria, chapter forty-one, and any Acts amending the same;

(7)The term " Sheriffs Small Debt Court " shall mean the court established under the Small Debt Acts.

4Lessee entitled to compensation for excessive damage to crops by game

Where under any lease made subsequently to the commencement of this Act, or where by presumption of common law upon any land occupied under a lease made subsequently, to the commencement of this Act, the lessor shall reserve or retain the sole right of hunting, killing, or taking rabbits, hares, or other game, or any of them, the lessee shall be entitled to compensation for the damage done to his crops in each year by the rabbits and hares or other game to which the lessor may have reserved or retained the sole right, in excess of such sum as may, have been set forth in the lease as the amount of annual damage for which it is agreed no compensation shall be due; and if no such sum shall be set forth in the lease, then in excess of the sum of forty shillings. During the currency of any lease the parties thereto may from time to time, by any agreement in writing, increase or diminish the estimated amount of the annual damage aforesaid.

5In case of excessive damage, lessee to intimate the same to lessor

In the event of a lessee in occupation of land under a lease made subsequently to the commencement of this Act being of opinion, that -the damage done to his crops by rabbits or hares or, other game to which the lessor may have reserved or retained the sole right, in any one year during the lease, such year being reckoned from Whitsunday to Whitsunday, has exceeded the sum named in the lease, or, if no sum is therein named, the sum of forty shillings, he shall intimate this opinion to the lessor in writing, stating at the same time that it is his intention, failing agreement as to the amount of such excess of damage, or a reference to arbiters to settle the same, to take steps to recover the amount of such excess of damage in the form and manner herein-after provided.

6Provisions as to arbitrations for settling claims of damage between lessor and lessee

When a lessor and lessee agree in writing to refer to arbitration any claim of damage arising under this Act, or have agreed so to do in any lease made subsequently to the passing of this Act, the following provisions shall have effect:

(1)Either party having in writing named an arbiter, and given notice of the nomination to the other party, and called on him to name an arbiter, and the other party : having for fourteen days after such call failed to comply therewith in writing, the arbiter nominated may settle the claim as if he had been appointed by both parties, and his award shall be final. The office of every such arbiter shall be held to endure until the term of Whitsunday next following the date of his appointment, and thereafter until he shall have given his award or awards with reference to all claims for any damages, as aforesaid arising during the year ended at the same term.

(2)Where two arbiters are named by the parties the arbiters shall, before proceeding to the arbitration, name in writing an oversman or umpire who shall be entitled finally to decide on the claim in case of their disagreement. ;

(3)The reference, the claim, the nomination of an arbiter or oversman, and the award may be validly made by any writing, however informal, admitted or proved to be genuine.

(4)No proceedings under this section shall be void for want of form. In an arbitration under this section the course of the procedure and the inquiry shall be such as the person or persons acting therein shall direct, and the award therein shall be final, and though informal may be enforced by action in any court of law, according to the true construction and tenor thereof.

(5)Any notice under this section shall be in writing, and may be served on the person to whom it is to be given either personally or by leaving it for him at his last known place of abode in Scotland, or by sending it through the post in a registered letter addressed to him there; and if so sent by post it shall be deemed to have been served at the time when the letter containing it would be delivered in ordinary course, and in order to prove service by letter it shall be sufficient to prove that the letter was properly addressed and posted and that it contained the notice to be served.

7Provisions as to actions of damage between lessor and lessee

With regard to actions for the recovery of damages under this Act, the following provisions shall have effect:

(1)No such action at the instance of a lessee against a lessor shall be competent unless the lessee shall have given to the lessor notice in writing of his intention to bring the same, in the case of damage done to growing crop, except grass for pasture, at least three weeks before the crop is reaped or raised, and in the case of damage done to crop reaped or raised, at least one week before it is removed from the land, and in the case of damage done to grass for pasture at least fourteen days before any person to be called as a witness by the lessee to value the damage shall inspect the crop with the view of valuing such damage :

(2)Any such action may be brought in the Sheriffs Small Debt Court of the county within which the lands ,or any part thereof are situated, without regard to the amount sued for in name of damage, provided that such amount shall not exceed the sum of fifty pounds sterling, exclusive of expenses and fees of extracts, and all the provisions of the Small Debt Acts shall apply to any such action so brought in the same manner as if such action were brought for a sum not exceeding twelve pounds sterling : Provided always, that the sheriff substitute shall, whenever required to do so by either party, take and record the evidence led before him, in which case an appeal shall lie to the sheriff, whose judgment shall be final:

(3)Where the amount sued for exceeds the sum of fifty pounds the action shall be brought in the ordinary sheriff court.

8Lessee in actual occupation may kill hares without game certificate

Prom and after the commencement of this Act, it shall be lawful for any lessee, being in the actual occupation of lands and having the right of killing hares thereon, by himself or by any person directed or authorised by him in writing according to the Porm in Schedule 1I. to this Act annexed, or to the like effect, to pursue, take, kill, or destroy any hare then being in or upon any such land without obtaining any game certificate.

9Limit of authority to kill hares

Provided always, and be it enacted, that no lessee shall be authorised to grant or continue, under the provisions of this Act, authority to more than one person at one and the same time to kill hares upon the land occupied by him within any one parish : Provided also, that the lessee shall intimate to the lessor of the said lands, or his factor, or any one to whom he may have instructed the lessee to transmit such intimation, the name of the person so authorised by the lessee.

10Prosecutions under Game Acts

Prom and after the commencement of this Act, all offences against the Game Acts shall be prosecuted subject to the following provisions; that is to say,

(1)Any prosecution which is at present competent either before the sheriff or the justices of the peace for the county shall, from and after the passing of this Act, be competent only before the sheriff:

(2)Any prosecution which is at present competent only before the justices of the peace for the county shall, from and after the passing of this Act, be competent only before the sheriff, who shall have all jurisdiction, authority, and power necessary for entertaining and determining the same; and all forms, procedure, and provisions applicable to prosecutions before justices of the peace shall, except as herein-after provided, be applicable, mutatis mutandis, to prosecutions before the sheriff as aforesaid :

(3)Where in any county there is more than one resident sheriff substitute any prosecution under the Game Acts shall be brought before the court of a sheriff substitute within whose district the offence is alleged to have been committed, or before the sheriff sitting in such court :

(4)Offences which are now cognisable only by the Court of Justiciary shall hereafter be prosecuted only before such court.

11No person to be prosecuted again for the same offence

Prom and after the commencement of this Act, any person who has been or shall be prosecuted for any act or acts as constituting an offence under any one or more of the Game Acts shall not be liable to be again prosecuted for the same act or acts as constituting an offence under any other of the Game Acts: Provided always, that nothing in this section shall apply to any prosecution under any enactment relating to the Inland Revenue.

12Existing leases or agreements about game not to be affected

This Act shall not prejudice or affect any lease of land or any lease or agreement about game existing at the date of the commencement of this Act.

Schedule I

An Act of the Parliament of Scotland, passed in the year 1587, chapter 43, intituled " Aganis slayeris of deir and utheris wyld beastis." An Act of the Parliament of Scotland, passed in the year 1621, chapter 31, intituled " Anent hunting and haulking." An Act of the Parliament of Scotland, passed in the year 1707, chapter 91, intituled " Act for preserving the game." An Act for the more effectual preservation of the game in that part of Great Britain called Scotland, and for repealing and amending several of the laws now in being relative thereto. 13 George III, chapter 54. An Act for repealing two Acts passed in the thirty-sixth year of the reign of His present Majesty, which limit the time for killing partridges in England and Scotland, and for amending so much of an Act passed in the second year of the reign of His present Majesty, as relates to such limitation within that part of Great Britain called England, by making other provisions for that purpose. 39 Geo. III, chapter 34. An Act for the more effectual prevention of persons going armed by night for the destruction of game. 9 George IV, chapter 69. An Act to amend the laws in England relative to game. 1 & 2 William IV, chapter 32. An Act for the more effectual prevention of trespasses upon property by persons in pursuit of game in that part of Great Britain called Scotland. 2 & 3 William IV, chapter 68. An Act to extend an Act of the ninth year of King George the Fourth for the more effectual prevention of persons going armed by night for the destruction of game. 7 & 8 Victoria, chapter 29. An Act to enable ail persons having at present a right to kill hares in Scotland to do so themselves, or by persons authorized by them, without being required to take out a game certificate. 11 & 12 Victoria, chapter 30. An Act to repeal the duties on game certificates, and certificates to deal in game, and to impose in lieu thereof duties on excise licences and certificates for the like purposes. 23 & 24 Victoria, chapter 90. An Act to amend'the laws relating to the Inland Revenue, 24 & 25 Victoria, chapter 91. An Act for the prevention of poaching. 25 & 26 Victoria, chapter 114.

Schedule II

I, A.B., do authorise CD. to kill hares on the lands occupied by me within the (here insert the name of the parish or other place, as the case may be). Dated this _____________________day of________________________________ (here insert the day, month, and year.) ______________________________________A.B. Witness,___________________________________

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