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Wild Animals and Circuses (Wales) Act 2020

Schedule – Powers of enforcement

34.The Schedule confers powers on inspectors to enforce the offence in section 1, sets out the extent of those powers and creates offences where a person hampers the exercise of those powers.

35.Paragraph 1 defines “inspector”, “power of entry” and “premises”. “Premises” specifically includes tents or a moveable structure and so includes, for example, caravans and mobile homes which are commonly associated with travelling circuses.

36.Paragraph 2 gives inspectors a power to enter premises which are not used wholly or mainly as dwellings and sets out the circumstances under which the power is exercisable.

37.Paragraph 3 gives inspectors a power to enter dwellings. The inspector must obtain a warrant from a Magistrate before exercising this power. This paragraph sets out the matters that must be satisfied before a warrant may be granted. Paragraph 4 provides that such a warrant authorises entry on one occasion only and must be used within 28 days beginning with the date it was issued.

38.Paragraph 5 requires an inspector, if asked by any person on the premises, to show evidence of their identity before exercising a power of entry and to state why the power is being exercised. If entering a dwelling under a warrant, the inspector must, if asked, show a copy of the warrant to any person on the premises, and provide a copy to the occupier or to a person who appears to be in charge of the premises. If neither is present, the inspector must leave a copy of the warrant in a prominent place. The inspector must leave the premises as effectively secured against unauthorised entry as they were when the inspector arrived.

39.Paragraph 6 requires an inspector to exercise a power of entry at a reasonable time unless the inspector believes that, by waiting for that reasonable time, the purpose for requiring entry and inspection may be frustrated.

40.Paragraph 7 allows an inspector to use reasonable force where necessary to exercise a power of entry.

41.Paragraph 8 allows an inspector to take on to the premises other persons and anything necessary (including equipment and materials) to assist in their duties. The assistants could include specialists, for example a zoological specialist to help identify animals, or a police constable.

42.Paragraph 9 sets out the powers of inspection, search and seizure available to an inspector when exercising a power of entry. An inspector cannot seize a wild animal, but may, for example, examine it or take samples. Paragraph 9(d) requires any person on the premises to assist the inspector. An inspector could, for example, require a person to give the inspector access to an animal enclosure, help the inspector handle an animal (to be able to take samples) or move a vehicle.

43.Paragraph 10 provides that any person brought onto the premises by the inspector is able to exercise the inspector’s powers under paragraph 9, provided that they are under the inspector’s supervision. For example, a veterinary surgeon accompanying an inspector could, under supervision, take samples from an animal for identification purposes.

44.Paragraph 11 makes additional provision about the power of seizure. Any item seized under paragraph 9(k) can be retained as long as is necessary. Paragraph 11(2) requires the inspector or an assistant of the inspector to keep a record of the item seized and, on request, to provide a record of the item seized to the person who occupied the premises at the time it was seized, or the person who had possession or control of the item immediately before it was seized. Paragraph 11(3) does not allow the seizure of items which could be subject to legal professional privilege, for example, documents containing advice from legal professionals.

45.A person commits an offence if they fail to comply with a request for assistance or intentionally obstruct an inspector when the inspector is carrying out their duties (paragraph 12). An offence under this paragraph is triable in the Magistrates’ Court and the Court may impose an unlimited fine if a person is found guilty.

46.Paragraph 13 protects inspectors and any person taken onto premises by an inspector from liability in any civil and criminal proceedings for anything done or not done as a result of carrying out their duties. This exemption from liability does not apply where an inspector or the person under the supervision of the inspector acts in bad faith or if there were no reasonable grounds to act in such manner.

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Explanatory Notes

Text created by the Welsh Government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of Senedd Cymru.


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