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Animals and Wildlife (Penalties, Protections and Powers) (Scotland) Act 2020

Section 14 - Killing, injuring or taking seals: offences, penalties, etc.

101.Section 14 amends Part 6 of the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 (“the 2010 Act”), which regulates the conservation of seals. Section 14(2) amends section 110 of the 2010 Act to remove two licensing grounds upon which Scottish Ministers can grant licences authorising the taking or killing of seals, and makes associated amendments to this provision. The grounds being removed are contained in section 110(1)(f) and (g) of the 2010 Act and are for the purposes of protecting the health and welfare of farmed fish or preventing serious damage to fisheries or fish farms, respectively. As a consequence of the repeal of section 110(1)(f) and (g), section 110(2) and (3) of the 2010 Act (which concern aspects of the licensing process in relation to section 110(1)(g)) are also repealed.

102.Section 14(3) to (6) make certain consequential amendments to sections 121, 122(1), 123 and 124 of the 2010 Act, arising out of the repeal of the seal licensing grounds contained in section 110(1)(f) and (g) of the 2010 Act. Section 121 previously allowed the Scottish Ministers to authorise a person to enter land in order to kill or take seals in accordance with a seal licence granted for the purpose of preventing serious damage to fisheries or fish farms under section 110(1)(g). With the removal of this purpose as a licensing ground, section 121 no longer has any application.

103.Section 14(7) amends section 128 of the 2010 Act to increase the penalties available to the court for the offence of killing, injuring or taking a live seal (intentionally or recklessly) under section 107 of the 2010 Act. It provides that a person who commits this offence is liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or a fine not exceeding £40,000 or both, and on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years or a fine or both.

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