Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Eighth Report


Memorandum by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food


  1. The Committee asked -

     The following articles, namely -

    (a)   article 2(2)(b), in disapplying the Order to accompanied animals, and

    (b)   article 3(1), in defining "transporter",

use the expression "natural person" and "natural or legal person". Explain why it is necessary to use these expressions instead of the word "person" normally used in United Kingdom legislation in reliance on the meaning given to it by Schedule 1 of the Interpretation Act 1978.

  2. These provisions implement Community obligations on the United Kingdom set out in Article 1.2(a) and Article 2.2(i) respectively of Council Directive (EC) No. 91/628 as amended by Directive 95/29. To have used the Interpretation Act expression "person" would have resulted in those obligations not being transposed precisely. In the case of article 2(2)(b), the Ministry wished to exclude corporate bodies from the provision; in the case of article 3(1), in accordance with the Directive, the Ministry wished to make clear that the term "transporter" includes a body corporate but not an unincorporated body.

  3. The Committee asked -

    Article 15 excepts the transporting of certain animals by the owner or occupier of land over short distances from specified provisions of the Order and also excepts such journeys from a provision of Schedule 1 to the Transit of Animals (Road and Rail) Order 1975. Explain why the latter exception is not made by the insertion of the exception into that Order of 1975.

  4. The Welfare of Animals (Transport) Order 1997 revokes and replaces the greater part of the Transit of Animals (Road and Rail) Order 1975. It is now the main legislation governing the transport of animals. The Ministry considered it more appropriate and more helpful to the user to list all such exceptions in the 1997 Order than in the 1975 Order.

  5. The Committee asked -

    Article 21(a) states that a person commits an offence against the parent Act (the Animal Health Act 1981) who contravenes or fails to comply with any provision of the Order. Given that section 73 of the Act makes it an offence to contravene or fail to comply with an order of the Minister under the Act, explain what authorises this offence-creating provision to be included in the order.


    A corresponding question as respects the provision in Schedule 9 paragraph 2(3) making a failure to provide the information required under that subparagraph an offence against the Act.

  6. The authority for creating offences in orders under the Animal Health Act 1981 is section 72(a) of that Act, which reads -

    "A person is guilty of an offence against this Act who, without lawful authority or excuse, proof of which shall lie on him -

    (a)   does or omits anything the doing or omission of which is declared by this Act or by an order of the Minister to be an offence by that person against this Act;"

July 1997

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