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Arrangement of Clauses (Contents)

Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Bill
 
 

 
 
A

B I L L

TO

Amend and extend certain enactments relating to the commercial breeding and sale of dogs; to regulate the welfare of dogs kept in commercial breeding establishments; to extend powers of inspection; to establish records of dogs kept at such establishments; and for connected purposes.

BE IT ENACTED by 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:-
 

 
Licensing of breeding establishments etc.
Inspection and report before grant of licence.     1. In the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 ("the 1973 Act"), after subsection (2) of section 1 insert-
 
 
    "(2A) On receipt of an application by a person to a local authority for the grant of a licence under this Act in respect of any premises-
 
 
    (a) if a licence under this Act has not previously been granted to the person in respect of the premises, the authority shall arrange for the inspection of the premises by a veterinary surgeon or veterinary practitioner and by an officer of the authority; and
 
    (b) in any other case, the authority shall arrange for the inspection of the premises by a veterinary surgeon or veterinary practitioner or by an officer of the authority (or by both).
      (2B) Where an inspection is arranged under subsection (2A) of this section, the local authority shall arrange for the making of a report about the premises, the applicant and any other relevant matter; and the authority shall consider the report before determining whether to grant a licence."
 
Licence conditions.     2. - (1) In subsection (4) of section 1 of the 1973 Act (matters to which a local authority shall have regard in determining whether to grant a licence and about which conditions must be included in the licence), in paragraph (b) (dogs to be visited at suitable intervals, so far as necessary), omit "(so far as necessary)".
 
      (2) In that subsection, after paragraph (e) insert-
 
 
    "(f) that bitches are not mated if they are less than one year old;
 
      (g) that bitches do not give birth to more than six litters of puppies each;
 
      (h) that bitches do not give birth to puppies before the end of the period of twelve months beginning with the day on which they last gave birth to puppies; and
 
      (i) that accurate records in a form prescribed by regulations are kept at the premises and made available for inspection there by any officer of the local authority, or any veterinary surgeon or veterinary practitioner, authorised by the local authority to inspect the premises;",
 and for "paragraphs (a) to (e)" substitute "paragraphs (a) to (i)".
      (3) After that subsection insert-
 
 
    "(4A) Regulations under paragraph (i) of subsection (4) of this section shall be made by the Secretary of State by statutory instrument; and a statutory instrument containing regulations made under that paragraph shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament."
 
Commencement and duration of licence.     3. - (1) After subsection (5) of section 1 of the 1973 Act insert-
 
 
    "(5A) A local authority shall determine whether to grant such a licence before the end of the period of three months beginning with the day on which the application for the licence is received."
 
      (2) In subsection (6) of that section (commencement of licences), for the words from "(according" to the end substitute "come into force at the beginning of the day specified in the licence as the day on which it is to come into force; and that day shall be the later of-
 
 
    (a) the day stated in the application as that on which the applicant wishes the licence to come into force; and
 
    (b) the day on which the licence is granted."
      (3) In subsection (7) of that section (period of licence), for "year to which it relates" substitute "period of one year beginning with the day on which it comes into force".
 
      (4) Subsection (1) does not apply in relation to any application for a licence received before the day on which this Act comes into force; and subsections (2) and (3) do not apply in relation to a licence granted before that day.
 
Imprisonment for keeping unlicensed establishment etc.     4. - (1) In subsection (1) of section 3 of the 1973 Act (offence of keeping an unlicensed establishment etc.), for the words from "to" to the end substitute "to-
 
 
    (a) imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months; or
 
    (b) a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale,
  or to both."
 
      (2) Subsection (1) does not apply in relation to an offence committed before this Act comes into force.
 
Disqualification.     5. - (1) In subsection (3) of section 3 of the 1973 Act (cancellation of licences and disqualification), for the words from "or of any offence" to the end substitute ", the court by which he is convicted may (in addition to or in substitution for any penalty under subsection (1) or (2) of this section) make an order providing for any one or more of the following-
 
 
    (a) the cancellation of any licence held by him under this Act;
 
    (b) his disqualification, for such period as the court thinks fit, from keeping an establishment the keeping of which is required to be licensed under this Act; and
 
    (c) his disqualification, for such period as the court thinks fit, from having custody of any dog of a description specified in the order."
      (2) In subsection (4) of that section (suspension of cancellation or disqualification pending appeal), for "ordered the cancellation of a person's licence, or his disqualification, in pursuance of the last foregoing subsection" substitute "made an order under this section".
 
      (3) After that subsection insert-
 
 
    "(5) Where a court makes an order under subsection (3)(c) of this section in relation to a description of dogs it may also make such order as it thinks fit in respect of any dog of that description which-
 
 
    (a) was in the offender's custody at the time when the offence was committed; or
 
    (b) has been in his custody at any time since that time.
      (6) An order under subsection (5) of this section may (in particular)-
 
 
    (a) require any person who has custody of the dog to deliver it up to a specified person; and
 
    (b) (if it does) also require the offender to pay specified amounts to specified persons for the care of the dog from the time when it is delivered up in pursuance of the order until permanent arrangements are made for its care or disposal.
      (7) A person who-
 
 
    (a) has custody of a dog in contravention of an order under subsection (3)(c) of this section; or
 
    (b) fails to comply with a requirement imposed on him under subsection (6) of this section,
  shall be guilty of an offence.
 
      (8) Where a court proposes to make an order under subsection (5) of this section in respect of a dog owned by a person other than the offender, the court shall notify the owner who may make representations to the court; and if an order is made the owner may, within the period of seven days beginning with the date of the order, appeal to-
 
 
    (a) in England and Wales, the Crown Court; or
 
    (b) in Scotland, the High Court of Justiciary,
  against the order.
 
      (9) A person who is subject to a disqualification by virtue of an order under subsection (3)(c) of this section may, at any time after the end of the period of one year beginning with the date of the order, apply to the court which made the order (or, in England and Wales, any magistrates' court acting for the same petty sessions area) for a direction terminating the disqualification from such date as the court considers appropriate.
 
      (10) On an application under subsection (9) of this section the court-
 
 
    (a) shall notify the relevant local authority which may make representations to the court;
 
    (b) shall, having regard to the applicant's character and his conduct since the disqualification was imposed, any representations made by the relevant local authority and any other circumstances of the case, grant or refuse the application; and
 
    (c) may order the applicant to pay all or any part of the costs, or (in Scotland) expenses, of the application (including any costs, or expenses, of the relevant local authority in making representations);
  and in this subsection "the relevant local authority" means the local authority in whose area are situated the premises in relation to which the offence which led to the disqualification was committed.
 
      (11) Where an application under subsection (9) of this section in respect of a disqualification is refused, no further application under that subsection in respect of that disqualification shall be entertained if made before the end of the period of one year beginning with the date of the refusal."
 
      (4) In subsection (2) of section 2 of the Breeding of Dogs Act 1991 (disqualification for offence of obstruction etc. of inspector of premises not covered by a licence under the 1973 Act), for the words from "disqualify him" to the end substitute "make an order providing for either or both of the following-
 
 
    (a) his disqualification, for such period as the court thinks fit, from keeping an establishment the keeping of which is required to be licensed under the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973; and
 
    (b) his disqualification, for such period as the court thinks fit, from having custody of any dog of a description specified in the order."
      (5) After that subsection insert-
 
 
    "(2A) A court which has made an order under or by virtue of this section may, if it thinks fit, suspend the operation of the order pending an appeal.
 
      (2B) Subsections (5) to (11) of section 3 of the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 (provisions about disqualification) apply in relation to an order made under subsection (2)(b) above as they apply in relation to an order made under subsection (3)(c) of that section."
 
      (6) This section does not apply in relation to an offence committed before this Act comes into force.
 
 
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