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Earl Ferrers: Perhaps I may interrupt the Minister. What he says is of great importance and great interest. However, does he agree that the Government could have withdrawn the Bill for the time being to allow the problem of the countryside to be overcome before adding yet more difficulties and yet more anxieties for the countryside?

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: It was a matter for the usual channels as to what were the issues for debate today. So far as concerns the result, it is a matter for this House to decide what it wishes to do about the three options. I am sure that the right course is to continue to allow the Committee to express its view on the options.

26 Mar 2001 : Column 75

It was said that the Bill does not define hunting. It would be a matter for the court, if a case ever came before it, as to whether there was any difficulty with the provision,

    "A person commits an offence if he hunts a wild mammal with a dog".

The noble Viscount, Lord Bledisloe, who raised the point, will know perfectly well that the fact that there are a number of definitions in dictionaries has never prevented the courts reaching a conclusion previously.

A question was raised about the dog which, unbeknownst to its owner, follows a scent and begins to hunt a wild mammal. The crime that is created in Part 1 is in relation to the individual, not to the animal. The individual must have the necessary criminal intent for a crime to be committed.

Reference was made to the point raised by the Delegated Powers and Deregulation Committee about the inappropriateness of delegated legislation being used to change defences. If the schedule survives in the Bill--that is plainly a matter of which the Government will take great note, particularly after any debate that follows on recommitment.

The question was raised as to where is the burden of proof in relation to the exceptions. The burden of proof would be on the defence, on the balance of probabilities. That is perfectly normal in relation to any Bill where a crime is created but a defence is also created which is an exception to the crime. So I do not think that that would be regarded as in any way abnormal.

The noble Lord, Lord Carlile, raised issues relating to the defence where a gun pack was involved and in particular where foxes were being flushed out. The noble Lord asked what would happen if the dog went underground without the consent of the owner. Again, the question would relate to the intent of the owner and it would be decided as a matter of fact in every case. I do not think that there would be any difficulty in relation to the magistrates' court dealing with that.

Viscount Bledisloe: Where does the noble and learned Lord find intent in the Bill?

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: There would be no doubt that that is how the courts would construe the matter--

Viscount Bledisloe: Why?

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: Because they have dealt with statutes drafted in this way on many previous occasions.

The noble Viscount also said that Bill was not clear and unambiguous. Plainly, if the schedule survives, any amendments that would be required to make it clearer and more unambiguous would be entertained by this House. But I do not think that there would be any doubt as to the intention of the statute.

26 Mar 2001 : Column 76

So far as concerns "rodents", the position is that rabbits and hares are not rodents, despite the researches of the noble Viscount, Lord Bledisloe, in the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Within the classification of "mammal", they do not fall within the order "Rodentia" but within the order "Lagomorpha". They differ from rodents in having an extra pair of incisors and in other skeletal features. I am sure that would be clear to the court.

Viscount Bledisloe: Where does the Minister find that definition other than in the Encyclopaedia Britannica?

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: That is the position so far as concerns the facts.

I believe that I have dealt with all the points raised. I do not think that the Committee wishes me to detain it with any more detail.

We shall now proceed to the first vote. I remind the Committee that the procedure we are following is one that this place agreed by a substantial majority to adopt. This first vote will be on the Question of whether we should remove the ban option from the Bill. Therefore, those noble Lords who support a ban on hunting with dogs should vote "Not-Content" on this first vote, while noble Lords who favour the continuation of hunting should vote "Content". I commend the amendment to the Committee.

7.30 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 1) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 317; Not-Contents, 68.

Division No. 1


Aberdare, L.
Ackner, L.
Acton, L.
Allenby of Megiddo, V.
Alton of Liverpool, L.
Ampthill, L.
Anelay of St Johns, B.
Armstrong of Ilminster, L.
Arran, E.
Astor, V.
Astor of Hever, L.
Attlee, E.
Bagri, L.
Baker of Dorking, L.
Baldwin of Bewdley, E.
Barber of Tewkesbury, L.
Barnett, L.
Bath and Wells, Bp.
Beaumont of Whitley, L.
Bell, L.
Belstead, L.
Bernstein of Craigweil, L.
Biffen, L.
Blackwell, L.
Blaker, L.
Blatch, B.
Bledisloe, V.
Boardman, L.
Bowness, L.
Brabazon of Tara, L.
Bradshaw, L.
Bragg, L.
Bramall, L.
Brennan, L.
Bridgeman, V.
Bridges, L.
Brightman, L.
Bristol, Bp.
Brookeborough, V.
Brookman, L.
Burnham, L.
Buscombe, B.
Butler of Brockwell, L.
Butterworth, L.
Buxton of Alsa, L.
Byford, B.
Caithness, E.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Campbell of Croy, L.
Carlile of Berriew, L.
Carlisle of Bucklow, L.
Carnarvon, E.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Carr of Hadley, L.
Carrington, L.
Carver, L.
Cavendish of Furness, L.
Chadlington, L.
Clement-Jones, L.
Cobbold, L.
Coe, L.
Colville of Culross, V.
Colwyn, L.
Cooke of Islandreagh, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L.
Courtown, E.
Craig of Radley, L.
Cranborne, V.
Crathorne, L.
Crickhowell, L.
Croham, L.
Cumberlege, B.
Dacre of Glanton, L.
Dahrendorf, L.
Darcy de Knayth, B.
Davies of Coity, L.
Dean of Harptree, L.
Denham, L.
Desai, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Donaldson of Lymington, L.
Dunn, B.
Eccles of Moulton, B.
Elis-Thomas, L.
Elles, B.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Elton, L.
Erroll, E.
Evans of Temple Guiting, L.
Ezra, L.
Falkland, V.
Feldman, L.
Fellowes, L.
Ferrers, E.
Filkin, L.
Flather, B.
Fraser of Carmyllie, L.
Freeman, L.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Garel-Jones, L.
Geddes, L.
Geraint, L.
Gibson, L.
Gilmour of Craigmillar, L.
Glenarthur, L.
Glentoran, L.
Goodhart, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Goschen, V.
Grabiner, L.
Gray of Contin, L.
Greenway, L.
Grenfell, L.
Griffiths of Fforestfach, L.
Guildford, Bp.
Habgood, L.
Hambro, L.
Hanham, B.
Hardy of Wath, L.
Harris of Greenwich, L.
Harris of High Cross, L.
Harris of Peckham, L.
Hayhoe, L.
Hayman, B.
Henley, L.
Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, L.
Hoffmann, L.
Hogg, B.
Holderness, L.
Holme of Cheltenham, L.
Home, E.
Hooson, L.
Howe, E.
Howe of Aberavon, L.
Howell of Guildford, L.
Howie of Troon, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Hurd of Westwell, L.
Hussey of North Bradley, L.
Hutchinson of Lullington, L.
Inge, L.
Inglewood, L.
Jauncey of Tullichettle, L.
Jeger, B.
Jellicoe, E.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Jenkins of Hillhead, L.
Jopling, L.
Keith of Castleacre, L.
Kelvedon, L.
Kimball, L. [Teller]
Kingsdown, L.
Kingsland, L.
Kirkham, L.
Laing of Dunphail, L.
Lamont of Lerwick, L.
Lane, L.
Lane of Horsell, L.
Lang of Monkton, L.
Lawson of Blaby, L.
Layard, L.
Lester of Herne Hill, L.
Lewis of Newnham, L.
Lincoln, Bp.
Linklater of Butterstone, B.
Lipsey, L.
Listowel, E.
Liverpool, E.
Lucas, L.
Luke, L.
Lyell, L.
McColl of Dulwich, L.
Macfarlane of Bearsden, L.
McIntosh of Hudnall, B.
Mackenzie of Framwellgate, L.
Mackie of Benshie, L.
Mallalieu, B. [Teller]
Mancroft, L.
Mar, C.
Mar and Kellie, E.
Marlesford, L.
Marsh, L.
Marshall of Knightsbridge, L.
Mason of Barnsley, L.
Mayhew of Twysden, L.
Methuen, L.
Miller of Chilthorne Domer, B.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Milner of Leeds, L.
Molloy, L.
Molyneaux of Killead, L.
Monro of Langholm, L.
Monson, L.
Montagu of Beaulieu, L.
Montrose, D.
Moore of Lower Marsh, L.
Moore of Wolvercote, L.
Moran, L.
Morris of Castle Morris, L.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Moynihan, L.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Naseby, L.
Newton of Braintree, L.
Nickson, L.
Noakes, B.
Nolan, L.
Northbourne, L.
Northbrook, L.
O'Cathain, B.
Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay, L.
Onslow, E.
Oxfuird, V.
Palmer, L.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Patten, L.
Pearson of Rannoch, L.
Peel, E.
Perry of Southwark, B.
Perry of Walton, L.
Peyton of Yeovil, L.
Phillips of Sudbury, L.
Pilkington of Oxenford, L.
Plumb, L.
Plummer of St. Marylebone, L.
Ponsonby of Shulbrede, L.
Powell of Bayswater, L.
Prys-Davies, L.
Puttnam, L.
Pym, L.
Quinton, L.
Randall of St. Budeaux, L.
Rawlings, B.
Rawlinson of Ewell, L.
Rea, L.
Reay, L.
Redesdale, L.
Rees, L.
Rees-Mogg, L.
Renton, L.
Renton of Mount Harry, L.
Renwick of Clifton, L.
Richard, L.
Richardson of Duntisbourne, L.
Roberts of Conwy, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Rogan, L.
Roper, L.
Rotherwick, L.
Ryder of Wensum, L.
Saatchi, L.
Sainsbury of Preston Candover, L.
St. John of Bletso, L.
St John of Fawsley, L.
Saltoun of Abernethy, Ly.
Sandberg, L.
Sanderson of Bowden, L.
Sandwich, E.
Scott of Foscote, L.
Seccombe, B.
Selborne, E.
Selkirk of Douglas, L.
Sharman, L.
Sharples, B.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Sheppard of Didgemere, L.
Shore of Stepney, L.
Simon, V.
Simon of Glaisdale, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Slim, V.
Soulsby of Swaffham Prior, L.
Stodart of Leaston, L.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Strabolgi, L.
Strange, B.
Strathclyde, L.
Swinfen, L.
Taverne, L.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Taylor of Warwick, L.
Tebbit, L.
Tenby, V.
Thomas of Gresford, L.
Thomas of Gwydir, L.
Thomas of Swynnerton, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Thomson of Monifieth, L.
Tombs, L.
Trefgarne, L.
Trumpington, B.
Tugendhat, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Vinson, L.
Vivian, L.
Waddington, L.
Wakeham, L.
Waldegrave of North Hill, L.
Wallace of Saltaire, L.
Walpole, L.
Walton of Detchant, L.
Warnock, B.
Watson of Richmond, L.
Waverley, V.
Weatherill, L.
Weinstock, L.
Wilcox, B.
Wilkins, B.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williamson of Horton, L.
Willoughby de Broke, L.
Wilson of Tillyorn, L.
Winston, L.
Wolfson of Sunningdale, L.
Woolmer of Leeds, L.
Wright of Richmond, L.
Young, B.


Andrews, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Avebury, L.
Bach, L.
Barker, B.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Billingham, B.
Blease, L.
Boothroyd, B.
Castle of Blackburn, B.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Crawley, B.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Dholakia, L.
Dixon, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Elder, L.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Evans of Watford, L.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Fookes, B.
Gale, B.
Gibson of Market Rasen, B.
Gilbert, L.
Goudie, B.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Graham of Edmonton, L. [Teller]
Hamwee, B.
Harris of Haringey, L.
Harris of Richmond, B.
Harrison, L.
Haskel, L.
Hattersley, L.
Howells of St. Davids, B.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Islwyn, L.
Jenkins of Putney, L.
Judd, L.
Kirkhill, L.
Laird, L.
Lloyd-Webber, L.
Lockwood, B.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
McCarthy, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L.
McNally, L. [Teller]
Massey of Darwen, B.
Morgan, L.
Morris of Manchester, L.
Murray of Epping Forest, L.
Nicol, B.
Northover, B.
Orme, L.
Patel of Blackburn, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Richardson of Calow, B.
Roll of Ipsden, L.
Shepherd, L.
Shutt of Greetland, L.
Tomlinson, L.
Tope, L.
Walker of Doncaster, L.
Whitaker, B.
Whitty, L.
Wolfson, L.
Young of Old Scone, B.

Resolved in the affirmative, and amendment agreed to accordingly.

26 Mar 2001 : Column 79

7.46 p.m.

Lord Falconer of Thoroton moved Amendment No. 2:

    Leave out Clause 1 and insert the following new clause--

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