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Hunting Bill - continued        House of Commons
SCHEDULE, HUNTING WITH DOGS: PROHIBITION - continued

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  PART II
  EXCEPTIONS
 
Stalking and flushing out
 7. - (1) It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under paragraph 1 to prove that-
 
 
    (a) the conduct to which the charge relates consisted of stalking a fox, hare or rabbit, and
 
    (b) the conditions in this paragraph were met.
      (2) It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under paragraph 1 to prove that-
 
 
    (a) the conduct to which the charge relates consisted of flushing a fox, hare or rabbit out of cover, and
 
    (b) the conditions in this paragraph were met.
      (3) The first condition is that the stalking or flushing out was undertaken-
 
 
    (a) for the purpose of protecting livestock, fowl (including wild fowl), game birds or crops,
 
    (b) for the purpose of obtaining meat to be used for human or animal consumption, or
 
    (c) for the purpose of enabling a bird of prey to hunt the mammal after it was found or flushed out.
      (4) The second condition is that the stalking or flushing out did not involve the use of a dog below ground.
 
      (5) The third condition is-
 
 
    (a) that reasonable steps were taken for the purpose of ensuring that as soon as possible after being found or flushed out the fox, hare or rabbit would be shot dead, and
 
    (b) in particular, that any dog used in the stalking or flushing out was kept under sufficiently close control to ensure that it did not prevent or obstruct achievement of the objective mentioned in paragraph (a).
      (6) The third condition does not apply to stalking or flushing out undertaken for the purpose mentioned in sub-paragraph (3)(c).
 
      (7) The fourth condition is that the stalking or flushing out took place entirely on land-
 
 
    (a) which belonged (within the meaning of paragraph 22) to the person doing the stalking or flushing out, or
 
    (b) which he had been permitted to use for that purpose by someone to whom the land belonged (within the meaning of that paragraph).
 
Rodent control
 8. - (1) It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under paragraph 1 to prove that-
 
 
    (a) the conduct to which the charge relates consisted of hunting rodents, and
 
    (b) the conditions in this paragraph were met.
      (2) The first condition is that the hunting did not involve the use of a dog below ground.
 
      (3) The second condition is that the hunting took place entirely on land-
 
 
    (a) which belonged (within the meaning of paragraph 22) to the person doing the hunting, or
 
    (b) which he had been permitted to use for that purpose by someone to whom the land belonged (within the meaning of that paragraph).
 
Retrieval of game
 9. It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under paragraph 1 to prove that the conduct to which the charge relates consisted of retrieving a rabbit or hare which had been shot.
 
 
Recapturing animals
 10. - (1) It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under paragraph 1 to prove that-
 
 
    (a) the conduct to which the charge relates consisted of searching for an animal which had escaped or been released from captivity or confinement, and
 
    (b) the conditions in this paragraph were met.
      (2) The first condition is that the search did not involve the use of a dog below ground.
 
      (3) The second condition is-
 
 
    (a) that reasonable steps were taken for the purpose of ensuring that as soon as possible after being found the animal would be recaptured or shot dead, and
 
    (b) in particular, that any dog used in the search was kept under sufficiently close control to ensure that it did not prevent or obstruct achievement of the objective mentioned in paragraph (a).
      (4) The third condition is that the animal-
 
 
    (a) had not been released for the purpose of being hunted, and
 
    (b) had not, for that purpose, been permitted to escape.
 
Rescuing animals
 11. - (1) It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under paragraph 1 to prove that-
 
 
    (a) the conduct to which the charge relates consisted of searching for an animal which the accused believed was or might be seriously injured, and
 
    (b) the conditions in this paragraph were met.
      (2) The first condition is that the search did not involve the use of a dog below ground.
 
      (3) The second condition is that the search was undertaken for the purpose of relieving the animal's suffering.
 
      (4) The third condition is that-
 
 
    (a) reasonable steps were taken for the purpose of ensuring that as soon as possible after the animal was found appropriate action (if any) would be taken to relieve any suffering, and
 
    (b) in particular, that any dog used in the search was kept under sufficiently close control to ensure that it did not prevent or obstruct achievement of the objective mentioned in paragraph (a).
 
Multiple defences
 12. It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under paragraph 1 to prove that the conduct to which the charge relates consisted entirely of activities in respect of each of which a defence under paragraphs 7 to 11 was available.
 
 
Power to alter defences
 13. - (1) The Secretary of State may by order amend this Part of this Schedule so as to add, amend or remove a defence in respect of an offence under paragraph 1.
 
      (2) An order under this paragraph-
 
 
    (a) shall be made by statutory instrument,
 
    (b) shall not be made unless a draft has been laid before and approved by resolution of each House of Parliament,
 
    (c) may make consequential amendments to this Schedule,
 
    (d) may make transitional provision, and
 
    (e) may make incidental provision (including provision conferring jurisdiction on a court).
 
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