House of Commons - Explanatory Note
Animal Welfare Bill - continued        House of Commons

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Schedule 3- Minor and consequential amendments

Schedule 4- Repeals


Effect on public expenditure and public service manpower

210.     It is not anticipated that the Bill will entail any substantial changes in public service expenditure or manpower. HM Treasury was consulted during the preparation of the Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA).

Costs to business and regulatory impact

211.     The Regulatory Impact Assessment, issued alongside the Bill, estimates that the Bill will not place undue additional burdens on businesses, but that it promotes good welfare and best practice in the keeping of animals which all such keepers are already adopting. The additional burdens that are proposed relate mainly to the regulation of certain industries (details are set out in the RIA). The Regulatory Impact Unit and Small Business Service have been involved in the preparation of the RIA.

European Convention on Human Rights

212.     The Secretary of State has made a statement under section 19 of the Human Rights Act 1998 that the Bill is, in her view, compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.

213.     The provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights that are relevant to the Bill are Article 1 of the First Protocol (right to the peaceful enjoyment of possessions), Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) and Article 6 (right to a fair trial).

214.     Article 1 of the First Protocol to the Convention: animals are a form of property covered by this provision. We consider that the provisions of the Bill that regulate the manner in which animals are kept and the powers which it confers to deprive a person of his animals or to destroy them are justified in the public and general interest and are proportionate.

215.     Article 8 ECHR - right to respect for private and family life: The Bill provides powers of search and entry which are justified for the prevention of crime and the protection of morals. They may only be exercised subject to a range of safeguards. For example, in relation to parts of premises that are used as private dwellings a warrant issued by a justice of the peace is necessary unless those premises are specified in a licence

216.     Article 6 - right to a fair trial: rights of appeal exist in relation to all provisions which give rise to a determination of civil rights and obligations, whether under the Bill or in existing legislation governing court procedure. Where an order affecting the owner's interests in an animal is made in proceedings brought against a third party, the owner has a right to be heard, provided he can be located by reasonable efforts.


217.     Clause 62 sets out the Bill's commencement provisions.

218.     Clauses 55 (Orders and regulations), 61 (Extent), 62 (Commencement) and 63 (Short title) will come into force on the day on which the Bill receives Royal Assent.

219.     Clauses 40-44 (Scotland) will be brought into force by commencement orders made by the Scottish Ministers.

220.     All other provisions will be brought into force by orders made by the Secretary of State or the National Assembly for Wales.

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

13 October 2005

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Prepared: 14 October 2005