Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Thirteenth Report


Memorandum by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food


  1. The Committee asked:

    Explain why the definition of "keeper" in Regulation 2(1) refers to "natural or legal person" instead of to "person", given that the Interpretation Act 1978, in Schedule 1, defines "person" in legislation as including a body of persons corporate or unincorporated.

  2. These Regulations provide for the enforcement in Great Britain of Council Regulation (EC) No. 820/97. Article 2 of the Council Regulation defines "keeper" as meaning "any natural or legal person . . . . . . ". The domestic Regulations repeat that definition. Had the Interpretation Act expression "person" been adopted in the domestic Regulations, the result would have been that the provisions relating to "keepers" would be enforceable against unincorporated bodies, which would have exceeded the obligation in the Council Regulation on enforcement.

  3. The Committee asked:

    The power to enter premises conferred on an inspector by regulation 4(1) does not (unlike regulation 10(1) of S.I. 1997/1905) contain an express exclusion for premises used only as a dwelling. It is intended that the power conferred by regulation 4(1) should extend to premises used only as a dwelling? If this is not the intention explain why there is no express exclusion to that effect.

  4. Farm records such as those relating to cattle movements, with which these Regulations are concerned, are often kept in farmhouses, which are dwelling houses. It was thought necessary to include in the Regulations a power of entry to inspect records, and this may entail entering a farm house.

  5. The Committee referred to regulation 10(1) of S.I. 1997/1905. Those Regulations (the Bovine and Bovine Products (Despatch Prohibition and Production Restriction) Regulations 1997) concern international trade in bovine animals, meat and other products derived from them. By way of contrast with the Cattle Identification (Enforcement) Regulations, which apply to farms as well as other premises, the premises in relation to which the power of entry in regulation 10(1) is intended to be exercised comprise business premises such as offices or slaughterhouses, meat cutting plants or warehouses, rather than farms as such.

  6. The Committee asked:

    Explain the circumstances in which, in the form of the Schedule, the age or date of birth of the animal will not be known.

  7. Animals born before 1 July 1996 will not have a passport. If they are male animals born before this date, they may have a Cattle Identification Document for the purposes of the Beef Special Premium Scheme. However, if they are female animals born before 1 July 1996 there may well be no documentary evidence of birth. If they were born on a different holding the keeper would have no way of knowing the date of birth. The same applies to animals imported from outside Great Britain, whether before or after that date.

10th November 1997

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