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Page 4, line 8, leave out ("farm animals") and insert ("livestock").
Page 4, line 10, leave out ("those animals") and insert ("any such livestock").

The noble Earl said: I spoke to Amendments Nos. 38 and 39 when moving Amendment No. 21. I beg to move.

On Question, amendments agreed to.

The Earl of Lindsay moved Amendment No. 40:

Page 4, line 17, leave out ("or exterminated").

The noble Earl said: In moving this amendment I shall speak also to Amendments Nos. 41, 42 and 46. I have brought them forward in response to suggestions made at Second Reading and during the evidence taken at sessions in Edinburgh. Amendment No. 4 removes the words "or exterminated" from Section 7 of the 1959 Act, which stipulates the measures the commission can promote to control deer in particular areas. I know that was a concern of the noble Lady, Lady Saltoun. It is accepted that the term "extermination" is archaic and has unfortunate connotations in implying large scale killing of deer.

It is, however, necessary to include the option of total exclusion of deer from a particular area, which may not be allowed if we merely remove the words "or exterminated" without allowing specifically for exclusion. Exclusion may be effected by shooting but it could also be effected by driving deer out of the area or by live capture. I beg to move.

Lord Pearson of Rannoch: I welcome the Government's agreement to remove the expressions "exterminate" and "extermination" from the face of the Bill. I believe that we are also debating Amendment No. 42, in which case I would have to ask my noble friend whether he has any idea of the size of area that could have all its deer excluded. I fear that the noble Lord, Lord Mackie of Benshie, will accuse me again of taking

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a flight of fancy, but there are those engaged in the Scottish uplands debate who believe that all the deer east of the A.9 should be removed. That is about the largest area over which I have heard that they should be exterminated.

I am not sure whether there is any indication given in the Bill, or whether my noble friend can give us any assurance, that one is talking about pinpointing problem areas such as new plantations. Once again, I am only dealing with the words on the face of the Bill and on the face of the amendment. At the moment it seems that they could apply to an area east of the A.9, but I am sure that they are not meant to do so.

The Earl of Lindsay: I do not think I can possibly predict the sorts of circumstances that might trigger this consideration by the commission. I have already said what a diverse place Scotland is. We must remember that we are talking about red deer, roe, fallow and sika. One hopes that we will not have too many muntjac in Scotland, but from the way they are invading the southern part of the UK their numbers may well be on the way up as well.

There could be circumstances in the context of control agreements and control schemes where there is a need to try to exclude deer from a small area or less than a small area. The ability with which one could hope to exclude deer, say, east of the A.9 or remove all sika from Scotland is such as to be improbable; it is unlikely that one could ever achieve such an objective, so there will be obvious limitations on the extent to which the commission can suggest total exclusion, given that it is too large an area. It would pose an impossible problem to achieve that. But the discretion of the commission would be driven by the circumstances in which this is applied.

Lord Pearson of Rannoch: I am grateful to my noble friend for that explanation. I agree that it might be difficult, indeed impossible, to exclude all deer, say, east of the A.9. I agree that that is an almost absurd project. Nevertheless, I think that we should apply our minds to clarifying the areas in question a little more precisely. I am quite happy to leave it now, but it seems to me that very large areas could be concerned. A whole deer management group in the area between the A.82 and Loch Laggan and Loch Ericht could be chosen, and it would be perfectly possible to exterminate all the deer in that area, given the powers that exist in the Bill.

The Earl of Lindsay: May I point out to my noble friend that this is within the context of Clause 5: we are dealing with control agreements and control schemes. Control agreements are driven by voluntary participation. Although a control scheme has never been used or put in place since 1959, in the event that one might be there are significant safeguards for owners and occupiers. Indeed, a public inquiry can be insisted upon if an owner is unhappy with the terms of the control scheme. To hope to prescribe the sort

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of area over which exclusion might be sought is difficult but there are very good safeguards for owners and occupiers throughout.

Lord Pearson of Rannoch: That does give some comfort. I will now read carefully in Hansard what my noble friend said and do not propose to pursue the matter further at the moment.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

The Earl of Lindsay moved Amendments Nos. 41 and 42:

Page 4, line 20, leave out from ("number") to ("; and,") in line 21.
Page 4, line 22, at end insert--
("(1A) Where it appears to the Commission that the circumstances obtaining in a particular area require the complete exclusion of all deer, or of all deer of any species, from that area, they may form the view that any deer within that area should be taken, removed or killed.").

The noble Earl said: With the leave of the Committee I shall move Amendments Nos. 41 and 42 en bloc. I beg to move.

On Question, amendments agreed to.

The Earl of Lindsay moved Amendments Nos. 43, 44 and 45:

Page 5, line 24, leave out ("farm animals") and insert ("livestock").
Page 5, line 16, leave out ("that").
Page 4, line 45, leave out ("animals") and insert ("deer").

The noble Earl said: I spoke to Amendments Nos. 43 to 45 when speaking to Amendment No. 21. They are clarifying amendments and part of the consolidation process. I beg to move.

On Question, amendments agreed to.

The Earl of Lindsay moved Amendment No. 46:

Page 5, line 31, leave out from ("the") to ("above") in line 32 and insert ("purposes of subsection (1) or (1A)").

The noble Lord said: I spoke to Amendment No. 46 when moving Amendment No. 40. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendment No. 47 not moved.]

Clause 5, as amended, agreed to.

The Earl of Lindsay moved Amendment No. 48:

After Clause 5, insert the following new clause--

Deer killed under authority of Commission

(". For section 13 of the principal Act (power of Commission to dispose of carcases) there shall be substituted the following section--
"Deer killed under authority of Commission.
13. Without prejudice to sections 6, 10, 11 and 12 of this Act, the Commission shall have no power to dispose of the carcases of deer killed under their authority.".").

The noble Earl said: I spoke to Amendment No. 48 when moving Amendment No. 35 on the disposal of carcasses. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 6 [Close seasons]:

6 Mar 1996 : Column CWH76

The Earl of Lindsay moved Amendment No. 49:

Page 5, line 42, leave out from ("State") to end of line 46 and insert ("--
(a) shall, in relation to the female of every species of deer; and
(b) may, in relation to the male of any species of deer,
by order fix a period in each year during which no person shall take or wilfully kill or injure any deer of the sex and species named in the order; and different periods may be so fixed in relation to different species and in relation to the male and female of any species.").

The noble Earl said: My Lords, Amendment No. 49 is designed to make the setting of close seasons for adult female deer compulsory, but to leave the question of whether close seasons are set for adult male deer a matter for the Secretary of State's discretion, subject to the negative resolution procedure. I hope the amendment meets some of the concerns expressed specifically during the evidence-taking session in Edinburgh.

The wording of the clause in the introduction print of the Bill (which is designed to extend the existing system of setting close seasons by order for all species except red deer, to include red deer as well) followed the empowering provision in Section 21(2) of the 1959 Act.

Much of this amendment is driven by welfare considerations. It is important to have close seasons for adult female deer in any event and it is especially important when they have dependent calves which either may not be seen or may not be visible to the stalker should stalking be allowed during that part of their lifecycle. I have therefore concluded that it would be sensible to ensure that there are always close seasons in place for female deer.

As far as male deer are concerned, we have no intention at present of changing the existing system of setting close seasons for all species of deer. For the present we envisage that any problems relating to overpopulation can be handled through the new control agreement powers in Clause 5 which can allow exemptions from the close seasons for specific purposes in specific areas of Scotland.

Amendment No. 83 is designed to take account of hybrids, especially for the purposes of close seasons. The term "species" will include any hybrid of different species of deer. I beg to move.

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