HUNTING BILL |
17. This bill prohibits hunting wild mammals
with dogs in England and Wales, unless the hunting is covered
by one of the exemptions set out in Schedule 1. It also prohibits
all hare coursing events.
The Delegated Powers
18. The bill contains a delegated order-making
power at clause 2(2). There is also provision for a code of practice
at paragraph 2(5)(e) of Schedule 1. These are both explained in
a memorandum from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural
Affairs. The memorandum is printed at Annex 2 to this Report.
19. This is a Henry VIII power enabling the Secretary
of State to amend Schedule 1 to the bill so as to vary a class
of exempt hunting. The power is subject to affirmative procedure.
We take the view that the delegation and the level of Parliamentary
scrutiny are appropriate. In particular we note that:
the power cannot be used to add entirely new classes
or abolish existing ones; and
the scope of the exemptions is, as the Department
suggests, likely to require amendment from time to time, especially
as this is a new scheme.
Paragraph 2 of Schedule 1
20. Paragraph 2 sets out the conditions which
must be met if use of a dog below ground in the course of stalking
or flushing out is to be lawful. Three specific conditions are
in paragraph 2(2) to (4). The more general conditions in paragraph
1 relating to stalking and flushing out also apply, but one of
those conditions (in paragraph 1(7)) is replaced by the condition
set out in paragraph 2(5)(a) to (e). Paragraph 2(5)(e) provides
that the manner in which the dog is used must comply with a code
of practice issued or approved by the Secretary of State.
21. Although the code of practice will have the
force of law backed by a criminal sanction and is, in our view,
a form of delegated legislation, there is no requirement that
it be published, or that it be laid before Parliament or subject
to any Parliamentary procedure. We recognise that often matters
of such detail do not call for a Parliamentary procedure. IN
22. WE DRAW
21 ABOVE. THERE