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Baroness Mallalieu rose to move Amendment No. 13B, as an amendment to the Motion that the House do not insist on its Amendments Nos. 13 to 44 to which the Commons have disagreed for their reasons numbered 13A to 44A, leave out "not".

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, I have spoken to all these amendments with Amendment No. 1.

Moved, as an amendment to the Motion that this House do not insist on its Amendments Nos. 13 to 44 to which the Commons have disagreed for their reasons numbered 13A to 44A, leave out "not".—(Baroness Mallalieu.)

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On Question, amendment agreed to.

Motion, as amended, agreed to.

LORDS AMENDMENT

45 Insert the following new Clause— "Money
(1) Any expenditure incurred by a Minister of the Crown in connection with this Act shall be paid out of money provided by Parliament.
(2) Money received by the registrar by way of fees shall be paid into the Consolidated Fund."
45AThe Commons disagree to this Amendment for the following Reason—
Because it involves a charge on public funds, and the Commons do not offer any further Reasons, trusting that this Reason may be deemed sufficient.

Lord Whitty: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do not insist on its Amendment No. 45 to which the Commons have disagreed for their reason numbered 45A. I have spoken to this amendment with Amendment No. 1.

Moved, That the House do not insist on its Amendment No. 45 to which the Commons have disagreed for their reason numbered 45A.—(Lord Whitty.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

LORDS AMENDMENT

46 Leave out Clause 15 and insert the following new Clause— "Commencement
(1) Parts 1, 1A and 2 and section 13 shall come into force on a day appointed by order made by the Secretary of State by statutory instrument; and different days may be appointed for different purposes.
(2) The Secretary of State may not make an order under subsection (1) before 1st December 2007.
(3) The Secretary of State may not make an order under subsection (1) before he has received a report from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons commissioned by him on the relative pain, suffering or distress caused to wild mammals by hunting with dogs compared with other methods of controlling those wild mammals.
(4) The species of wild mammal included in the report under subsection (3) must include deer, fox, hare and mink."
46A The Commons disagree to this Amendment for the following Reason—
Because it is consequential on Amendments 1 to 10 to which the Commons have disagreed.

Lord Whitty: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do not insist on its Amendment No. 46 to which the Commons have disagreed for their reason numbered 46A.

Moved, That the House do not insist on its Amendment No. 46 to which the Commons have disagreed for their reason numbered 46A.—(Lord Whitty.)


    46B

Lord Mancroft rose to move, as an amendment to the Motion that this House do not insist on its Amendment No. 46 to which the Commons have

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disagreed for their reason numbered 46A, at end insert, "but do propose Amendment 46C in lieu thereof—

46C Leave out Clause 15 and insert the following new Clause—


"Commencement
(1) This Act shall come into force on a day appointed by order made by the Secretary of State by statutory instrument; and different days may be appointed for different purposes.
(2) The Secretary of State may not make an order under subsection (1) before 1st December 2007.
(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 14, an order under this section shall not be subject to parliamentary proceedings.""

The noble Lord said: My Lords, this amendment relates to the enactment of the Bill. As your Lordships will be aware, the Government clearly do not regard this as an urgent Bill, even though for some reason they think that the Parliament Act should apply, because it is their intention that the Bill should not be enacted for some 18 months. My understanding of the reason for that is not entirely clear. However, early on in proceedings, some weeks ago, the Minister, Mr Michael, implied on the radio that it was something to do with the welfare of hounds. I do not find that a credible excuse.

I suspect that the real reason, as I think your Lordships will agree, relates more to the European Convention on Human Rights and in particular to the Select Committee's report. I think that most of your Lordships will agree—I believe that it is widely accepted—that the Bill both at Second Reading in another place and at Second Reading in your Lordships' House should not really have had the certificate on human rights. It is quite clear that the present Bill is in breach of human rights and that the only thing that will put it back within it is the Government's 18-month delay period. That is the first and main reason.

The second reason, which is also now perfectly clear, is that the Government wish to delay the enactment of the Bill to avoid any civil disobedience, disruption or difficulties they might face during a general election campaign. The delay that the Government have proposed is therefore for their own convenience and for nothing else.

It has been suggested in the newspapers this morning that those of us who are opposed to the Bill intend to move what I think is described in some of the broadsheets as a "kamikaze" amendment. I do not think that that would be a very sensible idea. The proposal that we are making to your Lordships this evening is to delay the enactment of the legislation for three years, until December 2007, which is almost the same as an amendment that we proposed at an earlier stage of the Bill, although we have excluded that the Secretary of State should need to commission research by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. That was probably not an appropriate thing to do at this stage.

Real welfare problems are involved in the enactment of the Bill, and not just the welfare of the quarry species. As the noble Baroness has already told the

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House, there are welfare issues around hounds. As she also said, there are welfare issues around the horses. That was specifically drawn to our attention this evening by the letter to the Minister from the British Horse Society, making it clear that his views on what will happen to horses in hunting are quite inaccurate. It has raised with him some very serious welfare issues of which I have no doubt your Lordships will wish to take note.

There are other welfare issues, such as the welfare of all the people involved in hunting. As we all know, it is very difficult for people to change their standard of living and their lifestyle very quickly in any way at all. It is therefore appropriate for them to be given a reasonable length of time. Most noble Lords would agree that three years fitted that bill.

We debated the final point—the deer management problem—at length on Report. It is specific to the West Country. It is widely accepted—the Minister accepted it and the noble Lord, Lord Burns, drew attention to it—that Exmoor is a unique and unusual place, to put it mildly. The herd of red deer on Exmoor is completely unique; there is no other herd like it in the United Kingdom. There are other herds of red deer, but they are nothing like the way they are in Exmoor. It has been said by everyone—the Porchester report, Exmoor National Park, the Minister, the Burns report, the Phelps report—that it would be deeply irresponsible to change the current system of management of the deer, which is centred around the stag hounds, without putting in place another system.

It is worth remembering that 30 per cent of the deer that the stag hounds take each year are injured or ill deer—they are nothing to do with hunting. Most are either poached and wounded, or involved in car accidents. In the absence of the stag hounds, no one has any ability at all to deal with those injured deer, which is a significant welfare problem. There are a very large number of small landowners down there; they all need to work together. The Government, particularly Mr Elliot Morley, have drawn attention to the fact that the local deer management group is the most successful such group in the United Kingdom, and it will take a very considerable time—certainly three years—to put anything else in place.

That is why—there are other similar reasons—we need the delayed enactment. The Bill is thoroughly objectionable, as the Prime Minister knows. It is not urgent; the Government have told us so. The 18-month period is pure political expediency. My amendment is logical and reasonable, and I invite the House to accept it.

Moved, as an amendment to the Motion that the House do not insist on its Amendment No. 46 to which the Commons have disagreed for their reason numbered 46A, at end insert, "but do propose Amendment No. 46C in lieu thereof".—(Lord Mancroft.)


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