HL Deb 13 May 1976 vol 370 cc1074-134

Report received.

Clause 1 [Restriction of importation and exportation of certain annuals and plants]:

4.37 p.m.

Baroness STEDMANmoved Amendment No. 1: Page 1, line 20, leave out from ("kinds") to end of line 22 and insert ("to which Schedule 1 to this Act for the time being applies;").

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, it might be for the convenience of the House if, in speaking to this Amendment, I spoke at the same time to Amendments Nos. 2, 10, 14, 19 and 20. The effect of this series of Amendments is to secure reverse listing in the Schedules generally and to introduce the revised version of Schedule 1 which reverses lists of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. Amendments Nos. 1 and 2 simply remove the references in Clause 1(1) to columns in Schedules and provide for references to the Schedules themselves. Amendment No. 10 puts it beyond doubt that the Secretary of State can by order introduce reverse listing or revert to simple listing and can alter the lists of excepted species. Amendments Nos. 14 and 20 are simply consequential.

When we debated the Amendment of the noble Lord, Lord Craigton, in Committee, the advantages of reverse listing were discussed and I think we reached a large measure of agreement; I will not therefore repeat the arguments today. However, I should perhaps describe how Schedule 1 is now arranged and explain the ideas that lie behind it. The revised Schedule I is divided into two parts The first, which contains mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, is reverse listed. The second part is simple listed and contains fish, insects and molluscs. The original sequence of groups, starting with those which are most advanced in an evolutionary sense, is thus maintained. For legal purposes it is necessary to use the scientific names of the species which alone give sufficient precision and clarity.

I have been mindful of the need to make the lists as understandable as possible, especially to traders. We have therefore introduced common names in the cross headings. These correspond generally but not exactly to orders and families. We have also inserted common names for the species where we can and the lists are complete for the well-known excepted species but incomplete for the restricted species which are rare and less well-known. I should like to draw your Lordships' attention to the footnote to Schedule 1, which makes it clear that the common names are for guidance only.

A great deal of work and consultation has gone into the preparation of these lists and I should like to pay tribute to the help given to us by traders and by the voluntary bodies. But inevitably there will still be some omissions or errors and I should welcome your Lordships' comments. We have no intention at present of altering the format of Schedule 2. Reverse listing appears to be impracticable. There are few common names and the family name is the most useful guide to the kind of plant.

In Schedule 3 each paragraph is logically independent and can be dealt with separately. The Government intend later to bring forward Amendments to paragraph 20, which deals with plumage, in order to revise the list of excepted species of birds. We are also considering whether it would be feasible to control mammal skins on the reverse listing principle and to bring Schedule 3 more into line with Schedule I by introducing common names. We are also still considering whether it would be appropriate to use italics for scientific names in accordance with accepted practice. I beg to move.


My Lords, it takes a long time to complain in this House and it takes a very short time to say thank you. I should like to say thank you not only on behalf of your Lordships but also on behalf of all the conservation bodies in this country. We are very grateful to the noble Baroness and I am sure that, with a few exceptions, we shall be content to leave the schedule to the Department of the Environment and the scientific authorities, who will do what is right. I thank the noble Baroness very much.


My Lords, I, too, should like to reiterate the thanks expressed by my noble friend. I feel that the noble Baroness and her Department have listened with great wisdom and taken the advice of the House as a whole, and I am sure that they will have made the life of the Customs and Excise authorities a great deal easier by so doing.

Viscount MONCK

My Lords, may I also add my thanks and congratulations to the noble Baroness for having succeeded in doing what I first asked the Government to do when the noble Lord, Lord Wynne-Jones, introduced his Bill?—that is, to include the English equivalent, where possible. There is one small note of sadness. I am sorry to see that the Government have not been able to find the English for my old friend Bufo bufo—and that has nothing to do with the noble Earl who sits on the Liberal Benche—sand it is a small blot on the escutcheon. I thank and very warmly congratulate the noble Baroness.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Baroness STEDMANmoved Amendment No. 2:

Page 2, line I, leave out from ("kinds") to end of line 3 and insert ("to which Schedule 2 to this Act for the time being applies;").

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

4.44 p.m.

Lord STOW HILLmoved Amendment No. 3:

Page 2, line 8, at end insert— ("( ) Without prejudice to any penalty imposed by any enactment, and in particular without prejudice to the imposition of penalties under the Customs and Excise Act 1952 (notwithstanding the provisions of sections 45(3), 56(4) and 304 of that Act), any person who, knowing of or reckless as to its nature, is in any way concerned in the importation or exportation of anything mentioned in subsection (1) above, except in accordance with the terms of a licence issued under subsection (2) above, shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £400 or to imprisonment not exceeding 3 months, or to both.")

The noble and learned Lord said: My Lords, this Amendment appeared on the Marshalled List at the Committee stage of the Bill and my noble friend Lady Stedman kindly said that she would look into the points which I then ventured to raise before the present stage of the Bill. She has certainly done so and, I have no doubt, has considered those points with the greatest care. Unhappily, it has not been possible to find what I may describe as an accommodation which would meet the point of view which she had and that which I ventured to put before the Committee. So the matter comes again before your Lordships' House for reconsideration in its original form.

I do not believe that I should be very usefully occupying the time of the House were I to repeat in any detail the longish argument which I put to the House when sitting in Committee. Very briefly, however, I remind the House that the point of the Amendment is that it is accepted that, as the Bill is at present drawn, the only prosecuting authority is the Customs and Excise, under the provisions of the Customs and Excise Act 1952. As the Bill stands, nobody else can approach the courts in order to take up any particular case which, in the judgment of that person, seems to require judicial consideration. The broad point is that there is danger of the Bill failing in its objective if the very many conservation organisations which take a keen and active interest in the general objective of the Bill, and particularly in the preservation of species that are endangered, cannot take up individual cases in order to make sure that offenders are brought to justice, abuses stopped and the attention of the public in general directed to the situation which the organisation seeks to raise by its prosecution.

Broadly speaking, I believe that I shall be interpreting the view of my noble friend Lady Stedman correctly if I say that her anxiety is that if one can have two possible prosecuting sources—namely, the Customs and Excise and the voluntary conservation bodies—prosecutions by the Customs and Excise may be seriously impeded and there may be general muddle. I believe that this is the broad basis of the anxiety which has prevented my noble friend from making any concession to the point of view which I put before the Committee. That is one view, and it is clearly a view of great importance. I do not deny that for a moment. However, I submit that the other point of view is also of great importance and, if it is not in some way given place in the drafting of the Bill, I put it to the House that there is a danger of a major objective of the Bill not being achieved and of the Bill not getting anywhere near providing protection for endangered species the protection of which is a matter of great concern to very many well-meaning people, who hate to think that animals and birds can be endangered because they or that which is derived from them is used, notwithstanding that it has not been thought appropriate to license their importation or exportation.

I should like to make the following general comment, having reminded the House of the broad conflict of view. I accept at once that the Customs and Excise is composed of serious and responsible people of high principle and that they have extremely important duties to fulfil. I also accept that they ought not to be impeded in the fulfilment of their duties. Having said that, however, I believe that it is equally the case that, when considering the membership of the voluntary conservation societies, those bodies are also composed of people who are public spirited and well-intentioned and who do not rush into prosecutions merely because it suits their whim. They are not what we used in the old days to call angry young men and angry young women. They are sensible people, too. So we are dealing with the Customs and Excise, which is made up of sensible people with one approach to these problems, and with the conservation bodies who also are sensible people, but with a completely different approach and objective. It is not in the least designed to interfere with the Customs and Excise. On the contrary, it is an objective which aims to achieve what I should have thought was a very deep purpose which lies behind the whole of this projected legislation. On the danger of a prosecution by the voluntary conservation bodies impeding or bringing confusion into a prosecution by the Customs and Excise, I would simply say that we are dealing with two groups of perfectly sensible people.

It is unreasonable to suppose that if they both act according to their instincts, their common sense, their sense of public duty, their sense of pity, their sense of general obligation, they will fall foul of each other, one will get in the way of the other, and there will be a kind of unseemly general clash in their proceedings. That is most unlikely. I would go further. From the point of view of the conservation authorities your Lordships may well think that the last thing in the world they would want to do would be to undertake a prosecution which was likely to fail; a foolish prosecution; a prosecution which would seem to be wholly unjustifiable, and which would result in the public thinking that they were the kind of people who had some bee in their bonnets and who delighted in wasting public time. Those are not the kind of people one is dealing with. One is dealing on both sides with decent people who have honourable motives and common sense, by which they are guided. I respectfully submit to my noble friend that her apprehensions are not justified when one considers the actual situation.

I hope that I have not re-expounded the argument at too great a length. I know that I have not convinced my noble friend. Unless other views prevail, I feel that I ought, in due course—after other noble Lords intervene, if they wish—to invite the House to express an opinion on this matter in the Division Lobby. I do it with reluctance. I do not wish to impede or hold up the proceedings, but I feel it to be a plain duty upon me to invite the opinion of the House. Perhaps the view which I am putting will not be acceptable. If that is so, I shall be told so in most certain terms by figures which are easy to read. But it may well be that my noble friend will find that there is more feeling in favour of the point of view I am putting forward than, perhaps, she suspects. I beg to move.


My Lords, I agree with everything the noble and learned Lord said, including his closing sentences about dividing the House. What is this Bill about? Surely it is an attempt by mankind to prevent the destruction forever of species which, unless we do something, will disappear off the face of the earth. This is not a matter which, for whatever good reasons, could rightly be left to a Government Department with wide other interests, when there are so many other people, including conservation bodies of whom the noble and learned Lord spoke, who are willing to help sensibly. I assure the noble Baroness that I agree with the noble and learned Lord when he said—and I wrote down the words—that there is a danger of the Bill failing in its object unless private prosecutions are allowed. There are so many ways of getting round the terms of the Bill otherwise. Thus I beg the noble Baroness to say that she will consider the matter and so prevent us taking the action we shall otherwise have to take.


My Lords, I also wish to support my noble and learned friend Lord Stowhill and the noble Lord, Lord Craigton, on this matter. If we are serious about the Bill, and if we want to be sure that it will operate, we should allow private prosecutions, because to leave the whole matter with the Customs and Excise would be to leave a task which is of vital importance to the carrying out of the Bill in the hands of people who have a vast number of other jobs to do and who cannot be expected to police every shop in the country and watch exactly where all these species are being dealt with and sold. I know that the Customs and Excise has a very ancient history. I suppose it goes back to a time almost earlier than the origins of the kind of ordered government to which we have been accustomed in this country. I think I am right in saying that the Customs and Excise goes back beyond the foundation of the United States of America, the bicentenary of which we are now celebrating. Perhaps those involved in Customs and Excise at that time were the people who were responsible for founding the United States by the actions of Customs and Excise.

Nevertheless, Customs and Excise, from the nature of its activities, could not effectively be able to police or control the purposes of the Bill. Therefore, I strongly support my noble friend Lord Stow Hill. I hope that my noble friend Lady Stedman, who has done such a remarkable job in getting the Bill this far, will be able to help us a little further and ensure its effective implementation.


My Lords, I have strong reservations about the right of private prosecutions. I believe that in some circumstances such a right can be abused, and that different forms of pressure and intimidation can be brought to bear. I recall how strongly I objected to the idea of private prosecutions in the case of the Bill relating to cinematograph and indecent displays. In that case, it was not difficult to see the kind of intimidation that could be brought to bear on a newsagent, bookseller, or anyone else who might display a publication or other matter which could be proceeded against under Act of Parliament. We know that some people have almost made a business of pursuing private prosecutions. I do not want to mention any names in this connection, but those who keep a watch on these matters see how, at any rate in some fields, the right of private prosecution can be viewed with some misgivings. I do not suppose that in the conservation of endangered species people will get all worked up as they do over indecent displays and other matters affecting the emotional side of sexual morals. Nevertheless, I believe that the principle is important.

Notwithstanding my reservations, I shall support the Amendment, because I hope that if it were included in the Bill it would be acceptable to the Government to remove the right of any person to take proceedings on his own account (as is proposed in the Amendment) and substitute that with the names of acceptable conservation bodies. I made this suggestion during the Committee stage, and I believe that there is much to be said for giving the right of private prosecution to responsible bodies working in this field, whose motives would be free of any criticism.

I entirely agree with my noble friend Lord Stow Hill, and other noble Lords who have spoken, that to leave the right of prosecution exclusively in the hands of the Customs and Excise would be to reduce the likelihood of prosecutions in a number of cases where there would, in fact, be grounds for taking them. That is why wider vigilance is desirable, but to scatter this around the whole of the population and give people the right to prosecute their next door neighbour, or anyone else whom they feel has transgressed the Bill after it becomes an Act, would be to carry the matter too far. That is what I feel about it. Some compromise would probably be generally acceptable to everybody, perhaps, except the Government, and if the rest of the House is in favour of something then the Government do not matter. I think the will of the House should prevail if it feels that way; but I must express my reservations on the right of private prosecutions.


My Lords, I should merely like to say that my point of view is rather similar to that of the noble Lord, Lord Houghton of Sowerby. I appreciate the action of the Government in defending the view of the Customs and Excise. They have to support this point of view as much as they can, because the Customs and Excise are a very important body in the enforcement of Government excise policy, in the collection of revenue and in watching out at the ports. It will become very hard for the Customs and Excise if this Amendment which has been moved by the noble Lord, Lord Stow Hill, is not accepted. The Customs and Excise are not really very suitable for finding things or for initiating prosecutions in inland areas, though they are very good at dealing with things at airports and ports. The noble Lord, Lord Shepherd, may laugh, but we like to think they are good. They try hard. But if the noble Lord laughs at their being good at that, how much more should he laugh at their being good at places inland. So I think that if the House passes this Amendment it will at least partly concentrate the mind of the Government on bridging this gap between the views of the House and those of the Customs and Excise authorities, and I think that this is an exercise which is well worth while carrying out.


My Lords, I spoke at the Committee stage on a similar Amendment, and I do not want to repeat the arguments that I made then; but I do want to ask the Government if they will very carefully consider the compromise which has been proposed by the noble Lord, Lord Houghton of Sowerby. He has an extraordinary genius for compromises, as was shown in the proposal he made when we were discussing the rights of the Press and the rights of journalists. I want to suggest this. I am not sure that we are yet adjusting ourselves to the development of democracy in this country; that is, that we are getting at the root organisations of people particularly concerned in issues—organisations which are contributing enormously to public opinion on the issues in which they are concerned. I think this applies particularly to conservation societies. If one looks back over the last few years at the pressures which they have exerted in advancing proposals of benefit to the nation, of benefit to the beauty of our countryside and of benefit to the species of wild life and strange life, their efforts really have been a contribution to our nation. That is taking place in other spheres as well; and the time will come when Governments will have to recognise the contribution which these kinds of organisations are making to the dynamic democratic life of our country. I hope very much that this proposal will be accepted.

The Earl of ONSLOW

My Lords, I think there is one point which does not seem to have been mentioned so far. I should very much like to support the noble Lord, Lord Stow Hill, in this Amendment. The one point which would underline its importance is that a member of a conservation society is more likely to be able to know what a blue walleye perch is, whereas a member of the Customs and Excise is probably less likely to know. If there is some illegal animal which is found in a shop or in son-le other form of sale, this Amendment could possibly even tend to make sure that a prosecution is brought, and brought effectively, as opposed to waiting for a Customs and Excise official to come along who, even then, will perhaps not be able to recognise the animal. By this, I do not want to imply any criticism of the Customs and Excise. What I should like to say is that this will enable the conservation authorities to act as a great help to the Customs and Excise; and, knowing what a kind and good heart the noble Baroness, Lady Stedman, has, I am sure she will listen with great sympathy to what we have all said.

Baroness STEDMAN

My Lords, this afternoon my heart is not kind enough to go all the way with your Lordships. I think that, in speaking to this Amendment, with the leave of the House and, I hope, with the approval of the noble Lord, Lord Mowbray and Stourton, I may also perhaps refer to Amendment No. 5, which is to come, because they are very similar and it will save my repeating myself at that stage. I was aware, and was deeply conscious at Committee stage, of the feeling of your Lordships about this Amendment, and, indeed, I have been made even more conscious of it this afternoon. I assure your Lordships that we have sought a compromise and that we have had long hours of consultation on this particular set of Amendments. Both the Amendments are designed essentially to permit private prosecution in relation to imports and exports which are illegal under this Bill. The general trend of argument in support of these Amendments in Committee was that it was unreasonable to expect the Department of Customs and Excise to take the kind of personal interest in the enforcement of the provisions of this Bill which the voluntary organisations will doubtless regularly take, and that too much might be thrown upon Customs and Excise, so that it should be made possible for action to be taken by interested bodies.

No evidence has been brought forward that the policing of the controls for conservation purposes by Customs for very many years has been inadequate; and owing to the inadequacies in the private means of collection of evidence, the enforcement of the Bill would be prejudiced, in our view, if this Amendment were accepted. As the House will know, the Customs and Excise have been charged by Parliament with the enforcement of numerous prohibitions and restrictions in relation to import and export. The legal provisions in their own Acts have been in existence for many years, and their experience of enforcing prohibitions is considerable. I am no lawyer, my Lords, but I am advised that the jurisprudence in relation to their statutes is conveniently set out in Volume 12 of Halsburv's Laws of England, of which the noble and learned Lord, Lord Hailsham, is editor-in-chief. Both those in the Customs and Excise who deal with enforcement and the public at large and its advisers are aware of the provisions and the jurisprudence, as well as of the powers and resources of the commissioners of Customs and Excise, to which I referred recently in my speech at Committee stage.

It may here be convenient if I refer briefly to the legal position in relation to what has been termed "point of sale". Evasion of a prohibition has been held by the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) to be a continuing offence, and the decisions of the courts show that offences against Section 304 of the Customs and Excise Act 1952 may be committed, whether in relation. on the one hand, to goods which are dutiable or, on the other hand, in relation to goods whose import is prohibited, at any time or place after importation of the goods into the United Kingdom. These authorities are set out in the volume of Halsbury to which I referred earlier.

From a technical point of view the Amendments would not attract any of the enforcement provisions in the Customs Acts. Also, the first of them would provide for the offence to be summary; that is, it would not enable an accused person to elect trial by jury if he so desired, which is the case under the equivalent provisions in the Customs Act, and the period of limitation within which proceedings would have to be taken if they were not to be out of time would be six months, under the Magistrates' Courts Act, contrasted with the period of three years, which is the limitation period laid down in Section 283 of the Customs and Excise Act 1952. Private individuals, or bodies, will have no power to ask questions which the questioned person is obliged to answer. they will have no power to take possession of any item alleged to be prohibited and in the country, in contravention of the provisions of the Bill; and none of the onus of proof provisions in Section 290 of the Customs and Excise Act 1952 will be applicable.

Even if it were legally possible for both Customs and private organisations to have power to prosecute, some thought would have to be given to the practical consequences. A Customs prosecution usually results from a painstaking inquiry which can take quite a long time. If a private prosecution were brought before the inquiry was completed, it would almost certainly be lost for lack of evidence, and Customs would then be unable to prosecute, so that the time and effort spent on the inquiry would be wasted.

It is therefore natural that Customs would be unwilling to commit resources to such inquiries, in view of this risk. Conversely, if the inquiry showed the person to be innocent and Customs indicated this to him, he would feel justifiably annoyed if proceedings were taken against him by another organisation, and Customs may even be open to an accusation of bad faith. Provision for private prosecution could therefore effectively prevent Customs from prosecuting in any case.

Apart from technical difficulties which might well in practice have the effect of making the proposed clause a dead letter, there is a further objection on the ground of basic principle. It is this: in relation to import and export offences, Parliament has consistently over many years required the enforcement of prohibitions and restrictions, whether on import or export, to be in the hands of a public authority—today, actually a Department of State. I do not here need to refer to the Director of Public Prosecutions who has power, as your Lordships will know, himself to take over and conduct penalty proceedings by any Government Department. The reason for this is that it has been considered important in the interest of the citizen that the decision whether or not to put a citizen on trial should be taken by a public authority. It is a decision which has been consistently maintained for many years in relation to import and export and the Government are not prepared, in the context of another prohibition among many, to depart from it. That, my Lords, is the crucial point. Is the citizen to be brought before the courts following a decision of a public authority, when there are offences for which the punishment of imprisonment is possible and he has a right to elect trial by his peers, or is the decision to put him in peril to be taken by some private individual who can put a fellow citizen in peril of imprisonment without responsibility as a public Department, or without accountability, through Ministers, to Parliament?

My Lords, may I refer, in addition, to the position in Scotland in relation to the taking of the decision to institute penalty proceedings. In that country that decision is taken by the Procurators Fiscal, or the Lord Advocate, whichever enforcement authority is charged with the investigation and the preparation of the case. Private prosecutions are not taken in Scotland. The Bill is to apply throughout the United Kingdom; so that the result of the insertion of this clause, if your Lordships so decide, will be to permit private prosecutions in England alone. For my part, I can see no reason for making such a distinction between the enforcement in each country of a provision common to both, in implementation of an International Convention to which the United Kingdom, as one whole, is a signatory.

I do not want to overstate the case, because there may well be instances where,

Resolved in the affirmative, and Amendment agreed to accordingly.

5.25 p.m.

Viscount MASSEREENE and FERRARDmoved Amendment No. 4:

in limited and closely defined circumstances, certain outside organisations may have limited powers. But in the case of this proposed clause the object of which is to enable private prosecutions to take place for what are, in effect, Customs offences, the Government cannot do other than move that the proposal be rejected when responsibility lies with a public Department supported by long experience and clear jurisprudence, used to enforcing prohibitions of a varied kind, and for whose activities, both during the investigations and also for its decisions, Ministers may be called to account. I ask your Lordships to reject this Amendment.

5.15 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said Amendment (No. 3) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 66; Not-Contents, 31.

Alport, L. Ferrers, E. Morris, L.
Amherst of Hackney, L. Fraser of Kilmorack, L. Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Aylestone, L. Gainford, L. Netherthorpe, L.
Balfour, E. George-Brown, L. Norwich, V.
Birdwood, L. Gray, L. Nugent of Guildford, L.
Blake, L. Greenway, L. Onslow, E.
Brecon, L. Hamnett, L. Phillips, B.
Brockway, L. Hanworth, V. Platt, L.
Chorley, L. Hawke, L. Porritt, L.
Clitheroe, L. Hornsby-Smith, B. Rankeillour, L.
Craigavon, V. Houghton of Sowerby, L. Redesdale, L.
Craigton, L. [Teller.] Hylton-Foster, B. Robbins, L.
Cromartie, E. Inglewood, L. St. Davids, V.
Cullen of Ashbourne, L. Killearn, L. Sempill, Ly.
de Clifford, L. Kinnoull, E. Skelmersdale, L.
de Freyne, L. Lloyd of Hampstead, L. Stow Hill, L. [Teller.]
Denham, L. Long, V. Strang, L.
Dulverton, L. Longford, E. Sudeley, L.
Dundee, E. Lyell, L. Wall, L.
Elliot of Harwood, B. Macleod of Borve, B. Ward of North Tyneside, B.
Emmet of Amberley, B. Massereene and Ferrard, V. Willis, L.
Evans of Hungershall, L. Meston, L. Wynne-Jones, L.
Airedale, L. Donaldson of Kingsbridge, L. Oram, L. [Teller.]
Amulree, L. Douglas of Barloch, L. Ritchie-Calder, L.
Banks, L. Elwyn-Jones, L. (L.Chancellor.) Segal, L.
Beaumont of Whitley, L. Gaitskell, B. Shepherd, L. (L. Privy Seal.)
Birk, B. Henley, L. Shinwell, L.
Bradwell, L. Jacques, L. Stedman, B.
Collison, L. Kennet, L. Stewart of Alvechurch, B.
Cooper of Stockton Heath, L. Leatherland, L. Strabolgi, L. [Teller.]
Darling of Hillsborough, L. Llewelyn-Davies of Hastoe, B. Wallace of Coslany, L.
Davies of Leek, L. Ogmore, L. Wigoder, L.
Derwent, L.

Page 3, line 14, at end insert— ("(8) In this section, "dead" includes preserved in any manner, eviscerated, and an incomplete specimen prepared in such a way that it still externally resembles the dead animal or plant.")

The noble Viscount said: My Lords, in speaking to Amendment No. 4 I should also like to speak to Amendments Nos. 28 and 29 because these are consequential on Amendment No. 4. Amendments No. 28 and 29 are to omit paragraphs 16 and 18 of Schedule 3. Paragraph 16 says: The dried body of any animal of any of the families Alligatoridae and Crocodylidae.

Paragraph 18 reads: The preserved body of any animal of the subspecies Atelopus varius zeteki".

The object of Amendment No. 4, coupled with these Amendments, is to make it clear that animals and plants which are dried, pickled or otherwise preserved are included within the term deal animal or dead plant. Unless this is stated specifically in the Bill, this may be a matter of doubt. If paragraphs 16 and 18 in Schedule 3 are retained in the Bill, it appears clear that preserved specimens are not included because those paragraphs specifically control certain types of preserved bodies of specified kinds of animals. The implication of that is surely that these preserved bodies are not otherwise covered. That does not automatically include preserved bodies. It is for that reason that I have put down Amendments Nos. 28 and 29 because if paragraphs 16 and 18 of Schedule 3 are not struck out, I believe that preserved, dried or pickled specimens could slip through the Act.

The most likely people to import preserved bodies are museums. Any reputable museum could obtain a licence and would have no difficulty in importing these specimens. There may be certain types of collectors who might not be so reputable. They might want to bring in preserved rare specimens, such as rare butterflies, which if dead are restricted. The same argument applies to an eviscerated animal, what we call in Scotland gralloched, if it is a stag. It is an animal, bird or fish whose guts are removed. This argument also applies to birds and stuffed animals. But it is surely illogical to control the import of dead animals—as this Bill does—to be stuffed and put on display if you do not also control the import of animals already stuffed and ready for display. I agree that might lead to difficulties with imported animals which have been stuffed before the Bill becomes law. It would be up to the importer to prove that these animals have been killed and stuffed before the Bill becomes law. For exhibitions and museums I can see no difficulty, because licences could be granted. I beg to move.

Baroness STEDMAN

My Lords, as the noble Viscount has said, this Amendment needs to be considered with Amendments Nos. 28 and 29. The effect of these Amendments would be to extend the coverage of Schedules 1 and 2, which at present cover whole live or dead animals and plants, to preserved, eviscerated and incomplete specimens, provided they still resemble the complete animal or plant. Dead animals and plants were included in Schedules 1 and 2 to comply with the Convention.

Those preserved dead bodies which we thought to be significant in trade and capable of recognition have been listed as parts or derivatives in Schedule 3. There is inevitably a measure of duplication between Schedules 1 and 3. This Amendment will undoubtedly extend the area of duplication. It will also place controls on the preserved bodies of many more species. I do not think those are serious objections, and I am prepared to accept the Amendment on the understanding that we shall want to consider further the precise wording. We accept its intention.


My Lords, I should like to thank the noble Baroness. I beg leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

5.30 p.m.

Lord MOWBRAY AND STOURTONmoved Amendment No. 5:

Page 3, line 14, at end insert— ( ) A person handles unlicensed goods, if knowing or believing them to be items unlawfully imported by virtue of this section, he dishonestly receives the goods, or dishonestly undertakes or assists in their retention, removal, dispersal or realisation by, or for the benefit of another person, or if he arranges to do so. ( ) A person guilty of handling unlicensed goods shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £400 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding three months, or on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or a fine, or both.

The noble Lord said: My Lords, this is the Amendment put down at Committee stage by my noble friend Lord Mansfield, who regrets that he cannot be here himself to take part in this Report stage since he has to be in Scotland on business. The Amendment has an addition which my noble friend himself mentioned on moving it previously, namely that it will now be possible to take an offender to a higher court and impose penalties of two years' imprisonment or an unlimited fine. This Amendment is complementary to that moved by the noble Lord, Lord Stow Hill, and which has just been accepted by your Lordships, to punish illegal import and export. The Amendment of the noble Lord, Lord Stow Hill covers activities at the ports of entry. This Amendment applies to people further inland who deal in illegally imported goods. Between the two of them, therefore, they cover most of the possibilities of wrongful possession of endangered species.

The wording of this Amendment closely follows Section 22 of the Theft Act 1968, which deals with the handling of stolen goods, often still known by its old name of "receiving stolen goods". The idea is that just as no one should knowingly deal in stolen goods, no one should knowingly deal in unlicensed endangered species. As my noble friend Lord Mansfield stressed at the Committee stage, this Amendment will not penalise innocent people, such as a lorry driver who may have no idea that his cargo is unlicensed or even rare, but only those who know what they are doing.

This Amendment allows anyone to prosecute; and that includes the conservation bodies, the police and even Customs and Excise, if they so choose. However, the point of having the Amendment is that Customs are not really the proper people to control unlicensed goods in the shops. The most sensible way of dealing with that would be for those individuals who are concerned and who suspect an offence to notify the local police on the spot, who could then investigate, if necessary getting information from Customs; but they are clearly the right people to investigate. If, however, the police decide not to prosecute but, for example, the conservation bodies feel there is a point of principle which the courts ought to consider, they can take up the matter themselves.

Without this Amendment, the only available offences will be under the Customs and Excise Act, which means that only Customs can prosecute and both the police and the conservation bodies would be cut out. We all know that Customs cannot increase their staff to deal with litigation over the complicated problems which might arise, and the voluntary bodies would be very happy to sort out any difficult matters out of their own general funds. Therefore, the possibility offered by this Amendment is that of keeping a stricter control over endangered species at no cost to the public purse. If the Bill remains as it stands it will not affect public funds, because Customs simply will not be able to pay more staff to do the work, but it will quite possibly affect the world's stock of rare species, which is a resource this Bill is supposed to protect. I beg to move.


My Lords, I should like to support this Amendment. As the noble Lord has pointed out, it covers a great deal of the ground covered by the Amendment which the House has just carried, but it has one special and particular feature. So far as I read the Customs and Excise Act 1952, it contains no provision which can lead to the prosecution of a person who dishonestly and fraudently deals in imported matter, unlicensed, knowing that that is the case, and after it has passed through the Customs barrier.

I reread the argument that took place on the Committee stage of this Bill, when the same Amendment was moved and discussed. I also read the speech of my noble friend Lady Stedman in reply. If she will allow me to say so, the only real answer that I thought she gave was that it was quite unnecessary to have this power because a power to do precisely what the Amendment sought to achieve is already contained in existing legislation. I am sure it is my fault; but I do not know of any such power.

May I ask my noble friend a direct question: will she please tell me what section of what Act of Parliament enables a prosecution to take place of a person who knowingly deals in matter which has passed through Customs when without licence, and dishonestly does so by selling it or moving it or dealing with it in some way? What power is there? I do not know of any such power. I confess I may have missed it, because I have not had the opportunity of going through all the volumes of Halsbury to which my noble friend referred when she was dealing with the last Amendment but one; if she will be so very kind as to tell me in what section of what Act there is a power to prosecute a person who dishonestly, fraudently, deals in, moves, adapts and generally handles matter which has been passed through the Customs without licence, I should be very glad to know it. If she could point to such a power, I would have thought that the Amendment loses a great deal of its force, but I would ask the specific question: where is that power?

This Amendment is modelled on a very similar provision of the Theft Act; in effect, receiving stolen goods. So far as I know, in the Customs and Excise Act, although there are plenty of powers to prosecute for fraudulent evasion of the Customs prohibition, there is no power to go after a person who after the goods have gone through the Customs barrier, proceeds fraudently to deal with them, either for his own advantage or for someone else's. Therefore, I should be very grateful if my noble friend would indicate to me the section that is referred to here. I am sure that my noble friend's advisers must have told her of such a power; otherwise she would not have felt able to give the advice to the House that she gave last time. I hope she will be able to tell me what is the section.

Baroness STEDMAN

My Lords, I do not want to repeat all the arguments, which are as relevant to this Amendment as they were to Amendment No. 3. But, in response to my noble and learned friend Lord Stow Hill, I explained when replying to the earlier Amendment that evasion of a prohibition has been held by the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) to be a continuing offence, and the decisions of the courts show that offences against Section 304 of the Customs and Excise Act 1952 may be committed, whether in relation on the one hand to goods which are dutiable, or on the other hand to goods whose import is prohibited, at any time or in any place after importation of the goods into the United Kingdom. I should have thought that that was sufficient for Customs to act upon, and Customs is the only body that has readily available information about imports and exports.

I said in Committee that we wanted the co-operation of the voluntary bodies. if they will come to my Department and say "Such-and-such a shop or such-andsuch a person has possession of these items. Have they been issued with a licence?", then, provided that they can produce a good reason for making the inquiry, my Department will give them information as to whether or not a licence has been issued. I thought I had given the assurance in Committee, that if we found that someone had any goods, parts or derivatives, or anything which he should not have, and did not have a licence, then my Department would deal with the matter promptly and would ask for the promptest and best co-operation of the Customs and Excise, which we have been assured we should have. In the light of that assurance, I hope that the noble Lord will see his way clear to withdraw the Amendment.


My Lords, I am very grateful to the noble Baroness, but I really do not see how her arguments are any more germane to this Amendment than they were to that of the noble and learned Lord, Lord Stow Hill. I should still like to test the feeling of the House on this Amendment.

5.42 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said Amendment (No. 5) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 73; Not-Contents, 19.

Alport, L. Gainford, L. Onslow, E.
Amulree, L. George-Brown, L. Orr-Ewing, L.
Auckland, L. Gray, L. Phillips, B.
Balfour, E. Greenway, L. Platt, L.
Banks, L. Hanworth, V. Porritt, L.
Beaumont of Whitley, L. Hawke, L. Rankeillour, L.
Boyd of Merton, V. Henley, L. Redesdale, L.
Brecon, L. Hornsby-Smith, B. St. Aldwyn, E.
Brockway, L. Houghton of Sowerby, L. St. Davids, V.
Carrington, L. Hylton-Foster, B. St. Just, L.
Chorley, L. Killearn, L. Sempill, Ly.
Clitheroe, L. Lloyd of Hampstead, L. Shinwell, L.
Craigton, L. Long. V. [Teller] Skelmersdale, L.
Cromartie, E. Longford, E. Stow Hill, L.
Cullen of Ashbourne, L. Macleod of Borve, B. Strathspey, L.
de Clifford, L. Massereene and Ferrard, V. Sudeley, L.
de Freyne, L. Merrivale, L. Taylor of Gryfe, L.
Denham, L. Monck, V. Wall, L.
Douglas of Barloch, L. Morris, L. Ward of North Tyneside, B.
Eccles, V. Mottistone, L. Wigoder, L.
Elles, B. Mowbray and Stourton, L. [Teller.] Willis, L.
Elliot of Harwood, B. Winstanley, L.
Evans of Hungershall, L. Northesk, E. Wynne-Jones, L.
Foot, L. Norwich, V. Young, B.
Fraser of Kilmorack, L. Nugent of Guildford, L.
Aylestone, L. Jacques, L. [Teller.] Ritchie-Calder, L.
Bradwell, L. Kennet, L. Shepherd, L. [L. Privy Seal.]
Collison, L. Leatherland, L. Stedman, B.
Cooper of Stockton Heath, L. Llewelyn-Davies of Hastoe, B. Stewart of Alvechurch, B.
Davies of Leek, L. Mais, L. Strabolgi, L.
Douglass of Cleveland, L. Oram, L. [Teller.] Wallace of Coslany, L.
Gaitskell, B.

Resolved in the affirmative, and Amendment agreed to accordingly.

5.50 p.m.

Lord WYNNE-JONES moved Amendment No. 6:

Page 3, line 14, at end insert— (" (7A) It shall be the duty of the Secretary of State—

  1. (a) to maintain a register of licences issued under subsection (2) above, and of certificates issued in pursuance of subsection (7B) below;
  2. (b) to secure that the register is open to inspection by the public free of charge at all reasonable hours; and
  3. (c) to afford members of the public reasonable facilities for obtaining from the Secretary of State, on payment of reasonable charges, copies of entries in the register.")

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I beg to move Amendment No. 6. This Amendment is designed to bring in at the end of Clause 1 a subsection that would require the Secretary of State to maintain a register of licences, to secure that the register is open to inspection by the public, free of charge, and to afford to members of the public reasonable facilities for obtaining, on payment of reasonable charges, copies of entries in the register. With regard to the last Amendment, my noble friend Lady Stedman mentioned that only the Department would have the information upon which action could be taken.

The purpose of Amendment No. 6 is to ensure that such information would be available so that people who were interested—particularly the conservation societies—could obtain the necessary information about licences. If I may refer to the following Amendment, Amendment No. 7 permits any individual applicant for a licence to ask the Secretary of State for exemption from the requirement that the information on the licence should be made public. This would be allowed only if there were a serious reason for it. Amendment No. 7 is designed to cover the case which has been mentioned previously, where commercial secrecy might make it undesirable for the details of licences to be generally published. However, quite clearly the purpose of Amendment No. 6 is to make available such information as is required in order to control and check the proper dealing with all the substances which are covered by this Bill.

My noble friend Lady Stedman has mentioned already that certain assurances were given, but I should like to press her a little further on this point. If satisfactory assurances are given and my noble friend considered that it was impracticable, I should not wish to press this Amendment to a Division. At the same time, I believe that the purpose of the Amendment is important. It is essential that information should be made available to those people who are interested in the enforcement of the Bill when it becomes an Act of Parliament. I hope, therefore, that my noble friend will be able to go into a little more detail than was possible at the Committee stage and reassure the House that we shall indeed be able quite readily to obtain information from her Department.

Baroness STEDMAN

My Lords, as my noble friend Lord Wynne-Jones has said, we discussed at Committee stage the Amendments moved by him and by my noble friend Lady White which would have had the effect of making available for public inspection detailed information about licences, except where a certificate of exemption had been issued. The Amendments now before the House are in similar terms, and, like my noble friend, I should like to look at both of them together.

I am ready to repeat the assurance I gave then, that if an individual or body contacts the Department of the Environment, gives the name of the assumed importer of an Appendix I species, identifies himself and gives a good reason for his inquiry, my officials will be prepared to say whether or not a licence has been issued. We have considered the matter deeply since the Committee stage and I am prepared to extend that assurance in certain circumstances to cover Appendix II species as well as Appendix I. If, for example, the country of origin were to place a ban on the export of an Appendix II species, its status would become similar to that of an Appendix I species. I am also prepared to say that where conditions have been attached to a licence then, in the circumstances I have des cribed, my officials will be prepared to say what those conditions are.

I must stress, however, that we cannot divulge an importer's name. The person applying for the information must already know it, or suspect it. Nor can we publish the actual register of licences. I repeat that commercial confidence must be protected and traders' sources of supply safeguarded. I hope that this assurance will allow my noble friend to withdraw his Amendment. We have appreciated the opportunity of consultation with him since the Committee stage, and I hope he will now be satisfied with what we propose.


My Lords, I am grateful to my noble friend. She has effectively met all the points which were raised at the Committee stage and which I have just again raised. Therefore, with permission, I beg leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 2 [Scientific authorities]:

5.57 p.m.

Lord CRAIGTONmoved Amendment No. 8:

Page 3, line 19, at end insert (" and he may by order exempt such a body or bodies from the provisions of section 1 of this Act").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I beg to move Amendment No. 8 and, by leave of the House, to speak to Amendment No. 9 at the same time. This is a quite simple point. I believe that something has been left out of the Bill. When at the Committee stage the noble Baroness moved the new Clause 2 on page 3 she allowed that the Secretary of State may (b) assign to any other body or bodies the duty referred to in subsection (4) below". Therefore, the noble Baroness allowed herself the right to appoint not only a scientific body but a body such as the Natural History Museum to act as though it were a scientific body. At col. 495 of Hansard the noble Baroness referred to this scientific body which she intends to use as an advisory body, and said: It is his intention"— that is, of the Minister"— to 'designate' these bodies formally after the Bill becomes law,"—[Official Report; 4/5/76; col. 495]

There are bodies which quite properly should be freed from the obligation to comply with this Bill. Again, it might even be the Natural History Museum. However, it would be quite a nonsense to apply formally for a licence to import bits of an animal, or scientific specimens.

Even at this stage, therefore, the noble Baroness has not given an undertaking to designate such a body. However, I put it to your Lordships that the designation of a body for the purpose of freeing it from the provisions of the Bill should be public knowledge and should be discussed in the proper way, as happens with all Acts of Parliament. Therefore, after Section 2(1)(b) by which the Secretary of State may assign to any other body or bodies the duty referred to in subsection (4), my Amendment would insert: and he may by order exempt such a body or bodies from the provisions of section 1 of this Act". This gives to the noble Baroness powers which she does not now possess to exempt from the Bill the body which she is going to use as a scientific body, and to add to it other scientific bodies which may not necessarily advise her but which, quite rightly and properly, should be exempted from the Bill. I feel that both Parliament and the public should have in proper form any exemptions from this Bill, be it a scientific body that advises the noble Baroness, or simply a scientific body that is doing a good job. I beg to move.

Baroness STEDMAN

My Lords, this Amendment, as the noble Lord has said, should be considered together with his Amendment No. 9 and they would allow the Secretary of State by order to exempt scientific authorities from the need to obtain licences. The Convention allows, but it does not oblige, party States to grant exemption from licensing for specimens exchanged between scientific institutions in different countries. I understand that the noble Lord probably has it in mind to designate all reputable scientific institutions.


No, my Lords.

Baroness STEDMAN

My Lords, I beg the noble Lord's pardon—but if so it would seem invidious to exempt one or two institutions and not others that were similar, and I do not think the Secretary of State could contemplate assigning the functions of a scientific authority to a host of institutions for no reason other than to grant them exemption.

We have looked at the possibility of exempting scientific institutions in general and we have concluded that it would be unnecessarily complex to translate this exemption into a satisfactory provision in the Bill. We would have to consult and make decisions as to which scientific authorities can be regarded as reputable and it would seem to us to be easier to proceed by administrative action. The only significant amount of exchange appears to be in herbarium specimens of pressed plants. I can assure the noble Lord that it will not be necessary for licences to be obtained for individual consignments, and if scientific specimens are to be exempt I think I should want to take this back and look at it again. At the moment, I could not accept the noble Lord's Amendments.


My Lords, it is through no fault of the noble Baroness that we have had only a very short while to look at these matters. I am content to withdraw my Amendment because I believe that what I have said will be found to make sense when the noble Baroness and her officials study it. It was the last intention in the world of mine that she should give a blanket exemption to all institutions. This is something we do not want. That is why it is much better to do it in a formal way and put it in the Bill. Having said that, I beg leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 3 [Power to modify Schedules 1 to 3.]:

Baroness STEDMANmoved Amendment No. 10:

Page 4, line 34, at end insert— ("(e) to facilitate the more effective or more convenient administration of any restriction which is for the time being imposed by virtue of this Act on the importation and exportation of animals or plants of any particular kind or of any particular items.")

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, I beg to move Amendment No. 10, to which I have already spoken.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

6.3 p.m.

Baroness STEDMANmoved Amendment No. 11: After Clause 3 insert the following new clause: Power to restrict ports at which live animals may be landed.

—(1) If it appears to the Secretary of State desirable to do so for the purpose of assisting the discovery of any importation contrary to section 1 above of any live animal of any of the kinds to which Schedule I to this Act for the time being applies, he may by order provide that, subject to such exceptions as may be specified in the order, it is prohibited to import any live animal of any kind specified in the order uness—

  1. (a) the animal is imported at a port, or one of the ports, specified in the order in relation to animals of that kind, or
  2. (b) the Secretary of State authorises the animal to be imported at some other place.
  3. (2) Any order under this section may be varied or revoked by a subsequent order thereunder.
  4. (3) The power conferred by this section to make any order shall be exercisable by statutory instrument which shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, this Amendment should be considered with Amendment No. 31. These Amendments would give the Secretary of State power to restrict by order the ports of entry at which a live animal could be imported. Noble Lords will remember our discussion of this subject at Committee stage. I said that it might be possible to consider some form of permissive power, and I am moving this Amendment now as a result of these considerations.

This Amendment resembles closely Amendments Nos. 12 and 13. But it makes clear that the power to restrict ports is being provided as an aid in enforcing the controls of the Bill. We are not yet convinced that restricting ports would ease identification problems, and noble Lords will remember the arguments which I put forward at Committee stage. But we accept that future experience might show that these restrictions were desirable, and we wish to have the power available. Other arguments have been put forward on animal welfare grounds. We can appreciate the feeling behind them. But the scope of the Bill will allow us to consider the welfare of endangered species only. If restrictions are to be brought in for the welfare of common animals, they will have to be inserted in a more appropriate Bill.

The Amendment would allow the power to be exercised by Statutory Instrument, which could be varied or revoked at any time. It would also permit the Secretary of State to make exceptions, either generally in the order or specifically in any particular case. It is important to provide for an animal which needs to reach its destination by the shortest possible route to use an undesignated port. I note that the noble Lord, Lord Craigton, has proposed this sort of provision in his Amendment No. 13. In the light of what I have said, I hope the House will accept this Amendment, and perhaps the two succeeding ones might be satisfied. I beg to move.


My Lords, I should like to thank the noble Baroness for the way in which she has met this point. I am well aware that parts of my Amendment No. 12 were defective, but I will reserve detailed comments on that until it is called. In the meantime, I am happy with Amendment No. 11 in so far as it goes.


My Lords, I am delighted to welcome this Amendment and I thank my noble friend for introducing it, because it is one of the points which was raised in my original Bill. I am very glad to see it now.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Lord MOWBRAY and STOURTONmoved Amendment No. 12:

After Clause 3, insert the following new clause: Restriction of importation and exportation to specified ports. —(1) The Secretary of State may by order provide that the importation or exportation of any kind of live animal shall, in any or specified circumstances, be prohibited, unless landed or despatched at one of the ports as specified in the order. (2) An order under subsection (1) above shall be made by statutory instrument, subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament, and may be varied or revoked by a subsequent order. (3) A person in breach of an order made under subsection (1) above shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £400, and the animal shall be liable to forfeiture under the Customs and Excise Act 1952.

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I must apologise to the House for what I am now going to do, but in my own defence must say that I saw the Marshalled List only this morning and have not had much time to study it as I had other things to do. What I should like to do now is this. I have expressed my pleasure, and the House has expressed its pleasure, at Amendment No. 11, which we have now passed and is the new clause. I should now like to insert the third paragraph only of my Amendment No. 12. It would read: Insert after the new clause: (3) A person in breach of an order … and so on. I understand from the Table that I am in order in doing this, and I apologise for not having had a moment to tell the noble Baroness what I intended to do. The only objection which I had to her Amendment was that I felt it did not go quite far enough, because by not making a breach a specific offence it makes any import in breach of the order a Customs offence; that is, it can be prosecuted only by Customs and Excise. All the arguments advanced on the other Amendments for private prosecution also apply. The Government have been defeated 66 to 31 and 73 to 19 on Amendments Nos. 3 and 5, and what I am doing is directly in line with those Amendments which your Lordships have approved.

In addition, it is likely that conservation organisations, or animal welfare organisations who tend to co-operate with conservation organisations in such matters, are very likely to obtain relevant information and ought to be in a better position than the Customs to give evidence, for example that the animal was of a particular species. The Customs argument, that in private matters they would have all the important information, therefore would not apply and in my opinion that tells against the Customs. Therefore, I suggest that we should do what is in line with what the House has done. We have already moved exactly the same principle in the second part of Amendment No. 5. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— (3) A person in breach of an order made under subsection (1) above shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £400, and the animal shall be liable to forfeiture under the Customs and Excise Act 1952.")—(Lord Mowbray and Stourton.)

Baroness STEDMAN

My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord for explaining why he wants this particular addition and, as he has said, we have accepted the principle of his Amendment. We were not happy about the wording of his Amendment as it then stood, and the part which he now wants to add to the Government Amendment provides for the penalty of a final forfeiture under the Customs and Excise Act for the breach of an order.

We do not consider that it is necessary to spell out a specific penalty here. If the animals are brought into an undesignated port, they become illegal imports and they will be subject to the Customs penalties in any case. I think it is unlikely that a prosecution or a seizure would be desirable if the import was otherwise in order. As the noble Lord says, we have not had time for any consultations about this. I hope that what I have said will lead him to see that we think that it is perhaps unnecessary. But if the noble Lord wants to press it, I would be happy to take it back and have another look at it.


My Lords, I am most grateful to the noble Baroness. If she is willing to take this back and have another look at it, and perhaps have a word with me before Third Reading next Thursday, it would give us all time. I do not like putting things down on Third Reading, but the point has been aired. I do not want to have more pains and penalties in the Bill than we need, so I will leave it at that, and beg leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 4. [Restriction of movement of certain live animals after importation.]:

6.11 p.m.

Baroness STEDMANmoved Amendment No. 14: Page 4, line 43, leave out from ("kinds") to ("and") in line 44 and insert ("to which Schedule 1 to this Act for the time being applies")

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, I spoke to this Amendment with Amendment No. 1. I beg to move.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Lord MOWBRAY and STOURTONmoved Amendment No. 15:

Page 5, line 9, at end insert— ("(1A) The Secretary of State shall keep available, for public inspection at all reasonable times, a register of directions given under subsection (1) above.")

The noble Lord said: My Lords, this is exactly the same Amendment as I moved in Committee, which I put down again. I have read the answer of the noble Baroness, Lady Stedman, and I am not totally convinced as to why this should not be. I do not regard it as being a similar Amendment to that of the noble Lord, Lord Wynne-Jones, which he withdrew, because I do not see that in this case there is any commercial gain to be won by the information to outside parties. I cannot see what harm it can do to outside parties.

The only objection I can see is that it might cause busy men to have to spend time giving information to people who they might consider were being unnecessarily Clizzy-Lizzy. If, as I believe, there is a danger of people moving animals unnecessarily once they have been imported, and probably for wrongful purposes—I instanced the other day the example of animals being moved from a zoo to a safari park—with the intention of persuading people that the young animals they moved from the zoo had really been reared in a safari park, and if someone suspected these animals were not being born in a safari park and had not got the ability to ask for this information, I do not see how that safari park could be faulted with regard to the implication that they were rearing animals. This is only one small example; there are others which noble Lords can think of for themselves. Apart from the little time involved, and I do not regard it as more than a little time, this Amendment is not going to cause many inquiries. I should like to hear the further views of the noble Baroness. I beg to move.

Baroness STEDMAN

My Lords, I have considered the points the noble Lord, Lord Mowbray and Stourton, made when we debated this type of Amendment in Committee. It is quite true that directions are generally made only in respect of Appendix I animals, and no commercial interest is involved. But the information contained in the register will be simply the whereabouts of an animal, and this is something an inquirer presumably will normally already know.

When we discussed Amendment No. 6 I said that in certain circumstances we could reveal to a bona fide inquirer facts about the conditions attached to a licence. I am certainly prepared to extend this undertaking to include the fact as to whether or not a movement direction has been imposed. I think this procedure might prove to be simpler and cheaper than having to maintain a register publicly available. I think it might be less tempting to irresponsible inquirers to indulge in random snooping. It would certainly mean some expense on staff, and on accommodation in which to keep the register where people could go and consult it. Also, there would be an element of expense in producing such a register. I hope that, in the light of this, the noble Lord, Lord Mowbray and Stourton, will see fit to withdraw his Amendment.


My Lords, as usual, I am grateful to the noble Baroness. Far be it from me or the Party I represent to wish to impose on the Government any more expenditure; that would be the last thing I would wish to do, unless there was a good reason behind it. I think the explanation the noble Baroness has given is reasonable. If, on mature consideration, my friends do not regard it so, no doubt my friends in another place can deal with it accordingly. I beg to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Lord CRAIGTONmoved Amendment No. 16: Page 5, line 30, after ("premises") insert ("having suitable conditions for care as are approved by the scientific authority")

The noble Lord said: My Lords, the noble Earl, Lord Cranbrook, is sick, and has asked me to put down once again an Amendment in line with the one he moved towards the end of the Committee stage, at col. 444 of Hansard, At that time, the noble Earl put down a fairly long Amendment, laying out in some detail the type of accommodation required. I will read to your Lordships, and especially to the noble Baroness, Lady Stedman, what she said in reply. The noble Baroness said: Clearly, these are highly laudable aims and the Government are in sympathy with them. But it does not seem necessary and, indeed, I think it is undesirable, to spell them out in the Bill. There is always a danger that, if certain conditions are spelt out, doubt is thereby cast upon the Government's power to impose others not so specified. The Convention requires that the scientific authority shall be satisfied that the proposed recipient of a living specimen is suitably equipped to house and care for it before it issues an import licence…".—[Official Report, 4/5/76; col. 445.]

As the noble Earl did not then have the opportunity of knowing the newly-worded clause of the noble Baroness about describing scientific premises, I felt he would like me simply to say such premises, …having suitable conditions for care as are provided by the scientific authority", the word "care" covering all the things my noble friend wanted to put in. This may seem slightly frivolous, but it seems to me that the serious point is that nowhere in this clause is the Secretary of State obliged to consult the scientific authority on this matter of suitable care. He can consult the scientific authority about the issuing of a licence, but nowhere is he empowered to consult about care. On those two grounds, I beg to move.


My Lords, I support this Amendment. It seems to me to pinpoint exactly what is meant by the International Convention. It is taking what is stated in the International Convention and putting it straight into the Bill, making this an absolute legal requirement. I would think that there is not only nothing to lose by this but a great deal to gain by having it so clearly stated. I hope the Government will be prepared to accept the Amendment.

Leave out Schedule 1 and insert—

This Schedule applies to the following kinds of animal, namely:—
1. All kinds of mammal except the kinds specified in the first column below—
Excepted kind Common name or names
Macropus giganteus Eastern grey kangaroo
Macropus fuliginosus Western grey kangaroo
Talpa europaea Common eurasian mole
Macaca rhesus Rhesus monkey
Macaca nemestrina Pig-tailed monkey
Cercopithecus aethiops Velvet monkey
Rabbits and hares
Lepus catensis Brown hare
Oryctolagus cuniculus European rabbit (otherwise known as domestic rabbit)

My Lords, I should like to support this Amendment. The care of animals generally is being increasingly invested in councils. They have powers of inspection of boarding kennels, breeding kennels, pet shops, everything. Councils, in this case, are not the people who should have the powers: the scientific authorities are the people who should have them.

Baroness STEDMAN

My Lords, as noble Lords will have gathered when we discussed this Amendment in Committee, the Government would comply with this provision in any case. The Convention provides for this type of approval. We have looked at it again, and still do not consider it necessary for it to be stated overtly in the Bill. In the interests of co-operation, and because Parliamentary Counsel have a few minor doubts about drafting, I would be happy to consider it.


My Lords, on that assurance, I beg leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Schedule 1 [Animals the importation and exportation of which are restricted]:

6.20 p.m.

Baroness STEDMANmoved Amendment No. 19:

Sciurus carolinensis Grey squirrel
Sciurus vulgaris Eurasian red squirrel
Castor Canadensis Canadian beaver
Rattus norvegicus Common rat (otherwise known as laboratory rat)
Rattus rattus Ship rat
Mus musculus House mouse (otherwise known as laboratory mouse)
Meriones unguiculatus Clawed jird (otherwise known as Mongoliangerbil)
Any domestic form of Mesocricetus auratus Domestic golden hamster
Any domestic form of Ondatra zibethicus Domestic muskrat (otherwise known as musquash)
Cavia porcellus Domestic guinea pig
Any domestic form of Chinchilla laniger Domestic chinchilla
Myocastor coypus Domestic coypu (otherwise known as Nutria)
Canis familiaris Domestic dog
Vulpes vulpes Common fox and silver fox
Alopex lagopus Artie fox
Procyon lotor North American raccoon
Procyon cancrivorus Crab-eating raccoon
Mustela vison North American mink
Mustela fivo Domestic ferret
Martes zibellina Sable
Felis catus Domestic cat
Callorhinus ursinus Northern fur seal
Odd-toed ungulates
Equus caballus Domestic horse
Equus asinus Domestic donkey
Equus caballus x assinus Mule and hinny
Even-toed ungulates
Any domestic form of Sus scrofa Domestic pig
Lama glama Domestic llama
Lama pacos Domestic alpaca
Any domestic form of Camelus bactrianus Domestic bactrian camel
Camelus dromedaries Arabian camel
Cervus elaphus Red deer
Dama dama European fallow deer
Any domestic form of Rangifer tarandus Domestic reindeer
Any domestic form of Bubalus bubalis Domestic water buffalo
Bos taurus Domestic ox
Bos indicus Domestic zebra
Bos frontalis Domestic gayal
Any domestic form of Bos grunniens Domestic yak
Any domestic form of Capora hircus Domestic goat
Ovis aries Domestic sheep
2. All kinds of bird except the kinds specified in the first column below—
Excepted kind Common name or names
Perdix perdix Common partridge
Alectoris Partridges
Lophortyx californica California quail
Colinus virginianus Bobwhite quail
Coturnix Quails
Excalfactoria chinensis Painted quail (otherwise known as blue-breasted quail
Bambosicola theracica Bamboo partridge
Gallus gallus Red junglefowl
Rollulus roulroul Roulroul partridge
Phasianus colchicus Common pheasant
Phasianus versicolor Green pheasant
Lophura hycthemera Silver pheasant
Syrmaticus reevesi Reeve's pheasant
Chrysolophus Golden pheasants and Amherst pheasants
Pave cristatus Indian peacock (otherwise known as blue peacock)
Numida Spotted guineafowls
Grus antigone Sarus crane
Anthropoides virgo Demoiselle crane
Balearica pavonina Crowned crane
Button quails
Turnix Button quails
Porphyrio porphyrio Purple gallinule
Laterallus laucopyrrhus Red and white crake
Pigeons and doves
Colomba guinea Speckled pigeon
Streptopelia Typical doves
Cena capensis Masked dove
Turtur Wood doves
Chalcophaps indica Green-winged dove
Geopelia striata Barred dove
Geopelia cuneata Diamond dove
Ocyphaps lophotes Crested bronzewing
Phaps chalcoptera Common bronzewing
Phaps elegans Brush bronzewing
Zenaida auriculata Eared dove
Columbina Small America ground doves
Trichoglossus haematodus Rainbow lorikeet
Cacatua sulphurea Lesser sulphur-crested cockatoo
Cacatua moluccensis Salmon-crested cockatoo
Cacatua roseicapilla Galah (otherwise known as roseate cockatoo)
Ara ararauna Blue and yellow macaw
Ara macao Red and yellow macaw
Ara chloroptera Red and green macaw
Nandaya nanday Black-headed conure
Myiopsitta monachus Monk parakeet (otherwise known as quaker parakeet)
Cyancliseua patagonus Patagonian conure
Forpus Parrotlets
Brotogeris Small South American parakeets
Psittacus erythacus African grey parrot
Piocephalus senegalus Senegal parrot
Poicephalus ruppelli Ruppell's parrot
Agapornis Lovebirds
Loriculus Hanging parrots
Psittacula eupatria Alexandrine parrot
Psittacula krameri Rose-ringed parrot
Psittacula himalayana Slaty-headed parrot
Psittacula cyanocephala Plum-headed parrot
Psittacula roseate Blossom-headed parrot
Psittacula longicauda Long-tailed parrot
Psittacula alexandria Moustached parrot
Amazona aestiva Blue-fronted Amazon
Amazona ochrocephala Yellow-headed Amazon
Neophema elegans Elegant parakeet
Neophema chrysostoma Blue-winged parakeet
Neophema pulchella Turqoisine parakeet
Neophema bourkii Bourke's parakeet
Psephotus haernatonotus Red-rumped parakeet
Platycercus eximius Northern rosella
Platycercus elegans Crimson rosella
Nymphicus hollandicus Cockatiel
Melopsittacus undulates Budgerigar
Lamprotornis African glossy starlings
Spreo superba Superb starling
Sturnus malabaricus Malabar starling
Sturnus pagodarum Pagoda starling
Sturnus roseus Rose-coloured starling
Sturnus contra Pied starling
Sturnus burmanicus Jerdon's starling
Auridotheres Typical mynahs
Gracula religiosa Hill mynah
Garrulus glandarius Jay
Garrulus lanceolatus Lanceolated jay
Cyanocorax yncas Green jay
Urocissa erythrorhyncha Red-billed blue magpie
Cissa chinensis Hunting cissa
Dendrocitta vagabunda Rufous tree-pie
Corvus Crows
Garrulax albogularis White-throated laughing-thrush
Garrulax leucolophus White-crested laughing-thrush
Garrulax menileger Lesser necklaced laughing-thrush
Garrulax pectoralis Greater necklaced laughing-thrush
Garrulax rufogularis Rufous-chinned laughing-thrush
Garrulax canorus Hwamei laughing-thrush
Garrulax sannio White-cheeked laughing-thrush
Garrulax erythrocephalus Red-headed laughing-thrush
Leiothrix argentauris Silver-fared mesia Leiothrix lutea Pekin robin
Minla cyanoptera Blue-winged siva
Heterophasia capistrata Black-headed sibia
Yuhina Yuhinas
Pycnonotus Typical bulbuls
Chloropsis aurifrons Golden-fronted fruitsucker
Irena puella Fairy bluebirds
Copsychus saularis Asian magpie-robin
Copsychus malabaricus Shama
Zoothera citrina Orange-headed ground thrush
Niltava sundana Rufous-bellied niltava
Acceptor Dunnocks
Zosterops palpebrosa Oriental white-eye
Icterus icterus Troupial
Serinus serinus Common Serin
Serinus lercopygius White-rumped seed-eater
Serinus atrogularis Yellow-rumped seed-eater
Serinus mazambicus Green singing finch
Carduclis sinica Chinese greenfinch
Carduelis spinoides Himalayan greenfinch
Spinus magellanicus Black-headed siskin
Carpodacus erythrinus Common rosefinch (otherwise known as scarlet grosbeak)
Coccothraustes personatus Japanese grosbeak
Coccothraustes migratorius Yellow-billed grosbeak
Wax bills
Lagonesticta Direfinches
Estrilda Typical waxbills
Uraeginthus Blue waxbills and violet-ears
Hypangos niveoguttatus Peter's twinspot
Amandava Avadavats
Ortygospiza atricollis Quail finch
Erythrura prasina Pintailed parrotfinch
Lonchura malabarica Indian silverbill
Lonchura cantans African silverbill
Lonchura griseicapilla Pearl-headed silverbill
Lonchura cucullata Bronze-winged mannikin
Lonchura bicolor Pied mannikin
Lonchura fringilloides Magpie mannikin
Lonchura striata Striated munia (including Bengalese finch)
Lonchura punctulata Spotted munia
Lonchura Malacca Black-headed munia
Lonchura maja White-headed munia
Lonchura castaneothorax Chestnut-brested finch
Aidemosyna modesta Cherry finch (otherwise known as plum-capped finch)
Amadina erythrocephala Red-headed finch
Amadina fasciata Cutthroat
Padda oryziovora Java sparrow
Emblema guttata Spotted-sidedfinch (otherwise known as diamond finch)
Neochmia ruficauda Star finch
Poephila guttata Zebra finch
Poephiia bichenovii Double-barred finch
Poephila personata Masked finch
Poephila acuticauda Long-tailed finch
Poephila cincta Black-throated finch (otherwise known as parson's finch)
Chloebia gouldiae Gouldian finch
Aidemsoyna modesta Cherry finch (otherwise known as plum-capped finch)
Lonchura castaneothorax Chestnut-breasted finch
Passer lutea Golden sparrow
Petronia xanthocollis Yellow-throated sparrow
Sporopipes Speckled-fronted weavers and scaly-crowned weavers
Ploceus cacullatus Village weaver
Ploceus philippinus Baya weaver
Ploceus intermedius Lesser masked weaver
Ploceus velatus Greater masked weaver
Quelea Quelea weavers
Euplectes Bishops and large wydahs
Hypochera Combassous
Vidua macrqura Pin-tailed wydah
Vidua paradisaea Paradise wydah
Emberiza leucocephala Pine bunting
Emeriza cia Rock bunting
Emberiza hortulana Ortolan bunting
Emberiza tahapisi Cinnamon-breasted bunting
Emberiza elegans Yellow-throated bunting
Emberiza aureola Yellow-breasted bunting
Emberiza fiaviventris African golden-breasted bunting
Emberiza melanocephala Black-headed bunting
Emberiza bruniceps Red-headed bunting
Melophus lathami Crested bunting
Sicalis flabeola Saffron finch
Tiaris Grassquits
Gubernatrix Cardinals
Cyranerpes Honeycreepersv
3. All kinds of reptile except the kinds specified in the first column below—
Excepted kind Common name or names
Hemjdactylus brookii Brook's gecko
Hemidactylus flaviviridis
Hemidactylus frenatus Bridled house gecko
Hemidactylus mabouia Morean's gecko
Hemidactylus turcicus Turkish gecko
Lygodactylus picturatus
Pachydactylus bibroni Bibron's clawless gecko
Tarentola mauritanica Moorish clawless gecko
Thecadactylus rapicauda Turnip-tailed gecko (otherwise known as top-tailed gecko)
Agama agama Margouillat lizard (otherwise known as rainbow lizard)
Agama atricollis Black-necked agama
Calotes cristatellus Londok agama
Galotes versicolor Harlequin lizard (otherwise known as blood-sucker lizard)
Leiolepis belliana Bell's agama
Physignathus concinnus
Anolis carolinensis Carolina anole (otherwise known as green anole)
Iguana iguana
Plica plica
Tropidurus torquatus Taraguia lizard (otherwise known as Wiel's ring-necked lizard)
Basiliscus basiliscus
Ameiva ameiva Surinam lizard
Acanthodactylus boskianus Daudin's fringe-toed lizard
Acanthodactylus pardalis Leopard fringe-toed lizard
Lacerta muralis Common wall lizard
Lacerta sicula Italian wall lizard
Lacerta vivipara Common lizard (otherwise known as viviparous lizard)
Cordylus cordylus Rough-scaled girdled lizard
Gerrhosaurus flavigularis Yellow-throated plated lizard
Gerrhosaurus nigrigularis Black-throated plated lizard
Gerrhosaurus major
Platysaurus guttatus
Chalcides ocellatus Ocellated skink
Mabuya mabouya Raddi's skink
Mabuya multifasciata Many banded skink
Mabuya striata Common two-striped skink
Mabuya varia Savanna variable skink
Anguis fragilis Slow worm
Typical snakes
Boaedon fulignosus
Coluber constrictor American racer
Coluber viridiflavus European whip-snake
Drymarchon corais Indigo snake
Elaphe guttata
Elaphe obsolete American rat snake
Lampropetis getulus
Malpolon mospessulana Montpellier snake
Natrix maura Viperine snake
Natrix natrix European grass snake
Philothammus semi variegates
Natrix rhombifera Rhomb snake
Natrix sipedon North American water snake
Natrix tessellate Tessellated snake (otherwise known as diced snake)
Oxybelius aeneus American vine snake
Oxybelis fulgidus
Spalerosophis diadema Clifford's snake
Thamnophis sirtalis Common garter snake
Thamnophis sauritus Ribbon snake
Chrysemys scripta elegans(otherwise known as Pseudemys scripta elegans) Red-eared terrapin
Chrysemys picta Painted terrapin
Mauremys caspica leprosa (otherwise known as Clemmys caspica leprosa)
Snapping Turtles
Chelvdra serpentine Common snapping turtle
4. All kinds of amphibian except the kinds specified in the first column below—
Excepted kind Common name or names
Mole salamanders
Ambystoma maculatum American spotted salamander
Ambystoma tigrinum Tiger salamander
Salamandra salamdra European spotted salamander
Triturus cristatus Crested newt (otherwise known as warty newt)
Triturus vulgaris Common newt (otherwise known as smooth newt)
Triturus helveticus Palmate newt
Tongue-less frogs
Xenopus laevis African clawed toad
Atelopus ignescens
Fire bellies and midwives
Bombina variegate
Narrow-mouthed frogs
Kaloula pulchra Malayan bull frog
True frogs
Pyxicephalus delalandei (otherwise known as Rana delalandei) Delaland's burrowing frog
Rana angolensis Angola frog
Rana cancrivora
Rana catesbeiana American bull frog
Rana chalconota
Rana esculenta Edible frog
Rana ridibunda Marsh frog
Rana temporaria Common European frog
Tree frogs
Polypedetes leucomystax (otherwise known as Rhacophorus leucomystax) Malayan tree frog
Sedge frogs
Hyperolius concolor Hallowells tree frog
Hyperolius nasutus
Hyperolius picturatus
Hyperolius pusillus
Arrow poison frogs
Dendrobates auratus
Dendrobates histrionicus
True toads
Bufo bufo
Bufo marinus
Bufo mclanostictus Asian common toad
Bufo regularis African square-marked toad
Bufo viridis
Paradoxical frogs
Pseudis paradoxa Paradoxical frog
Tree frogs
Hyla arborea Common European tree frog
Hyla boans
Hyla cinerea American green tree frog
Hyla crepitans Rattle-voiced South American tree frog
Hyla crucifer Spring peeper frog
Hyla meridonalis Stripeless European frog
Hyla nasica
Hyla rubra Dundin's tree frog
Hyla versicolor
Phrynohyas venulosa Warty tree frog
Similisca baudini Mexican tree frog
5. The kinds offish specified in the first column below—
Restricted kind Common name or names
Acipenser brevirostrum Shortnose sturgeon
Acipenser fulvescens Lake sturgeon
Acipenser oxyrrhynchus Atlantic sturgeon
Acipenser sturio Common sturgeon
Arapaima gigas Arapaima
Scleropages formosus Asiatic bonytongue
Coregonus alpenae Longjaw cisco
Salmo chrysogaster Mexican golden trout
Stenodus leucichthys leucichthys Inconnu
Carplike fish
Chasmistes cujus Cui-ui
Plagopterus argentissimus Woundfin
Probarbus jullieni Ikan temoleh
Ptychocheilus Iucius Colorada squawfish
Atherine fish
Cynolebias constanciae Annual killifish
Cynolebias marmoratus
Cynolebias minimus
Cynolebias opalescens
Cynolebias splendens
Xiphophorus couchianus Monterrey platyfish
Latimeria chalumnae Coelacanth
Australian lung fish
Neoceratodus forsterl Australian lungfish
Pangasianodon gigas Giant catfish
Stizostedion vitreum galucum Blue walleye
6. The kind of insect specified in the first column below—
Restricted kind Common name
Parnassius appollo Apollo Apollo butterfly
7. The kinds of mollusc specified below—
Restricted kind
Freshwater mussels

Conradilla caelata

Cyprogenia aberti

Dromus dromas

Epioblasma florentina curtisi (otherwise known as Dysnomia florentina curtisi)

Epioblasma florentina florentina (otherwise known as Dysnomia florentina florentina)

Epioblasma sampsoni (otherwise known as Dysnomia sampsoni)

Epioblasma sulcata perobliqua (otherwise known as Dysnomia sulcata perobliqua)

Epioblasma torulosa gubernaculum (otherwise known as Dysnomia torulosa gubernaculum)

Epioblasma torulosa rangiana (otherwise known as Dysnomia torulosa rangiana)

Epioblasma torulosa torulosa (otherwise known as Dysnomia torulosa torulosa)

Epioblasma turgidula (otherwise known as Dysnomia turgidula)

Epioblasma walkeri (otherwise known as Dysnomia walkeri)

Fusconaia cuneolus

Fusconaia edgariana

Fusconaia subrotunda

Lampsilis brevicula

Lampsilis higginsi

Lampsilis orbiculata orbiculata

Lampsilis satura

Lampsilis virescens

Lexingtonia dolabelloides

Pleurobema clava

Plethobasis cicatricosus

Plethobasis cooperianus

Pleurobema plenum

Potamilus capax (otherwise known as Proptera capax)

Quadrula intermedia

Quadrula sparsa

Toxolasma cylindrella (otherwise known as Carunculina cylindrella)

Unio nickliniana (otherwise known as Megalonaias nickliniana

Union tempicoenis tecomatensis (otherwise known as Lampsilis tampicoenis tecomatensis)

Villosa travalis (otherwise known as Micromya trabalis)

Land snails

Papustyla pulcherrima (otherwise known as Papuina pulcherrima) Paraphanta

Restricted kind

Freshwater snails

Coahuilix hubbsi

Cochliopina milleri

Durangonella coahuilac

Mexipyrgus carranzae

Mexipyrgus churinceanus

Mexipyrgus escobedae

Mexipyrgus lugoi

Mexipyrgus mojarralis

Mexipyrgus multilineatus

tvlexithauma quadripaludium

Nymphophilus minckleyi

Paludiscala caramba

NOTE: The second column of this Schedule gives a common name or names, where available, and is included by way of explanation only; in the event of any dispute or proceedings, only the first column is to he taken into account.

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, I beg to move Amendment No. 19. I spoke to this Amendment with Amendment No. 1.


My Lords, this is a very small point, but I am rather intrigued by the inclusion under "Fish" in Part II of the new Schedule of Latimeria chahannae, in other words Coelacanth. So far as I can gather, coelacanths are practically an extinct species. A few years ago I believe one was caught off the North-West coast of Madagascar. I believe some scientists consider that man is descended from the coelocanth. I am wondering to what extent countries who have coelocanths in their waters would be prepared to see them exported from their shores and imported into this country. I am rather intrigued to see that it is a species which can be imported into this country.

Baroness STEDMAN

My Lords, that we have included this in the Schedule only goes to prove how desperate we are to save our endangered species.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Schedule 2 [Plants the importation and exportation of which are restricted]:

Baroness STEDMAN moved Amendment No. 20:

Page 24, line 21, at end insert— ("This Schedule applies to the kinds of plant specified in the second column below—").

The noble Baroness said: I beg to move Amendment No. 20. I spoke to this with Amendment No. 1.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Schedule 3 [Items the importation and exportation of which are restricted]:

Baroness STEDMAN moved Amendment No. 21:

Page 26, line 10, leave out paragraph 5.

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, this Amendment would lift from elephant hair bracelets the licence controls under this Bill. Our policy with regard to Schedule 3 has been to include items which are major parts or products of the species concerned and which are readily recognisable, and although elephant hair bracelets are recognisable by Customs, we feel on consideration that they are such a minor product of the elephant that licensing would be inappropriate. The controls remain on elephant tusks and heads, which are clearly more significant in terms of trade and are the parts for which elephants are killed. I beg to move.


My Lords, I am really a little surprised at this Amendment I must confess that I am not an expert on the hair of the elephant—occasionally the hair of the dog that bit me last night, but the hair of the elephant is rather different. I am informed that this hair was indeed at one time used for making bracelets, and I suppose what has been done in the past may be revived. I should have thought it was unwise to exclude specifically from this list the elephant hair. After all, we know that at the moment the elephant is a very much endangered species; figures which were put forward not so very long ago suggested that in Africa elephants were being destroyed at the rate of between 5,000 to 10,000 a year. With a total elephant population of about 50,000, that would mean that elephants will not survive very long. Anything which in any way encourages the trade in parts of the elephant is undesirable. Having had this product inserted originally, I should have thought it wise to leave it in rather than at this stage to take it out. But I must confess that when it comes to detail I would leave it to those who are more expert in the hair of the elephant than I am.


My Lords, may I ask the noble Baroness, or perhaps the noble Lord, Lord Wynne-Jones, whether it is a possibility that the owner of an elephant is able, without injuring the elephant at all, to pluck hairs from various parts of the body and make them into bracelets as presents for his wives, aunts or children?


My Lords, before the noble Baroness replies, may I ask why paragraph 8 was inserted? I know this is not part of the Amendment, but perhaps I might raise the point. Paragraph 8 reads: Any tooth of any animal, if unworked or simply prepared, any part of any such tooth and powder and waste of any tooth of any animal. Last April I was in Senegal where you can buy in shops the teeth of tiny sharks; they are mounted into little lucky charms which can be worn on a bracelet or round the neck, if one is so inclined. I should have thought these tiny sharks are caught in large numbers, and that to put an embargo on the importation on the teeth of such animals, mounted in very small mountings, seems rather unnecessary. The sharks have been caught anyway, and if one wants to use the teeth for decoration, why not?

Baroness STEDMAN

My Lords, I am afraid I cannot answer the question as to whether a keeper can pull hairs out of an elephant without hurting the elephant. If the House feels very strongly about this and thinks that elephant hair bracelets ought to be left in, I would not push the Amendment to the ultimate. What we felt was that no one went out and killed elephants in order to get hair to make bracelets; elephants are killed in order to get tusks and heads. Perhaps this is just a by-product anyway. I am now advised by my advisers that elephant hairs can be pulled out without damage to the elephant but with much damage to the puller. Perhaps that answers the noble Lord's question. Leaving in paragraph 5 we felt meant including some trivialities in the Bill. I hope that your Lordships will accept the Amendment.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

6.28 p.m.

Lord de CLIFFORDmoved Amendment No. 22:

Page 26, line 38, leave out ("(except where the furskin is trimming only)").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I rise to move this Amendment in some trepidation because no doubt the noble Baroness knows far more about trimmings than I do. I find this proposal objectionable on two grounds. To me "trimming only" is far too vague a term in a Bill which is creating a criminal offence. Is a six inch square piece of fur on a coat trimming only? Is a piece of six inch square fur on a handkerchief case or some such other item trimming only? To me it appears very uncertain, and I do not feel that in a Bill of this importance we can stand anomalies. I can see no justification at all for excluding trimmings from control, whatever they may be. In any case, even in relation to large animals small trimmings could deplete the species if used in sufficient quantities. Even if the trimmings are offcuts, for which it might be assumed the animal would not have been killed, it is psychologically undesirable, in my view, to allow a market in small fripperies in an endangered species when large articles may be completely forbidden.

It is to be hoped that the scientific authority, when it comes to consider controls on newly endangered species, will take the view that goods made from them should be strictly controlled, regardless of whether it is generally believed that small items will not, in themselves, lead to the animals being killed. The rarer the animal the higher the value of even the small pieces of it, and the greater the damage of even one animal being killed for the trimmings. I would hope that the Government might accept in principle that we should protect endangered species by all possible means, and not allow a species to become extinct because of the lack of proper attention to legislation in small details. I beg to move.

Baroness STEDMAN

My Lords, this Amendment would extend the controls on furskin goods to cover items where the trimming only was from the fur of a specified animal. We have always appreciated that furskin coats, rugs, and so on are a very sensitive area of trade, but I do not feel that we can agree to the noble Lord's Amendment: first, because a trimming is, by definition, an extremely small area of fur, and the smaller the fur the greater the difficulty in the identification, and it would often be impossible to distinguish the species from which the trimming came and whether or not it should have been subject to a licence; secondly, the trimmings are only a byproduct of the furskin trade. Few people, I think, would kill a leopard simply to make collars, and it seems much more important to us to control the trade in skins and in certain made up goods in which the skin forms a significant part, rather than to try to deal with what is a comparatively insignificant area and one which would present considerable difficulties in recognition. I hope, in the light of what I have said, that the noble Lord will feel that he can withdraw his Amendment.


My Lords, I must say that I do not think that the noble Baroness is her usual convincing self on this particular matter. Trimmings, of course, vary, because I do not know that there is any legal definition of the absolute extent. For instance, what is trimming on a glove is much smaller than trimming on one of your Lordships' mantles or robes. Surely, the point is that there are a number of beautiful furs which, merely because they are beautiful, are on animals which have been made nearly extinct, and because they are beautiful are also to be valued as trimmings on clothes. I think this fact means that you could get rare animals being killed just to produce the very rich trimmings for the clothes of very rich people, where there was a question of beautiful furs and beautiful skins. I take the point that the noble Baroness makes about them being difficult to recognise. But if they are not recognised there is actually no real problem. The point we are talking about is where we can recognise them, and I should have thought the noble Lord was right in this Amendment and that the noble Baroness ought to think again.


My Lords, I must thank the noble Lord, Lord Beaumont of Whitley, for his support. I feel in some difficulty here because I am not sure of the strength of feeling of your Lordships in this matter. I shall withdraw this Amendment, but would seriously ask the noble Baroness whether she and her advisers would think once again about this matter. Meanwhile, I am prepared to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

6.34 p.m.

Lord MOWBRAY and STOURTON moved Amendment No. 24:

Page 27, leave out lines 3 and 4 and insert—

The noble Lord said: My Lords, in moving this Amendment I again wish to be slightly pernickety because I wish to withdraw the third line up, Martes; so I am moving the Amendment as printed with the exception of Martes in the third line from the bottom. I am doing this because I am keen that this Amendment should be accepted by the Government or insisted on by the House. All the rest of the species are the otter family, and I do not want the House to be told by the Government that Martes are not all that important, and therefore to cloud the issue with another species.

This Amendment would have the effect of adding to the Schedule of products to be controlled the skins of all otters, and it is with these otters that I think we should all be concerned. The imports of otter skins in 1975 numbered just under 23,000; in 1974 there were only 15,000, so it can be seen how the figures are going up. Certainly just under half, and probably more than half, came from endangered otters which are in Appendix 1. These Appendix 1 animals should not be allowed to enter commercial trade and, as the Bill stands, the live otters would not be allowed for importation for commercial purposes. They are the giant otter; the La Plata otter; the Southern River otter, all from South America; and the Cameroun clawless otter from Africa.

Customs and Excise have, we understand, hitherto insisted that only products that are really recognisable may be controlled under this Bill, and they quote the letter of the Convention which indeed states that readily recognisable products shall be controlled. We should not, however, forget that the Convention also allows us to go further than the letter of the Convention. First, let me say that we are not convinced that these furskins are not recognisable since the fur trade prizes the South American furs above others because of the colour, lustre, and general quality of the fur. I would suggest that as they can recognise them, we can learn to do the same. Secondly, it is a shameful situation if we stick so closely to the letter of the Convention that we allow a skin trade of this nature to exterminate, as it well may, even one species of otter.

Finally, I believe that this Amendment would to some extent circumvent this problem because it places all otter skins under control. Thus all will be licensed and the honest dealer—and they must represent at least 50 per cent. of the trade —will declare his skin for what it is. If he is dishonest, it is more than probable that the goods made from that contraband skin will be recognised sooner or later in some prestigious store, and may then be seized. One or two cases of this nature would be sufficient to deter most retailers from carelessly taking otter skin goods from furriers. I urge the House to accept this Amendment. I would also suggest to the Government that, at the meeting of the parties in November, the words "readily recognisable" be modified to avoid those who wish only to abide by the letter of the Convention using it as an excuse for this kind of loophole. I beg to move.

Baroness STEDMAN

My Lords, this Amendment would extend to the otter the controls on furskins under Schedule 3. Our existing controls cover all the heavily spotted furs and those of a few other species which, together, form a readily recognisable group. But otters are a much more complicated proposition. Not only is it extremely difficult to distinguish the skin of one otter from another, but I am advised that it is no easy matter to tell an otter skin from that of any other brown animal furs. There is a substantial trade in the skins of the common species of otter so that, if all otter skins were controlled, Customs would be faced with a very considerable identification problem. I must advise against trying to enact legislation which those on whom the duty will fall know full well they cannot operate.

There is also the point that, in assessing whether it is justifiable to burden the legitimate trade with licensing requirements, we must have some regard to the relative proportions of the common and of the endangered species. As I have said, there is a substantial trade in common otter skins. Many of us find that repugnant and want it stopped, but that is not what this Bill is about. We would not consider it justifiable, at this time, to require licences for all species, when only half a dozen are endangered.

I appreciate the importance of trying to stop the trade in the skins of endangered species of the otter, and, if the noble Lord is prepared to accept this, I am willing to take the matter back to examine further the possibility of controlling the import specifically from those countries where the endangered species are found. I do not think at this stage that I could go further, but I am willing to have consultations with the noble Lord on those lines.


My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Baroness for what she has told me. I do not ever like being told that because something is hard to do, it cannot be done. I take the point made by the noble Baroness and I accept her offer. Bearing in mind that there will be time for discussion in another place, albeit somewhat rushed, I will, on her words, withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

6.41 p.m.

Lord MOWBRAY and STOURTON moved Amendment No. 25:

Page 28, line 6, at end insert (" and anything made wholly or partly from that fabric.").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, briefly, this Amendment deals with the vicuna. I accept that the principle of what the noble Baroness has said applies to this as well, but I draw attention to it just to hear what she has to offer by way of answer. I beg to move.

Baroness STEDMAN

My Lords, this Amendment would result in a ban being placed on goods made from vicuna fabric as well as the fabric itself. I have every sympathy with the aims of the Amendment. It is obviously desirable to try to control manufactured parts of any endangered species, but the problem throughout in implementing the Convention has been to identify parts and derivatives that are readily recognisable and which can be specified precisely so that traders know what they can and cannot import. It would be unacceptable to control all manufactured items; we should need to define the items, such as coats, which we intended to control. We should also need to find out whether vicuna fibre can be detected without damaging the coat, and to find out more about the pattern of trade.

The Amendment is, I am afraid, somewhat unacceptable as it stands, but if the noble Lord is prepared to withdraw it, I will give the matter further consideration. I can assure him that it is our intention to add further items to Schedule 3 whenever we know that we can overcome the recognisability problem.


My Lords, I am grateful for what the noble Baroness has said, and I beg leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Baroness STEDMAN moved Amendment No. 26:

Page 28, line 11, leave out ("orders Crocodylia, Lacertilia and Serpentes") and insert ("class Reptilia").

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Lord MOWBRAY and STOURTON had given Notice of his intention to move Amendment No. 27: Page 28, line 11, leave out ("Lacertilia and Serpentes") and insert ("Squamata and Testudines and anything made wholly or partly of that hide, skin or leather.")

The noble Lord said: My Lords, it is obvious that this Amendment could not go through as it is, the House having agreed to Amendment No. 26. However, it would do one or two things which are not in the Government Amendment because—

The DEPUTY SPEAKER (Lord Nugent of Guildford)

My Lords, I was instructed—I am afraid that I omitted to mention it—that if Amendment No. 26 were passed I would be unable to call No. 27. Perhaps the House will accept my apologies for having missed that point.


It is rather unfair, my Lords, in that it was not pointed out by the Chair or by anyone at the point when Amendment No. 26 was moved that I would not be able to speak on this subject at this point.


My Lords, I am entirely at fault and I apologise to the noble Lord and the House. I should have done so when I called Amendment No. 26 I am afraid that I failed to do so.

In the Long Title:

Lord MOWBRAY and STOURTONmoved Amendment No. 30:

Line 2, after ("items") insert ("and trade in them").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, this is a direct follow-on in the Long Title of the Bill—the House having passed Amendment No. 5—which becomes necessary, and I do not think I need say more than that.


My Lords, I hope that this Amendment will be accepted because it is essential to define accurately what is the purpose of the Bill, and the trade is very important.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Baroness STEDMAN moved Amendment No. 31:

Line 2, after ("items;") insert (" to confer on the Secretary of State power to restrict by order the ports at which live animals may be imported;").

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, this Amendment is consequential on the passing of Amendment No. 11. I beg to move.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

6.46 p.m.