HL Deb 15 October 1981 vol 424 cc467-8

20 Page 11, line 22, at end insert— '(5) In any proceedings for an offence under sub- section (1), (2) or (4)(a), the animal in question shall be presumed to have been a wild animal unless the contrary is shown.'

The Earl of Avon

My Lords, I beg to move that this House doth agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 20. With the leave of the House, I shall speak also to Amendment No. 31, which makes similar provision in Clause 11. Amendment No. 20 would provide that in proceedings the defendant is required to show that an animal which has been killed, taken, kept or sold in contravention of the provisions of Clause 9 had not previously lived in the wild. Amendment No. 31 would require the same in any proceedings involving the alleged use of prohibited methods.

This provision relating to birds has been one of the most important features of the 1954 Act because the general principle of bird protection is that birds should not be in anyone's possession except in limited and explicit circumstances. The same principle applies equally to protected plants and animals. These amendments give effect to that principle.

Moved, That this House doth agree with the Commons in the said amendment.

On Question, Motion agreed to.