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Animal Welfare

Volume 454: debated on Tuesday 5 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will take steps to ensure that the England Rural Development Programme 2007-13 promotes higher animal welfare standards; and if he will make a statement. (106728)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 23 November 2006, Official Report, column 156W.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what status in potential court actions the proposed codes relating to welfare of animal species will have under the Animal Welfare Bill.[R] (106853)

The proposed codes relating to welfare of animal species under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 are intended primarily to help animal owners and keepers understand the welfare needs of their animals. Failure to comply with a code will not, in itself, constitute an offence. However, evidence of non-compliance with a code may be used by the courts in deciding whether a person has committed an offence under the other provisions of the Act. Similarly, a code could be used by the defence to support any claim of compliance with the Act.