Case against animal Act to be heard

2013-03-18 22:24
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Johannesburg - The Constitutional Court will hear an application on Tuesday for confirmation of a constitutional invalidity order of certain provisions of the Performing Animals Protection Act.

The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria declared sections of the act unconstitutional as they empower magistrates to issue licences and certificates allowing for the training and exhibition of animals.

The court found it was not appropriate for a magistrate to perform an administrative function such as licensing, and that these sections infringed the doctrine of separation of powers provided for in the Constitution.

The High Court declared the provisions unconstitutional.

It gave Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson six months to correct or cure the defect in the legislation.

The High Court established a temporary committee to exercise the licensing function pending the Constitutional Court's decision.

The declaration of invalidity is before the court only for confirmation.

The minister does not oppose the confirmation.

The Licensed Animal Trainers' Association has been admitted as an intervening party.

It contends that magistrates are entitled to perform administrative tasks in certain circumstances.

It argues that, if the declaration of invalidity is confirmed, magistrates should be allowed to continue the licensing function until Parliament has amended the provisions.

The Commercial Producers' Association and the SA Association of Stills Producers were admitted as friends of the court and represent the interests of commercial film and print media.

Read more on:    tina joemat-pettersson  |  animal abuse

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