NEWS

19 Nov 2018

Stephen Hockman QC and David Hercock appear in the Divisional Court

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On 16 November 2018 the Divisional Court handed down judgment in Highbury Poultry Farm Produce Limited v CPS [2018] EWHC 3122 (Admin).

The Appellant had challenged a District Judge’s ruling made in the course of criminal proceedings that an operator of a slaughterhouse could be criminally liable for an offence under regulation 30(1)(g) of the Welfare of Animals at the Time of Killing (England) Regulations 2015, merely and necessarily, for the acts and/or omissions of its operatives and without any fault on the part of the operator itself. The Divisional Court upheld the District Judge’s ruling.

Following judgment, the Divisional Court certified the following point of law as being one of general public importance:

Whether proof of an offence contrary to Regulation 30(1)(g) of the Welfare of Animals at the Time of Killing (England) Regulations 2015 brought against a business operator as defined in Regulation (EC) No. 1099/2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing requires proof of mens rea and/or some culpable act or omission on the part of the business operator”.

In the light of the Divisional Court agreeing to certify the above point of law, the Appellant can now seek permission from the Supreme Court to appeal.

Stephen Hockman QC and David Hercock are representing the Appellant

The judgment handed down on the 16th November is available here