Private prosecution

Primary responsibility for enforcing pollution laws now rests with regulatory agencies, but two recent Crown Court decisions illustrate graphically that private criminal prosecutions in the environmental field have not been made totally redundant.

In Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals v Fuller and Woodhouse ((1984) 8 Current Law 3), the defendants had been transporting ponies by road and the RSPCA took out a private prosecution in respect of an alleged offence under the Transit of Animals Order 1975 because of the dimensions of the vehicle used. The defendants challenged the rights of a private person or body to bring a prosecution for such an offence.


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