CC: The Competition Commission (CC) has published an issues statement as part of its inquiry into Sports Direct International plc’s acquisition of 31 stores from JJB Sports plc. The CC has been asked by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to decide whether the acquisition may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition (SLC) within any market or markets in the UK.

The issues statement follows the first stages of gathering information, views & evidence and identifies for all interested parties the specific questions & areas the inquiry is examining.  These issues will form the basis for hearings with Sports Direct and other parties.  The CC is expected to report by 21 January 2010 and would like to hear comments on the issues statement from any interested parties, in writing, by 22 September 2009.
Press release ~ The issues statement ~ Competition Commission
Defra: Advice for owners of non-human primates about how to look after their animals has been published in a proposed new Code of Practice (consultation closes on 30 November 2009). There are an estimated 1,200 non-human primates kept privately in England.

Defra set up a working group including owners, vets & animal welfare groups in response to concerns that non-human primates were readily available without buyers knowing enough about the animals’ welfare needs.  The Code highlights existing legal requirements for keepers under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and includes practical advice.  It will also help law courts with cases brought before them (applies to England only).
Press release ~ Consultation on the Draft Code of Practice on the Welfare of Privately Kept Non-Human Primates ~ Animal Welfare Act 2006
DH: The Department of Health has launched a consultation (closes on 7 October 2009) on whether there is a need to make temporary changes to the Mental Health Act 1983 should exceptional circumstances arise during pandemic flu.  The contingency legislation would enable mental health patients to continue to get the treatment they need in the event of severe staff absences.
The DH are consulting on whether they should temporarily change certain aspects of the 1983 Act in the event of severe staff absences during pandemic flu.  The changes would ensure that mental health professionals could continue to operate the Act in the best interests of the patient and for the protection of others.
If the contingencies are implemented, they propose to ask the Care Quality Commission to convene an oversight group with representation from national mental health service user and professional bodies to advise on progress and the need for ongoing contingency measures.
Press release ~ Pandemic influenza and the Mental Health Act 1983: consultation on proposed changes to the Mental Health Act 1983 and its associated secondary legislation ~ Care Quality Commission
DH: Health & public sector professionals are being asked for their views on how the NHS can improve its services for women & girls who have been victims of violence & sexual assault. Each year, across the UK, 3m women experience violence including domestic violence, sexual violence, forced marriage and trafficking.
The Taskforce on the health aspects of violence against women & girls is holding a listening exercise to collect feedback from health and other public sector professionals.  Health & public sector professionals should go to to register their views by the 14 October 2009.
Press release
Cabinet Office: The Office of the Third Sector has published a consultation document (closing on 4 December 2009) on a draft Consolidation Bill, which would bring together provisions of the Recreational Charities Act 1958, Charities Act 1993 and most of the Charities Act 2006, into a single piece of legislation.
The aim of consolidating charity law is to make it simpler & more accessible and will not involve significant changes in policy.  The amendments made would remove unnecessary inconsistencies and repeal provisions which are now considered obsolete.
Press release ~ Consultation on the Consolidation of Charity Law ~ Office of the Third Sector ~ Charities Act 2006 ~ Charities Commission
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