• Fox Control London 11 February 2018 | View comments

  • The Animal Welfare Act 2006

    The Animal Welfare Act 2006 was introduced by DEFRA (Department of Environment, Fisheries & Rural Affairs) to combat animal abuse and came into force in 2007.

    Its aim was to update the Protection of Animals Act 1911, making the law reflect 21st century practice and the developments in verterinary science.

    It basically makes individuals responsible for an animal in their care or under their control to preform a 'Duty of Care' by meeting its basic needs. These good practice guidelines are published by DEFRA and include the requirements of:

    • a suitable diet
    • ensuring that the animal exhibits normal behavioural patterns
    • a suitable environment
    • housing with or without other animals
    • protection from suffering, disease and injury

    Animal Welfare Offences

    Under The Protection of Animals Act 1911 it is an offence to cause unnecessary physical or mental suffering to an animal and currently, enforcement action can only be taken to protect an animal after it has suffered.

    The new Act builds on the Protection of Animals Act 1911 which prevented the unnecessary physical or mental suffering, by allowing efforts to be taken to prevent an animal suffering in the future.

    Other offences in the new Act include:

    • the law concerning animal fights
    • the selling, exchanging or giving a pet as a prize to a child (e.g fair ground gold fish)
    • the mutilation of animals, unless it has good medical cause (e.g dog tail docking)

    The law is enforced by various GOVERNMENT AGENCIES depending on the nature of the offence and what kind of animal (s) are involved.

    The Police, local authorities and DEFRA may act on breaches of the animal welfare.


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