The Animal Welfare Act 2006
The Animal Welfare Act 2006 makes owners and keepers responsible for ensuring that the welfare needs of their animals are met. These include the need:
- for a suitable environment (place to live)
- for a suitable diet
- to exhibit normal behaviour patterns
- to be housed with, or apart from, other animals (if applicable)
- to be protected from pain, injury, suffering and disease
Anyone who is cruel to an animal, or does not provide for its welfare needs, may be banned from owning animals, fined up to £20,000 and/or sent to prison.
The Animal Welfare Act 2006 contains the general laws relating to animal welfare. It is an offence to cause unnecessary suffering to any animal. Unlike previous legislation, the Act applies to all animals on common land. The Act contains a Duty of Care to animals - this means that anyone responsible for an animal must take reasonable steps to make sure the animal’s needs are met. This means that a person has to look after an animal’s welfare as well as ensure that it does not suffer and apply to all animals. West Midlands Police and City of Wolverhampton Council are authorised to take enforcement action in relation to this Act.
Animal Welfare Licence
City of Wolverhampton Council also administer the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 which requires certain activities involving animals to be licensed. These are:
- Selling Animals as Pets;
- Providing or arranging for the provision of boarding for cats or dogs (including day care);
- Hiring Out of Horses;
- Breeding of Dogs;
- Keeping or training Animals for exhibition.
Other Animal Welfare Legislation
The Council has established a number of orders which apply to dog owners and persons responsible for dogs.