The Animal Welfare ActExternal link opens in a new window makes owners and keepers responsible for ensuring that the welfare needs of their animals are met. It also makes it an offence for a person to commit an act, or fail to act, causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

 

Animal welfare needs, include: 

 

  • providing a suitable environment (place to live)
  • providing 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

 

The law states that the minimum age at which a person can buy an animal is 16 years of age. The law also prohibits giving animals as prizes to unaccompanied children under this age.

 

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 strengthens penalties for anyone convicted of an animal welfare offence, as well as giving law enforcement agencies the power to take action to prevent animal suffering before it takes place.

 

If you have a query or would like more information, please contact us.

 

If you are worried about the welfare of a protected animal you need to contact the RSPCAExternal link opens in a new window .