Animal Welfare Act

We want our pets to be happy but did you know that you have a legal responsibility to meet their needs?

Animal welfare legislation (The Animal Welfare Act 2006 in England and Wales, Animal Heath and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 and Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011) introduced something called a ‘duty of care’. This means that we must, by law, not only prevent our pets from suffering, but we must provide them with the things they need to make them healthy and happy – their welfare needs. This includes the need 

- for a suitable 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

If someone is cruel to an animal, or does not provide for its welfare needs, they can be banned from owning animals, fined and/or sent to prison.

For advice on how to care for your animal’s needs read: What makes my pet happy? pdf