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ARCHIVE: Animal Welfare Act 2006

Duty to careNot only is it against the law to be cruel to an animal, you must also ensure that all the welfare needs of your animals are met.

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20 December 2010Memorandum to Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee Post-Legislative Assessment of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 (PDF 430 KB) - This memorandum provides a preliminary assessment of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.  It has been submitted to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee.  It has been published as part of the process set out in the document – Post-Legislative Scrutiny – The Government’s Approach (Cm 7320).  The Act harmonised animal welfare standards amongst farmed species and aimed to ensure that the welfare of non-farmed/companion animal species are protected to similar levels.

What does the Animal Welfare Act do?

It 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 law also increases to 16 the minimum age at which a person can buy an animal and prohibits giving animals as prizes to unaccompanied children under this age.

Improvement Notice Template

This template is intended for use by official enforcers of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 (i.e. Animal Health agency and local authorities)

Page last modified: 9 January, 2012