Animal Welfare Act 2006 & Addendums


Staff member
[SIZE=12pt]Time for all of us to refresh ourselves on what the Animal Welfare Act is and means, so that we are aware of our and most certainly other peoples responsibilities and duty of care towards animals of those we own, those we have in our care and those that cross our paths.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=12pt]This is in no way directed at anybody in particular and it always pays to know what is and isn’t applicable and do a spot of myth busting along the way :) [/SIZE]

[SIZE=12pt]Right the animal welfare act in its entirety for 2006 plus its subsequent addendums can be read here on the uk gov website.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=12pt] [/SIZE]

[SIZE=12pt]This is the DEFRA easy to read booklet….ok so its three pages of pretty pictures of cute baby animals and one page of the basics of section 9 which is the basic legal requirement in easy to understand wording![/SIZE]


[SIZE=12pt]That part that we should always remember is the following extract this is the one that should we go to view an animal for sale, visit somebody we know or hear of something untoward were we can perhaps help the animal be it furry, feathered, scaled or finned![/SIZE]

[SIZE=12pt]This is a copy of section 9 for those who can’t be bothered to open the links above![/SIZE]

[SIZE=12pt]Section 9 Duty of person responsible for animal to ensure welfare[/SIZE][SIZE=12pt]E+W[/SIZE]

[SIZE=12pt](1) A person commits an offence if he does not take such steps as are reasonable in all the circumstances to ensure that the needs of an animal for which he is responsible are met to the extent required by good practice.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=12pt](2) For the purposes of this Act, an animal's needs shall be taken to include—[/SIZE]

[SIZE=12pt](a) its need for a suitable environment,[/SIZE]

[SIZE=12pt](b) its need for a suitable diet,[/SIZE]

[SIZE=12pt]c) its need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns,[/SIZE]

[SIZE=12pt](d) any need it has to be housed with, or apart from, other animals, and[/SIZE]

[SIZE=12pt](e) its need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=12pt](3) The circumstances to which it is relevant to have regard when applying subsection (1) include, in particular—[/SIZE]

[SIZE=12pt](a) any lawful purpose for which the animal is kept, and[/SIZE]

[SIZE=12pt](b) any lawful activity undertaken in relation to the animal.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=12pt](4) Nothing in this section applies to the destruction of an animal in an appropriate and humane manner.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=12pt]Let’s bust a few myths here. [/SIZE]

[SIZE=12pt]Right now on to things like the RSPCA ok they are a bit like Marmite love them or hate them everybody has an opinion of them! [/SIZE]

[SIZE=12pt]The RSPCA just like other charitable organisations do NOT have any specialist powers to enforce the animal welfare act, each of us can ensure that that act is upheld and it is our duty of care and conscience that should bind us to this obligation. [/SIZE]

[SIZE=12pt]Ok so what the RSPCA does have is money in the bank, a uniform, a press release officer or two plus a lot of people on their side. Yes they are there for the animals and that isn’t a bad thing. Anybody who is there for animals and to stand up for them when they are unable to stand up for themselves and guard them against neglect (in any shape or form) pain and suffering isn’t actually all that bad…ok some of us are a bit harder to deal with than others as we do get very passionate and sometimes a little misguided or understood when we go “nuts” in the defence of an animal…but hey cut us some slack lol.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=12pt]What most people do not realise when the RSPCA comes knocking at their door is the following…. They do not have the right of entry, only if accompanied by a police officer and a warrant and they have be named as an individual on the warrant to gain entry. [/SIZE]

[SIZE=12pt]They do not have the right to trespass or gain entry to any of your property without permission you can ask them to leave and they have to oblige, they do not have the right to cross question you and you are NOT obliged to answer either. [/SIZE]

[SIZE=12pt]Any prosecutions that they bring are PRIVATE prosecutions just the same as you or I can bring. [/SIZE]

[SIZE=12pt]If an animal is thought to have been left in pain or suffering without attendance or necessary veterinary care and any if the above laws earlier mentioned have been broken then what you need to do is notify the police and request their attendance.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=12pt]Ok so you won’t be most likely scheduled high up on the police priority listing and they are likely to refer you to the RSPCA but you can insist on the police attendance and ensure you point out to them you know that the RSPCA is not a legal body but a charitable agency.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=12pt]If you are left a calling card by the RSPCA actually you can just throw it in the bin you don’t need to respond.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=12pt]The only time you have to respond is under the following circumstances…if you have a visit from a police officer, they have a warrant of entry, you are served with an “improvement notice” or you are taken to court in any form be it private or public prosecution.[/SIZE]

Michael Reynolds

Regular Member
I have always respected the RSPCA myself but and their is always a but so much is down to the individual person acting in a position of knowledge and trust to determine if problems exist that would bring need owing to section 9 of the animal welfare act not being adhered too. taking action against a carer or should I say a non carer is normally done by appointment.  I would love them just to call around at any time to check the well being of the animals but as you have quite rightly stated they are a charity and not a legal body.  I have been in favour of giving them more powers but this is my personal feelings.  They are respected in law courts and it is far easier for them to be trusted by the court than other individuals.  as a group their knowledge is vast with the support and finances means they can act on their findings quickly.  Do I believe that every thing they do is good for all animals?  I only wish it was but they do defiantly lack in the knowledge of our flying friends at a local level.  Yes the powers are limited to what any person can do but in all honesty I would hate to think how some animals would be treated with out them.        


Staff member
It's always a touchy subject like I say its a Marmite thing.....

do they do some good ...yes....but when I found out the other year that they do not have holding facilities for birds at each place and the birds sent there as being handed in as being found and then subsequently sent elsewhere in the country and advertised as being found....I wasn't a happy bunny as they didn't state where the bird was the true owners couldn't actually track their birds down... :( they also weren't checking leg ring numbers etc.... Would you think a found bird 100 miles away two days after you lost yours was actually your bird or just discount'd probably think nope that isn't mine too far away....

animal welfare act wise.....should we also be aware its our obligation too help....most definately


Regular Member
Are there any council officials who have powers under the act? I'm probably wrong but I'm sure they can get involved in animal welfare particularly if you are breeding or complaints are made that your birds are causing a nuisance with noise, smells, etc.


Staff member
In certain circumstances yes but those a huge variables from noise abatement orders, nuiscense orders, licences required for breeding selling requirements on none hobby breeders and useages of private properties as commercial premises to name but a few....

The point of the post was to ensure that we all understand and refresh our memories on what we should be doing and what our legal duties are combined with our advice we give to others.

Michael Reynolds

Regular Member
The welfare of all animals is up to everyone to report if unhappy that the letter of law is not being followed.  I will admit that I have reported at times but other times when I have come across sights that I am unhappy with I have assisted to improve the situation.  if I find this impossible then yes I would act on my beliefs and report the fact.   


Regular Member
I have helped frantically a cage to small when out bought another for Scooby, gave mine to the people oodles of food gave them it Michael tyred to advise them, sadly won't be able to give the bird anything now it's back on rubbish but at least in my heart it has room to move and flap his wings . Sad face
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