Return to LAWS Local Authority Animal Welfare Charter

Animals in Agriculture

1) Livestock on Council owned farms will be housed and managed in a way that provides for the highest possible standards of animal welfare. As a minimum, the RSPCA’s standards for farm animals will be applied. These standards will be regularly reviewed, updated and monitored to ensure that the welfare of the animals is as good as possible.

2) The Council’s Animal Welfare Officers enforce the laws which relate to livestock matters. The Welfare of Animals at Markets Order 1990 is the central piece of legislation and controls matters such as how animals are moved, the conditions in which they are penned/caged, whether animals are fit and old enough to be in a market. In addition, Animal Welfare Officers will ensure that Defra Codes of Practice, relating to the welfare of animals at livestock markets are adhered to.

3) Very large numbers of animals are transported from farms, poultry rearing establishments etc. to markets, slaughterhouses and ports. The Council’s Animal Welfare Officers will vigorously enforce the laws which control these activities to ensure that animals are properly watered, are not overcrowded, are fit to travel and vehicles are suitable for such use and will encourage those in charge of the animals at any time during transportation to be appropriately trained and knowledgeable of each species. To achieve these objectives, the Council welcomes, and actively encourages, liaison with other local authorities, Defra and other duly authorised enforcement agencies, where animals have been, are, or are to be transferred through its area.

4) The Council will put in place contingency plans with regard to notifiable diseases such as foot and mouth, anthrax, swine vesicular disease, rabies etc., which will limit the spread of the diseases, and subsequent suffering, to other healthy animals. The Council will ensure, with the assistance of Defra, that staff are trained in emergency procedures and work closely with relevant local agencies and that the welfare of animals affected by such actions is paramount.