Return to LAWS Local Authority Animal Welfare Charter

Enforcement and Responsibilities

1) The Council is responsible for the licensing and enforcement of licence conditions in respect of a range of activities involving animals, including: Dog Breeding, Pet Shops, Animal Boarding, Riding Establishments, and Zoos. The Council also has a role in enforcement of a range of other statutory powers in relation to dogs (including dangerous dogs), stray dogs and dog fouling.

2) Through the Local Police Authority, the Council will:

a) As soon as possible, ensure that Animal Welfare Liaison Officers are appointed who will have special training and knowledge of Animal Welfare legislation. These Officers would liaise with all relevant bodies to help ensure the efficient enforcement of Animal Welfare legislation and to prevent cruelty to animals.

b) Working with relevant responsible animal welfare organisations, ensure that an inspection procedure, using trained lay visitors is put in place for police dogs and horses to ensure their welfare is maintained at the highest level.

3) In order to fulfill its statutory responsibilities under this legislation the Council will:

a) Employ a core of trained and experienced personnel and where necessary and appropriate call upon the expertise of others to assist in the process.

b) Produce, apply and regularly review conditions attached to licences issued by the Council to provide adequate protection for animals and promote their welfare.

c) Prepare and distribute to all involved, material explaining the provisions of the law and licence conditions so as to promote a better understanding of the law and greater compliance with the various statutes.

d) Inspect premises and carry out such enquiries as required prior to their licence application being determined to ensure that they will comply with the licence conditions.

e) Patrol the Borough/District/County to deal with stray dogs, dangerous dogs and irresponsible dog ownership.

f) Liaise closely with other enforcing agencies to ensure a co-ordinated approach to animal welfare.

4) The Council recognises that it may also be required to enforce statutory powers relating to pest control. In such circumstances, the Council will seek to employ non-lethal control measures whenever possible and only kill pest species when there are no other methods available and where they present a serious threat to the health or well-being of the local community.

5) The Council’s Dog Warden service will continue to develop its advisory and social welfare role. This will include promotional campaigns on good pet ownership, talks to voluntary groups and schools and the provision of display and information stands at suitable venues.

6) The Council’s Animal Welfare Officers will produce a series of leaflets clearly setting down legislative controls and including any current advice for distribution to all licensed pet shops, dog breeders, cat and dog boarders, riding establishments and keepers of dangerous wild animals.

7) The Council will assist Defra ensuring that the proprietors of commercial enterprises involving animals are provided with advisory leaflets etc.

8) The Council will support the local farm animal welfare liaison group’s training programme for commercial enterprises and will seek to provide advice to abattoirs, slaughterhouses and other establishments where animals are killed for food on the premises.

9) Council emergency plans, including those drawn up for mass evacuations, will include provisions for companion and other animals.

10) This Council is concerned by the levels of distress caused to animals by fireworks and supports a noise limit of 97 decibels for them. The Council will seek to limit public displays of fireworks to areas which cause least harm and distress to animals.