Through our work, we (a) increase the legal capacity of the animal welfare community to better use the law to protect animals, and (b) improve the understanding of animal law within the UK legal community, which helps to make the law and justice in the UK more effective in protecting animals. If you have a Type 2 van permit, you must have contingency plans in place to deal with emergencies that may occur during a trip. For example, animals that get sick or injured, unforeseen delays, malfunctions or accidents. Overall, the Animal Welfare Act 2006 (for England and Wales), the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2006 (Scotland) and the Animal Welfare Act 2011 (Northern Ireland) contain similar provisions and state that causing unnecessary suffering to an animal is punishable by law, both by intentional act and by inaction. However, these laws do not apply to all species and not to wildlife. The maximum penalty under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 is either imprisonment for up to 6 months or a fine of up to £20,000, or both. These are unnecessary suffering (s4), mutilation (s5), tail docking (s6), poisoning (s7) and animal fighting (s8). In England and Wales, an offence under section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 (which causes unnecessary suffering to animals) is punishable by imprisonment for up to six months and/or a fine of up to £20,000 (section 32). The court is also empowered to seize animals (§ 33) and to issue forfeiture orders (§ 34).
In England and Wales, a cruelty offence under section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 is punishable by imprisonment for up to 51 weeks (six months) and/or a fine of up to £20,000 (section 32(1)). A duty of care under section 9 is punishable by deprivation of liberty for up to 51 weeks and/or a fine of up to level 5 on the standard scale (currently £5,000 under section 37 of the Criminal Justice Act 1982) (section 32(2)). The court is also empowered to seize animals (§ 33) and to issue forfeiture orders (§ 34). Inspectors may provide notices of improvement indicating the steps to be taken to comply with the due diligence provisions of section 9 (section 10). The Zoo Authorisation (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2003 require animals to be housed under conditions designed to meet the biological and conservation requirements of each species, including by providing species-specific enrichment of the enclosures (subsection 3(7)(c)). This legislation applies to all non-plant and non-fungible organisms and therefore applies to all animals, including fish and invertebrates (paragraph 2, paragraph 1). The 2009 EU Regulation entered into force on 1 January 2013 and replaced Council Directive 93/119/EC on the protection of animals at the time of slaughter or killing. The 1993 Directive had no direct effect in the Member States and relied on the adoption by the various Member States of national provisions to transpose the rules. In the United Kingdom, the Directive was transposed by the Welfare of Animals (Slaughter or Killing) Regulations 1995 (`the WASK Regulation`). A 2011 European Commission report on the impact of the regulation on the protection of animals during transport concluded that it had a “positive impact” on animal welfare. However, enforcement remains a “major challenge.” Similar legislation exists in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (NI).
For more information on animal welfare legislation in these areas, please contact the Defra helpline and contact the animal welfare team on the farm on 03459 33 55 77. The numerous exceptions provided for in Chapter I of the Annex to Council Directive 2008/120/EC allow piglet mutilations to be carried out without anaesthesia. The use of an anesthetic is prescribed only for castration, which occurs in a piglet that is at least 7 days old. The mutilation of piglets is extremely cruel, and these exceptions constitute a loophole in the law that allows for the inhumane treatment of farm animals. If you operate animals in the UK (England, Scotland and Wales) commercially by air, sea, rail or road, you will need a transport licence. This can be exhibited in Britain, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.