The Animal Welfare Act 2006 came into force in England in April 2007. People are legally obliged to ensure the welfare of the animals in their care, under the ‘Duty of Care’. The Act was introduced to reduce animal suffering by enabling preventive action to be taken by those responsible for the enforcement of welfare laws i.e. before any suffering actually occurs. A responsible person commits an offence if they do not take steps to ensure that the needs of an animal for which they are responsible are met.
This includes considering on behalf of the animal:
- Its need for a suitable environment.
- Its need for a suitable diet.
- Its need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns.
- Any need it has to be housed with, or apart from, other animals.
- Its need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.
Unfortunately Dogs Trust does not possess the legal powers to inspect properties or seize dogs that may be at risk or suffering, and or causing a nuisance.
The RSPCA are better placed to help here - they don't have legal powers either, but they do have a team of trained inspectors who will do their best to help with the resources they have - please give them a call on 0300 1234 999.