Animal Welfare Act 2006

Animal Welfare Act Code of Practice
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Animal Welfare Act 2006 and Code of Practice for the Welfare of Dogs 2010

The United Kingdom”s Animal Welfare Act was passed in 2006 which makes it an offence to mistreat or neglect an animal for which someone is responsible. A person may be prosecuted by the RSPCA, Local Authority or Police for failure to uphold the welfare principles of the Act.

In 2010 the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs produced a Code of Practice for the Welfare of Dogs as a guide to dog owners, local authorities and RSPCA of a dog’s needs under the Animal Welfare Act.

A dog’s basic needs must be met:

  1. its need for a suitable environment
  2. its need for a suitable diet
  3. its need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour
  4. any need it has to be housed with, or kept apart from, other animals
  5. its need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease

Code of Practice for the Welfare of Dogs


Breeding Beyond Dogs’ Limits – Canine Fertility Clinics in the UK

Naturewatch Foundation Animal Welfare

Canine Fertility Clinics UK
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Canine Fertility Clinics are the latest UK dog breeding phenomenon.

The number of businesses selling breeding procedures and related services for people who breed dogs has increased rapidly in recent years. Some of these are entirely unregulated and unaccountable. The Report examines the canine fertility sector in the UK and outlines findings from Naturewatch Foundation’s survey for veterinary professionals. It also suggests a way forward so that we can begin to tackle the challenges posed in this new sector. Its recommendations include: a public statement from the RCVS; a Defra Task Force; strengthened breeding recommendations; reform of the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966; collaboration between dog welfare organisations on initiatives to improve the welfare of dogs used for breeding and their offspring.


Improving the Effectiveness of Animal Welfare Enforcement


APGAW Improving Animal Welfare Enforcement Report-1
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The Report highlights the lack of consistency of enforcement of Animal Welfare Law and summarises the key issues. It recommends that local authorities should have access to Dedicated Animal Welfare Officers to enforce Animal Welfare law, including the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) England Regulations 2018. Training would be a requirement for the Animal Welfare Officers. Also the setting up of regional Animal Welfare Forums which include local authority Animal Welfare Officers, the RSPCA and Police. The establishment of a National Animal Welfare Board consisting of representatives from each regional Animal Welfare Forum, RSPCA, Police, DEFRA and relevant NGOs.


The Slow Return to a New ‘Normal’

The UK Pet Industry – Pets4Homes

UK Pet Industry Report Volume 3
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The Report looks at the affects of the Covid lockdown on pet purchasing (dogs in particular) and the return to a more normal pattern. Market trends during the pandemic showed that pet ownership increased steeply, and supply struggled to meet demand, pushing prices up dramatically. Post lockdown there is a return to pre-pandemic demand for pets and some decreases in prices. The Golden Retriever was the most sought after breed. The research showed that buyer vigilance needs to improve. The rise in breeding by ‘hobby breeders’ is concerning as these breeders are unregulated.


The Animal Welfare (Scotland) Regulations 2021

The Animal Welfare (Scotland) Regulations 2021 – The Scottish Government

Animal Licensing Regulations 2021 Scotland
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The Guidance on Licensed Dog Breeding echoes much of the English Regulations and Guidance and includes the Condition: No dog may be kept for breeding if it can reasonably be expected, on the basis of its genotype, conformation, behaviour or state of health, that breeding from it could have a detrimental  effect on its health or welfare or the health and welfare of its offspring. It states that licence holders must be aware of breed specific health risks and that appropriate health screening relevant to the breed should be carried out.

The Guidance specifically recommends caution in regard to the Kennel Club’s category 3 breeds, ie those breeds identified as having extreme physical features which predispose them to health and welfare problems.


IPFD – Annual Report 2020

IPFD – Annual Report 2020 – A Year Like No Other

IPFD Annual Report 2020
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The International Partnership for Dogs (IPFD) facilitates the collaboration and sharing of resources to enhance the health, well-being and welfare of pedigree dogs and all dogs worldwide. Its goal is to facilitate the sharing of knowledge across all stakeholders worldwide. It has initiated specific actions to improve dog health and well-being, such as supporting globally relevant breed-specific breeding strategies. A major development has been the project, Harmonisation of Genetic Testing for Dogs (HGTD), which is regularly updated and provides a breed relevance rating (BRR). The next International Dog Health Workshop (DHW) will be in 2022.


Responsible Dog Breeding Guidelines 2020

Responsible Dog Breeding Guidelines 2020 – European Commission – Welfare in Pet Trade

Responsible Dog Breeding Guidelines 2020 - European Commission
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The EU Responsible Dog Breeding Guidelines 2020 reminds us of the close bond, understanding and communication between dogs and humans. The Report reminds us that poor breeding practices have profoundly detrimental effects on dog welfare and on the well-being of owners. Poor breeding may lead to a lifetime of suffering, through poor health and poor suitability as pets, resulting in an untimely death, abandonment or relinquishment. Dogs and puppies have the same need for a good quality of life regardless of breeding context and all breeders are required to act responsibly and with compassion to meet those needs.

The Guidelines are intended to support enforcement of responsible breeding and good animal welfare practices by competent authorities. The criteria for good practice are set out in these guidelines.