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Welfare of Farmed Animals Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000

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Statutory Rules of Northern Ireland

2000 No. 270

WELFARE OF ANIMALS

Welfare of Farmed Animals Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000

Made

18th September 2000

Coming into operation

16th October 2000

The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development(1), in exercise of the powers conferred on it by section 2(1) of the Welfare of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 1972(2) and being a Department designated(3) for the purposes of section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972(4) in relation to the common agricultural policy of the European Community, in exercise of the powers conferred on it by the said section 2(2) and of every other power enabling it in that behalf and after consultation with such persons appearing to it to represent any interests concerned as it considers appropriate, hereby makes the following Regulations:

Citation and commencement

1.  These Regulations may be cited as the Welfare of Farmed Animals Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000 and shall come into operation on 16th October 2000.

Interpretation

2.  (1)  In these Regulations—

“animal” means any animal (including amphibians) bred or kept for the production of food, wool, skin or fur or for other farming purposes;

“authorised officer ” means an officer of the Department authorised by it to act for the purposes of the Welfare of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 1972;

“battery cage” means an enclosed space intended for laying hens in a battery system;

“battery hen” means a laying hen kept in a battery cage;

“battery system” means an arrangement of cages in rows or tiers or rows and tiers;

“calf” means a bovine animal aged up to six months;

“the Community legislation” means the Community legislation referred to in regulation 14;

“keeper” means any person responsible for, or in charge of, animals whether on a permanent or temporary basis;

“laying hen” means an adult hen of the species Gallus gallus which is kept for egg production;

“pig” means an animal of the porcine species of any age, kept for breeding or fattening;

“statutory welfare code” means a code issued under section 3 of the Welfare of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 1972, regulation 14 or both statutory provisions; and

“zootechnical treatment” has the meaning given by Article 1(2)(c) of Directive 96/22/EEC(5) concerning the prohibition on the use in stockfarming of certain substances having a hormonal or thyrostatic action and of beta-agonists.

(2) The Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954(6) shall apply to these Regulations as it applies to an Act of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

(3) In these Regulations, expressions which are also used in the Welfare of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 1972 shall have the same meaning as in that Act.

(4) These Regulations shall apply to animals except—

(a)animals living in the wild;

(b)animals whilst at, and animals solely intended for use in, competitions, shows, cultural or sporting events or activities;

(c)experimental or laboratory animals; or

(d)any invertebrate animals.

Duties on owners and keepers of animals

3.  (1)  The owner and the keeper of any animal shall take all reasonable steps—

(a)to ensure the welfare of that animal, and

(b)to ensure that it is not caused any unnecessary pain, suffering, injury or distress.

(2) The owner and the keeper of any animal (other than fish, reptiles and amphibians) shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that the conditions under which the animal is bred or kept comply with the requirements set out in Schedule 1.

(3) In deciding whether the conditions under which any animal is bred or kept comply with the requirements set out in Schedule 1, the owner and the keeper of the animal shall have regard to its species, to its degree of development, adaptation and domestication, and to its physiological and ethological needs in accordance with established experience and scientific knowledge.

Additional duties on owners and keepers of laying hens kept in battery cages

4.  The owner and the keeper of laying hens kept in battery cages shall ensure that, in addition to the requirements set out in Schedule 1, the conditions under which the birds are kept comply with the requirements set out in Schedule 2.

Additional duties on owners and keepers of poultry other than laying hens kept in battery cages

5.  The owner and the keeper of poultry other than laying hens kept in battery cages shall ensure that, in addition to the requirements set out in Schedule 1, the conditions under which the birds are kept comply with the requirements set out in Schedule 3.

Additional duties on owners and keepers of calves confined for rearing and fattening

6.  The owner and the keeper of calves confined for rearing and fattening shall ensure that, in addition to the requirements set out Schedule 1, the conditions under which the animals are kept comply with the requirements set out in Schedule 4.

Additional duties on owners and keepers of cattle

7.  The owner and the keeper of cattle (other than calves to which regulation 6 applies) shall ensure that, in addition to the requirements set out in Schedule 1, the conditions under which the animals are kept comply with the requirements set out in Schedule 5.

Additional duties on owners and keepers of pigs

8.  The owner and the keeper of pigs shall ensure that, in addition to the requirements set out in Schedule 1, the conditions under which the animals are kept comply with—

(a)the requirements set out in Part II of Schedule 6, and

(b)the requirements set out in Parts III, IV, V or VI of Schedule 6 (as the case may be) applicable to the particular class of pig being kept.

Additional duties on owners and keepers of rabbits

9.  The owner and the keeper of rabbits shall ensure that, in addition to the requirements set out in Schedule 1, the conditions under which the animals are kept comply with the requirements set out in Schedule 7.

Statutory welfare codes

10.  (1)  Any person who employs or engages a person to attend to animals shall ensure that the person attending to the animals—

(a)is acquainted with the provisions of any statutory welfare codes relating to the animals to which he attends;

(b)has access to a copy of all such codes while he is attending to the animals; and

(c)has received instruction and guidance on those codes.

(2) Any person who keeps animals, or who causes or knowingly permits animals to be kept, shall not attend to them unless he has at the time access to all statutory welfare codes relating to the animals to which he attends, and he is acquainted with the provisions of those codes.

Powers of an authorised officer

11.  (1)  Where an authorised officer considers that animals are being kept in a way which is—

(a)likely to cause them unnecessary pain, suffering, injury or distress; or

(b)otherwise in contravention of any provision of these Regulations,

he may serve a notice on the person appearing to him to be in charge of the animals requiring him, within the period stated in the notice, to take such action as may be specified in the notice and which the authorised officer considers to be reasonably necessary to ensure compliance with these Regulations.

(2) The authorised officer shall, in any notice issued under paragraph (1), give his reasons for requiring any action specified in the notice to be taken.

Powers of entry

12.  (1)  An authorised officer acting for the purposes of the Community legislation may, without prejudice to his powers of entry under section 5 of the Welfare of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 1972, at any reasonable time enter upon any land or any premises in which he knows or suspects that animals are kept for the purposes of ascertaining whether these Regulations have been contravened.

(2) A person who wilfully obstructs or delays an authorised officer in the exercise of his powers of entry in accordance with paragraph (1) shall be guilty of an offence.

(3) An authorised officer exercising powers of entry in accordance with paragraph (1) may take with him a representative of the European Commission acting for the purposes of the Community legislation.

Offences

13.  (1)  Subject to paragraph 7(3) and (4) of Schedule 6, a person who without lawful authority or excuse, proof of which shall lie on him—

(a)contravenes or fails to comply with any provision of these Regulations;

(b)fails to comply with a notice served under regulation 11 within the time specified in the notice;

(c)makes any entry in a record, or gives any information for the purposes of these Regulations which he knows to be false in any material particular or, for those purposes, recklessly makes a statement or gives any information which is false in any material particular; or

(d)causes or permits any of the above,

shall be guilty of an offence under section 2(1) of the Welfare of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 1972.

(2) In any proceedings against an owner or keeper of animals for a failure to comply with regulation 3(1) or 3(2) (as read with regulation 3(3)), the owner or keeper, as the case may be, may rely on his compliance with any relevant recommendation contained in a statutory welfare code, proof of which shall lie on him, as tending to establish his compliance with the relevant provision.

Issue of statutory welfare codes

14.  Without prejudice to its powers to prepare codes containing recommendations for the welfare of livestock under section 3 of the Welfare of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 1972, the Department may prepare, revoke, vary or amend codes containing recommendations to ensure compliance on the part of owners and keepers of animals with the requirements of—

(a)Council Directive 88/166/EEC(7) laying down minimum standards for the protection of laying hens kept in battery cages;

(b)Council Directive 91/629/EEC(8) laying down minimum standards for the protection of calves as amended by Council Directive 97/2/EC(9) and Commission Decision 97/182/EC(10);

(c)Council Directive 91/630/EEC(11) laying down minimum standards for the protection of pigs; or

(d)Council Directive 98/58/EC(12) concerning the protection of animals kept for farming purposes.

Revocations

15.  The Welfare of Livestock Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1995(13) and the Welfare of Livestock (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1998(14) are hereby revoked.

Sealed with the Official Seal of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development on 18th September 2000.

L.S.

R. S. Johnston

A Senior Officer of the

Department of Agricultural and Rural Development

Regulations 3(2), 3(3), 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9

SCHEDULE 1General conditions under which farmed animals must be kept

Staffing

1.  Animals shall be cared for by a sufficient number of staff who possess the appropriate ability, knowledge and professional competence.

Inspection

2.  (1)  Subject to sub-paragraph (3), all animals kept in husbandry systems in which their welfare depends on frequent human attention shall be thoroughly inspected at least once a day to check that they are in a state of well-being.

(2) Subject to sub-paragraph (3), all animals kept in systems other than husbandry systems in which their welfare depends on frequent human attention shall be inspected at intervals sufficient to avoid any suffering.

(3) Notwithstanding sub-paragraphs (1) and (2), in the following cases, it shall be sufficient for the purposes of this paragraph to comply with the following specific provisions—

(a)in the case of laying hens kept in battery cages, paragraph 7 of Schedule 2;

(b)in the case of calves, paragraphs 3 and 4 of Schedule 4; and

(c)in the case of pigs, paragraph 2 of Schedule 6.

3.  Where animals are kept in a building adequate lighting (whether fixed or portable) shall be available to enable them to be thoroughly inspected at any time.

4.  Where any animals (other than poultry) are kept in a building they shall be kept on, or have access at all times to, a lying area which is well drained or well maintained with dry bedding.

5.  Any animals which appear to be ill or injured—

(a)shall be cared for appropriately without delay; and

(b)where they do not respond to such care, veterinary advice shall be obtained as soon as possible.

6.  Where necessary, sick or injured animals shall be isolated in suitable accommodation with, where appropriate, dry comfortable bedding.

Record keeping

7.  A record shall be maintained of—

(a)any medicinal treatment given to animals, and

(b)the number of mortalities found on each inspection of animals carried out in accordance with any of the following provisions—

(i)in the case of laying hens kept in battery cages, paragraph 7 of Schedule 2;

(ii)in the case of calves, paragraph 3 or 4 of Schedule 4;

(iii)in the case of pigs, paragraph 2 of Schedule 6; or

(iv)in any other case paragraph 2 of this Schedule.

8.  The record referred to in paragraph 7 shall be retained for a period of at least three years from the date on which the medical treatment was given, or the date of the inspection, as the case may be, and shall be made available to an authorised officer when carrying out an inspection or when otherwise requested by such person.

Freedom of movement

9.  The freedom of movement of animals, having regard to their species and in accordance with established experience and scientific knowledge, shall not be restricted in such a way as to cause them unnecessary suffering or injury.

10.  Where animals are continuously or regularly tethered or confined, they shall be given the space appropriate to their physiological and ethological needs in accordance with established experience and scientific knowledge.

Buildings and accommodation

11.  Materials used for the construction of accommodation, and, in particular for the construction of pens, cages, stalls and equipment with which the animals may come into contact, shall not be harmful to them and shall be capable of being thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

12.  Accommodation and fittings for securing animals shall be constructed and maintained so that there are no sharp edges or protrusions likely to cause injury to them.

13.  Air circulation, dust levels, temperature, relative air humidity and gas concentrations shall be kept within limits which are not harmful to the animals.

14.  Animals kept in buildings shall not be kept in permanent darkness.

15.  Where the natural light available in a building is insufficient to meet the physiological and ethological needs of any animals being kept in it then appropriate artificial lighting shall be provided.

16.  Animals kept in buildings shall not be kept without an appropriate period of rest from artificial lighting.

Animals not kept in buildings

17.  Animals not kept in buildings shall, where necessary and possible, be given protection from adverse weather conditions, predators and risks to their health and shall, at all times, have access to a well drained lying area.

Automatic or mechanical equipment

18.  All automated or mechanical equipment essential for the health and well being of the animals shall be inspected at least once a day to check that there is no defect in it and that no parts of the equipment have become seriously worn.

19.  Where defects or worn parts in automated or mechanical equipment of the type specified in paragraph 18 are discovered, these shall be rectified immediately, or if this is impossible, appropriate steps shall be taken to safeguard the health and well-being of the animals pending the rectification of such defects including the use of alternative methods of feeding and watering and methods of providing and maintaining a satisfactory environment.

20.  Where the health and well-being of the animals is dependent on an artificial ventilation system—

(a)provision shall be made for an appropriate back-up system to guarantee sufficient air renewal to preserve the health and well-being of the animals in the event of failure of the system, and

(b)an alarm system (which will operate even if the principal electricity supply to it has failed) shall be provided to give warning of any failure of the system.

21.  The back-up system referred to in paragraph 20(a) shall be thoroughly inspected and the alarm system referred to in paragraph 20(b) shall each be tested at least once every seven days in order to check that there is no defect in the system, and, if any defect is found (whether when the system is inspected or tested in accordance with this paragraph or at any other time), it shall be rectified immediately.

Feed, water and other substances

22.  Animals shall be fed a wholesome diet which is appropriate to their age and species and which is fed to them in sufficient quantity to maintain them in good health, to satisfy their nutritional needs and promote a positive state of well-being.

23.  Animals shall not be provided with food or liquid in a manner, nor shall such food or liquid contain any substance, which may cause them unnecessary suffering or injury.

24.  All animals shall have access to feed at intervals appropriate to their physiological needs (and, in any case, at least once a day), except where a veterinary surgeon acting in the exercise of his profession otherwise directs.

25.  All animals shall have access to a suitable water supply and be provided with an adequate supply of fresh drinking water each day or be able to satisfy their fluid intake needs by other means.

26.  Feeding and watering equipment shall be designed, constructed, placed and maintained so that contamination of food and water and the harmful effects of competition between animals are minimised.

27.  No other substance, with the exception of those given for therapeutic or prophylactic purposes or for the purpose of zootechnical treatment shall be administered to animals unless it has been demonstrated by scientific studies of animal welfare or established experience that the effect of that substance is not detrimental to the health or welfare of the animals.

Breeding procedures

28.  (1)  Subject to sub-paragraph (2), natural or artificial breeding or breeding procedures which cause, or are likely to cause, suffering or injury to any of the animals concerned shall not be practised.

(2) Sub-paragraph (1) shall not preclude the use of natural or artificial breeding procedures that are likely to cause minimal or momentary suffering or injury or that might necessitate interventions which would not cause lasting injury.

29.  Animals shall not be kept for farming purposes unless it can reasonably be expected, on the basis of their genotype or phenotype, that they can be kept without detrimental effect on their health or welfare.

Electrical immobilisation

30.  A person shall not apply an electrical current to any animals for the purposes of immobilisation.

Regulation 4

SCHEDULE 2Additional conditions under which laying hens kept in battery cages must be kept

1.  All cages shall comply with the following requirements—

(a)the cage area, measured in a horizontal plane, for each laying hen shall be not less than—

(i)1000 cm2 where one hen is kept in the cage;

(ii)750 cm2 where two hens are kept in the cage;

(iii)550 cm2 where three hens are kept in the cage, and

(iv)450 cm2 where four or more hens are kept in the cage;

(b)the minimum cage area for each laying hen shall be capable of being used without restriction and may include the area where the non-waste deflection plate (otherwise known as the egg guard) is placed so long as that area is capable of being so used;

(c)a feed trough of a length not less than 10 cm multiplied by the number of hens in the cage and capable of being used without restriction shall be provided;

(d)except where nipple drinkers and drinking cups are provided, the cage shall have a continuous drinking channel which shall be—

(i)not less than 10 cm multiplied by the number of hens in the cage; and

(ii)capable of being used without restriction;

(e)where drinking points are plumbed in, there shall be a minimum of two nipple drinkers or two drinking cups within reach of the cage;

(f)the height of the cage, for 65% of its area, shall be not less than 40 cm, and, for the remainder of the area, shall be not less than 35 cm (the height being obtained by a vertical line from the floor to the nearest point in the roof and the area being obtained by multiplying 450 cm2 by the number of hens kept in the cage);

(g)the floor of the cage shall be constructed so as to support adequately each of the forward facing claws of each foot; and

(h)the slope of the floor shall not exceed 14% or 8 degrees, when made of rectangular wire mesh, and 21.3% or 12 degrees for other types of floor.

2.  Battery cages shall be designed, constructed and maintained in such a way as to prevent any injury or unnecessary suffering to laying hens to the extent possible in the existing state of technology.

3.  The design and size of the cage opening must be such that laying hens can be put in or taken out without causing injury or unnecessary suffering.

4.  The cages must be suitably equipped and maintained to prevent a hen escaping.

5.  Except where therapeutic or prophylactic treatment demands otherwise, all laying hens shall have access to adequate, nutritious and hygienic feed each day in sufficient quantity to maintain them in good health and to satisfy their nutritional needs, and to adequate fresh drinking water at all times.

6.  The laying hens shall be cared for by personnel with adequate knowledge and experience of the production system used.

7.  The flock or group of laying hens shall be inspected thoroughly at least once a day and a source of light (whether fixed or portable) shall be available which is strong enough for each bird to be seen clearly.

8.  Accommodation comprising more than three tiers of cages shall not be used unless suitable devices or measures make it possible to inspect thoroughly all tiers without difficulty.

9.  (1)  When laying hens do not appear to be in good health or show behavioural changes, steps shall be taken to establish the cause and appropriate remedial action shall be taken.

(2) Where remedial action is required to be taken under sub-paragraph (1) above, consideration shall be given to the following types of action—

(a)treatment;

(b)isolation;

(c)culling;

(d)correction of environmental factors; and

(e)any other form of remedial action which might be necessary.

(3) If the cause of the health or behavioural problems referred to in sub-paragraph (1) above is traced to an environmental factor in the production unit which it is not essential to remedy immediately, remedial action shall be taken as soon as practicable and in any event when the accommodation is next emptied and before the next batch of laying hens is put in.

10.  (1)  Every time all the cages housed together are emptied they shall be thoroughly cleansed and disinfected before the next batch of laying hens is put in.

(2) While the cages are occupied, the surfaces and all equipment shall be kept satisfactorily clean.

Regulation 5

SCHEDULE 3Additional conditions under which poultry other than laying hens kept in battery cages must be kept

Where any poultry other than laying hens kept in battery cages are kept in a building, they shall be kept on, or have access at all times to, well maintained litter or to a well-drained area for resting.

Regulation 6

SCHEDULE 4Additional conditions that apply to the keeping of calves confined for rearing and fattening

Accommodation

1.  (1)  A calf shall not be confined in an individual stall or pen after the age of eight weeks unless a veterinary surgeon certifies that its health or behaviour requires it to be isolated in order to receive treatment.

(2) The width of any individual stall or pen for a calf shall be at least equal to the height of the calf at the withers, measured in the standing position, and the length shall be at least equal to the body length of the calf, measured from the tip of the nose to the caudal edge of the tuber ischii (pin bone), multiplied by 1.1.

(3) Individual stalls or pens for calves (except for those isolating sick animals) shall have perforated walls, which allow calves to have direct visual and tactile contact.

(4) For calves kept in groups, the unobstructed space allowance available to each calf shall be—

(a)at least 1.5 square metres for each calf with a live weight of less than 150 kg;

(b)at least 2 square metres for each calf with a live weight of 150 kg or more but less than 200 kg; and

(c)at least 3 square metres for each calf with a live weight of 200 kg or more.

(5) Each calf shall be able to stand up, turn around, lie down, rest and groom itself without hindrance.

(6) Subject to sub-paragraphs (7) and (8), each calf that is kept on a holding on which two or more calves are kept shall be able to see at least one other calf.

(7) Sub-paragraph (6) shall not apply to any calf that is kept in isolation on a holding on veterinary advice.

(8) For the purpose of calculating the number of calves being kept on a holding in order to determine whether sub-paragraph (6) applies, no account shall be taken of any calf that is being kept in isolation on that holding on veterinary advice.

Transitional provisions for accommodation

2.  (1)  Until 1st January 2004 sub-paragraphs (1), (3) and (4) of paragraph 1 shall not apply in relation to accommodation in use before 1st January 1998.

(2) Until 1st January 2004, in the case of accommodation brought into use after 1st January 1994 but before 1st January 1998—

(a)where calves are housed in groups, each calf of 150 kg or more live weight shall have at least 1.5 square metres of unobstructed floor space, and

(b)where a calf is housed in an individual stall or pen, the stall or pen shall have at least one perforated wall which enables the calf to see other animals in neighbouring stalls and pens unless isolated for veterinary reasons.

Inspection

3.  All housed calves shall be inspected by the owner or keeper of the calves at least twice a day to check that they are in a state of well-being.

4.  Calves that are kept outside shall be inspected by the owner or keeper of the calves at least once a day to check that they are in a state of well-being.

5.  Where necessary, sick or injured calves shall be isolated in suitable accommodation with dry comfortable bedding.

Tethering

6.  (1)  Calves shall not be tethered, with the exception of group-housed calves which may be tethered for a period of not more than one hour when being fed milk or milk substitute.

(2) Where tethers are used in accordance with the preceding sub-paragraph, they shall not cause pain or injury to the calves and shall be inspected regularly and adjusted as necessary to ensure a comfortable fit.

(3) Each tether shall be designed to avoid the risk of strangulation or pain or injury and allow the calf to lie down, rest, stand up and groom itself without hindrance.

Artificially lit buildings

7.  Where calves are kept in an artificially lit building then, subject to paragraphs 14 and 16 of Schedule 1, artificial lighting shall be provided for a period at least equivalent to the period of natural light normally available between 9.00 a.m. and 5.00 p.m.

Cleansing and disinfection

8.  (1)  Housing, stalls, pens, equipment and utensils used for calves shall be properly cleansed and disinfected to prevent cross-infection and the build-up of disease-carrying organisms.

(2) Faeces, urine and uneaten or spilt food shall be removed as often as necessary to minimise smell and to avoid attracting flies or rodents.

Floors

9.  —Where calves are kept in a building, floors shall—

(a)be smooth but not slippery so as to prevent injury to the calves;

(b)be so designed as not to cause injury or suffering to calves standing or lying on them;

(c)be suitable for the size and weight of the calves; and

(d)form a rigid, even and stable surface.

Bedding and lying area

10.  (1)  All calves shall be provided with appropriate bedding.

(2) All calves shall be kept on, or at all times have access to, a lying area which is clean, comfortable and does not adversely affect the calves and is well drained.

(3) All housed calves and calves kept in hutches or temporary structures shall be kept on, or at all times have access to, a lying area which is well-maintained with dry bedding.

Bovine colostrum

11.  Each calf shall receive bovine colostrum as soon as possible after it is born and in any case within the first six hours of life.

Additional dietary requirements

12.  (1)  All calves shall be provided with food that contains sufficient iron to ensure a blood haemoglobin level of at least 4.5mmol/litre.

(2) A minimum daily ration of fibrous food shall be provided for each calf over 2 weeks old, the quantity being raised in line with the growth of the calf from a minimum of 100 g at 2 weeks old to a minimum of 250 g at 20 weeks old.

Muzzling

13.  Calves shall not be muzzled.

Feeding

14.  (1)  All calves shall be fed at least twice a day.

(2) Where calves are housed in a group and do not have continuous access to feed, or are not fed by an automatic feeding system, each calf shall have access to food at the same time as the others in the feeding group.

Drinking water

15.  (1)  Subject to sub-paragraph (2), all calves shall be provided with a sufficient quantity of fresh drinking water each day.

(2) Calves shall be provided with fresh drinking water at all times—

(a)in hot weather conditions, or

(b)when they are ill.

Regulation 7

SCHEDULE 5Additional conditions that apply to the keeping of cattle

1.  Where any lactating dairy cows or any cows that are calving are kept in any roofed accommodation they shall have access at all times to a well-drained and bedded lying area.

2.  Where any cows that are calving are kept in a building, they shall be kept—

(a)in a pen or a yard which is of such a size as to permit a person to attend the cows, and

(b)separate from other livestock other than calving cows.

Regulation 8

SCHEDULE 6Additional conditions that apply to the keeping of pigs

Part I

Interpretation

1.  In this Schedule—

“boar” means a male pig after puberty, intended for breeding;

“gilt” means a female pig intended for breeding after puberty and before farrowing;

“piglet” means a pig from birth to weaning;

“rearing pig” means a pig from ten weeks to slaughter or service;

“sow” means a female pig after the first farrowing; and

“weaner” means a pig from weaning to the age of ten weeks.

Part IIGeneral additional conditions

Inspection

2.  All pigs shall be inspected by the owner or keeper of pigs at least once a day to check that they are in a state of well-being.

3.  Where necessary, sick or injured pigs shall be isolated in suitable accommodation with dry comfortable bedding.

Tethering

4.  A person shall not tether or cause to be tethered any pig except while it is undergoing any examination, test, treatment or operation carried out for any veterinary purpose.

5.  (1)  Where the use of tethers is permitted in accordance with paragraph 4, they shall not cause injury to the pigs and shall be inspected regularly and adjusted as necessary to ensure a comfortable fit.

(2) Each tether shall be of sufficient length to allow the pigs to move as stipulated in paragraph 6(2) and the design shall be such as to avoid, as far as possible, any risk of strangulation, pain or injury.

Accommodation

6.  (1)  A pig shall be free to turn round without difficulty at all times.

(2) The accommodation used for pigs shall be constructed in such a way as to allow each pig to—

(a)stand up, lie down and rest without difficulty;

(b)have a clean place in which it can rest; and

(c)see other pigs, unless the pig is isolated for veterinary reasons.

7.  (1)  The dimension of any stall or pen shall be such that the internal area is not less than the square of the length of the pig, and no internal side is less than 75% of the length of the pig, the length of the pig in each case being measured from the tip of its snout to the base of its tail while it is standing with its back straight.

(2) This paragraph shall not apply in relation to a female pig for the period between seven days before the predicted day of her farrowing and the day on which the weaning of her piglets (including any piglets fostered by her) is complete, provided that, after farrowing, she has sufficient space to enable her to adopt a comfortable posture in which she can be suckled.

(3) A person shall not be guilty of an offence in accordance with regulation 13(1) or failing to comply with this paragraph by reason of the keeping of a pig in a stall or pen—

(a)while it is undergoing any examination, test, treatment or operation carried out for veterinary purposes;

(b)for the purposes of service, artificial insemination or collection of semen;

(c)while it is fed on any particular occasion;

(d)for the purposes of marking, washing or weighing it;

(e)while its accommodation is being cleaned; or

(f)while it is awaiting loading for transportation,

provided that the period during which it is so kept is not longer than necessary for that purpose.

(4) A person shall not be guilty of an offence in accordance with regulation 13(1) of contravening or failing to comply with this paragraph by reason of the keeping of a pig in a stall or pen which the pig can enter or leave at will, provided that the stall or pen is entered from a stall or pen in which the pig is kept without contravention of this paragraph.

Artificially lit buildings

8.  Where pigs are kept in an artificially lit building then, subject to paragraph 14 and 16 of Schedule 1, artificial lighting shall be provided for a period at least equivalent to the period of natural light normally available between 9.00 a.m. and 5.00 p.m.

Prevention of fighting

9.  (1)  If pigs are kept together, measures shall be taken to prevent fighting which goes beyond normal behaviour.

(2) Pigs that show persistent aggression towards others or are victims of such aggression shall be isolated or kept separate from the group.

Cleansing and disinfection

10.  (1)  Housing, pens, equipment and utensils used for pigs must be properly cleansed and disinfected as necessary to prevent cross-infection and the build-up of disease-carrying organisms.

(2) Faeces, urine and uneaten or spilt food must be removed as often as necessary to minimise smells and avoid attracting flies or rodents.

Lying area

11.  (1)  Where pigs are kept in a building they shall be kept on, or have access at all times to, a lying area which is clean, comfortable and does not adversely affect them, and is well-drained or well maintained with dry bedding.

(2) Where bedding is provided, this must be clean, dry and not harmful to the pigs.

Floors

12.  Where pigs are kept in a building, floors shall—

(a)be smooth but not slippery so as to prevent injury to the pigs;

(b)be so designed as not to cause injury or suffering to pigs standing or lying on them;

(c)be suitable for the size and weight of the pigs; and

(d)form a rigid, even and stable surface.

Feeding

13.  (1)  All pigs must be fed at least once a day.

(2) Where pigs are housed in a group and do not have continuous access to feed, or are not fed by an automatic feeding system, each pig must have access to the food at the same time as the others in the feeding group.

Drinking water

14.  All pigs shall be provided with an adequate supply of fresh drinking water each day.

Environmental enrichment

15.  In addition to the measures normally taken to prevent tail-biting and other vices and in order to enable them to satisfy their behavioural needs, all pigs, taking into account environment and stocking density, shall have access to straw or other material or object suitable to satisfy those needs.

Prohibition on the use of the sweat-box system

16.  Pigs shall not be kept in an environment that involves maintaining high temperatures and high humidity (known as the “sweat-box system”).

Part IIIBoars

17.  Boar pens shall be sited and constructed so as to allow the boar to turn round and to hear, see and smell other pigs, and shall contain clean resting areas.

18.  The lying area for boars shall be dry and comfortable.

19.  The minimum pen size for an adult boar shall be six square metres, except that a larger area shall be provided when pens are used for service.

Part IVSows and Gilts

20.  Gilts and sows between weaning their piglets and the perinatal period shall, where necessary, be treated against external and internal parasites.

21.  If they are placed in farrowing crates, pregnant sows and gilts shall be thoroughly clean.

22.  Gilts and sows between weaning their piglets and the perinatal period shall be provided with a clean, adequately drained, comfortable lying area and shall, if necessary, be given suitable nesting material.

23.  During farrowing, an unobstructed area behind the sow or gilt shall be available for the ease of natural or assisted farrowing.

24.  Farrowing pens where sows are kept loose must have some means of protecting the piglets, such as farrowing rails.

Part VPiglets

25.  Piglets shall, where necessary, be provided with a source of heat and a solid, dry and comfortable lying area away from the sow where all of them can rest at the same time.

26.  Where a farrowing crate is used, the piglets shall have sufficient space to be able to suckle without difficulty.

27.  Tail docking or tooth clipping shall not be carried out unless there is evidence, on the farm, that injuries to sows' teats or to other pigs' ears or tails have occurred as a result of not carrying out these procedures.

28.  Where tooth clipping appears to be necessary, this procedure shall only be carried out within seven days of birth.

29.  Piglets shall not be weaned from the sow at an age of less than three weeks unless the welfare or health of the sow or piglets would otherwise be adversely affected.

Part VIWeaners and Rearing Pigs

30.  Pigs shall be placed in groups as soon as possible after weaning. They shall be kept in stable groups with as little mixing as possible.

31.  The unobstructed floor area available to each weaner or rearing pig reared in a group shall be at least—

(a)0.15 square metres for each pig where the average weight of the pigs in the group is 10 kg or less;

(b)0.20 square metres for each pig where the average weight of the pigs in the group is more than 10 kg but less than or equal to 20 kg;

(c)0.30 square metres for each pig where the average weight of the pigs in the group is more than 20 kg but less than or equal to 30 kg;

(d)0.40 square metres for each pig where the average weight of the pigs in the group is more than 30 kg but less than or equal to 50 kg;

(e)0.55 square metres for each pig where the average weight of the pigs in the group is more than 50 kg but less than or equal to 85 kg;

(f)0.65 square metres for each pig where the average weight of the pigs in the group is more than 85 kg but less than or equal to 110 kg; and

(g)1.00 square metre for each pig where the average weight of the pigs in the group is more than 110 kg.

Regulation 9

SCHEDULE 7Additional conditions that apply to the keeping of rabbits

1.  Any hutches or cages in which any rabbits are kept shall be—

(a)of sufficient size to allow the rabbits to move around and to feed and drink without difficulty and to enable all the rabbits kept in them to lie on their sides at the same time, and

(b)of sufficient height to allow the rabbits to sit upright on all four feet without having their ears touching the top of the hutch or cage.

2.  Where any rabbits are kept in any accommodation that is exposed to the weather, suitable steps shall be taken so as to ensure that the rabbits have access to shelter from the action of the weather (including direct sunlight).

Explanatory Note

(This note is not part of the Regulations.)

These Regulations revoke and replace with amendments the Welfare of Livestock Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1995 and the Welfare of Livestock (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1998.

They implement as respects Northern Ireland—

Council Directive 88/166/EEC laying down minimum standards for the protection of laying hens kept in battery cages (O.J. No. L74, 19.3.88, p. 83);

Council Directive 91/629/EEC laying down minimum standards for the protection of calves (O.J. No. L340, 11.12.91, p. 28), as amended by Council Directive 97/2/EC (O.J. No. L25, 28.1.97, p. 24) and Commission Decision 97/182/EC (O.J. No. L76, 24.2.97, p. 30);

Council Directive 91/630/EEC laying down minimum standards for the protection of pigs (O.J. No. L340, 11.12.91, p. 33); and

Council Directive 98/58/EC concerning the protection of animals kept for farming purposes (O.J. No. L221, 8.8.98, p. 23).

The Regulations (and the Community legislation which they implement) reflect the obligations contained in the European Convention for the Protection of Animals kept for Farming Purposes of 10th March 1976, as read with the Protocol of Amendment to the European Convention for the Protection of Animals kept for Farming Purposes of 6th February 1992 (both may be purchased from the Stationery Office Bookshop, 16 Arthur Street, Belfast BT1 4GD).

The Regulations apply to all animals kept for farming purposes (subject to certain limited exceptions) (regulation 2(4)).

Regulation 3(1) lays down the general principle that owners and keepers of animals kept for farming purposes must take reasonable steps to ensure the welfare of animals in their care and to prevent them any unnecessary pain, suffering or injury. This principle applies to all animals (including fish, reptiles and amphibians).

The Regulations also provide for general requirements which apply in the case of all farmed animals (other than fish, reptiles and amphibians) (regulation 3(2) and Schedule 1) and for sets of specific additional requirements which apply in the cases of laying hens (regulation 4 and Schedule 2), poultry other than laying hens (regulation 5 and Schedule 3), calves (regulation 6 and Schedule 4), cattle (regulation 7 and Schedule 5), pigs (regulation 8 and Schedule 6) and rabbits (regulation 9 and Schedule 7).

Regulation 10 contains provision to ensure that those in charge of animals have access to copies of the relevant statutory welfare codes and are acquainted with those codes.

Regulation 11 provides for the service of enforcement notices requiring action to be taken to deal with any breach of the Regulations and regulation 12 provides for a power of entry for persons authorised by the European Commission for the purpose of enforcing Community legislation.

Under regulation 13(1), any contravention of the Regulations is an offence against section 2(1) of the Welfare of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 1972. A person guilty of an offence under that section is liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months or to a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale (currently, £2,500) or both.

Regulation 14 contains provision for the Department to issue or amend Statutory welfare codes to ensure compliance on the part of owners and keepers of animals with the requirements of the relevant Community legislation.

(1)

Formerly the Department of Agriculture for Northern Ireland; see S.I. 1999/283 (N.I.) Article 3

(2)

1972 c. 7 as amended by S.I. 1994/1891 (N.I. 6) Art. 10

(3)

S.I. 1972/1811

(4)

1972 c. 68; section 2 is subject to Schedule 2 to that Act and is to be read with S.I. 1984/703 (N.I. 3) and S.I. 1994/2795 (N.I. 15)

(5)

O.J. No. L125, 23.5.96, p. 3

(7)

O.J. No. L74, 19.3.88, p. 83

(8)

O.J. No. L340, 11.12.91, p. 28

(9)

O.J. No. L25, 28.1.97, p. 24

(10)

O.J. No. L76, 24.2.97, p. 30

(11)

O.J. No. L340, 11.12.91, p. 33

(12)

O.J. No. L221, 8.8.98, p. 23

(13)

S.R. 1995 No. 172 as amended by S.R. 1998 No. 251

(14)

S.R. 1998 No. 251

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