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Animal Welfare Act 2006


7.The Act covers various aspects of animal welfare and sections are grouped under 11 headings. These are as follows:

  • IntroductorySections 1 to 3 set out the scope of the Act and define the different categories of animal to which the Act applies.

  • Prevention of harmSections 4 to 8 set out offences relating to cruelty and animal fighting.

  • Promotion of welfareSections 9 to 12 set out specific offences which relate to the promotion of welfare. Section 9 imposes a duty to ensure welfare. Section 10 empowers inspectors under the Act to issue improvement notices to those responsible for animals. Section 11 relates to the sale of animals to persons under 16 and the giving of animals as prizes to unaccompanied under 16s. Section 12 provides for the making of regulations for the purpose of promoting the welfare of animals for which a person is responsible.

  • Licensing and registration Section 13 confers power to make regulations that will require people conducting certain activities involving animals to register or hold a licence, and to deal with existing licensing or registration regimes relating to such activities.

  • Codes of practiceSections 14 to 17 contain details of the purpose and function of Codes of Practice along with details of how they will be made, amended and revoked.

  • Animals in distressSections 18 to 21 describe the powers which an inspector or constable has to enter premises and remove animals which are in distress, including powers to take the animal into possession or to destroy it. Further, they set out the procedure for the treatment, release, sale, other disposal or destruction of animals under these sections.

  • Enforcement powersSections 22 to 29 set out the enforcement powers contained in the Act, including the powers of entry and search, seizure of animals and inspection under certain conditions.

  • ProsecutionsSections 30 and 31 give local authorities the power to prosecute proceedings for any offence under the Act and set time limits for prosecutions.

  • Post-conviction powersSections 32 to 45 set out the penalties available on conviction. They include imprisonment, fine, deprivation, disqualification, destruction, forfeiture of equipment and cancellation of a licence or registration.

  • ScotlandSections 46 to 50 make provision for disqualification orders under the Act to apply across Great Britain and for the powers of the Scottish courts in relation to breach in Scotland of disqualification under the Act.

  • GeneralSections 51 to 69

  • Schedule 1 (Regulations under section 13)

  • Schedule 2 (Powers of entry, inspection and search: supplementary)

  • Schedule 3 (Minor and consequential amendments)

  • Schedule 4 (Repeals)

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