Explanatory Memorandum

Welfare of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 2011

2011 CHAPTER 16

29 March 2011

Commentary on Sections

Part 2 - Protection of Animals

Prevention of Harm

Section 5- Prohibited procedures

Prohibited procedures are those which involve interference with the sensitive tissues or bone structure of the animal, for example castration, ear tagging and dehorning. This section does not apply to the docking of a dog’s tail which is dealt with in section 6. Section 5 makes it an offence to carry out a prohibited procedure on any protected animal.  Exemptions to this prohibition are provided for in the Act and include the carrying out of any procedure by a veterinary surgeon, the diagnosis of disease or any medical treatment, and any procedure specified in regulations made by the Department. Regulations will ensure that normal farming practices (such as castration of lambs and the ear tagging of cattle and sheep) will be permitted which would otherwise be prohibited by the Act.