Animal Laws in the UK

The UK has a well-developed animal protection legislation that undoubtedly has come a long way in protecting the welfare of animals. However, it should be noted that the law varies between the constituent nations (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) of the United Kingdom due to power being devolved to local authorities. Read more

Animals transported between countries must be cared for by those in charge of them at all stages in order to avoid unnecessary suffering. This is a key aspect of retained EU legislation and reflects the standards set by the Council of Europe.

Understanding Animal Laws: A Comprehensive Guide to Pet Ownership and Responsibilities

A key provision of this Act is that it is an offence to administer any ‘poisonous or injurious substance’ to a protected animal, provided that the administrator knew or should have known that the animal was suffering or likely to suffer. This includes a person who is in temporary charge of a wild animal, such as a Dartmoor pony or visiting Canada geese.

It is also an offence to disturb a Schedule 1 bird whilst it is building a nest or when it is in, on or near a nest that contains eggs or young. The intention of this legislation is to reduce the number of incidents where people disrupt wildlife in its natural habitat.

The Act provides powers for a national authority to make secondary Regulations to promote the welfare of animals (or their progeny). This is a general power and can include penalties that must be affirmed in parliament.

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