Agenda Item No
The Vale of Glamorgan Council
Cabinet Meeting: 7 April 2014
Report of the Leader
Animal Welfare Charter
Purpose of the Report
1. To consider adoption of an animal welfare charter that details the Council’s roles, responsibilities and its approach to animal welfare.
1. That the Animal Welfare Charter is adopted.
Reasons for the Recommendations
1. To clarify the Council's role and responsibilities and its approach to animal welfare.
2. The Vale of Glamorgan Council has statutory duties in respect of animals that have both a direct and indirect impact on animal welfare. These duties include amongst other things licensing pet shops, riding establishments, Boarding Establishments, Breeding Establishments, Pet Shops the keeping of Dangerous Wild Animals, Performing Animals and Zoos.
3. The Council also has a duty to deal with stray dogs.
4. The Council also has responsibility for animal welfare in respect of land it owns and for which it allows the public to use or hire.
5. At a meeting of the Leisure Committee on 24th October 1994, the Committee resolved the following-: Having regard to the representations received from Animal Rights campaigners and in the interest of animal welfare generally, it was RECOMMENDED-THAT circuses using any preforming animals be prohibited on Council owned land. A copy of the minute is attached to this report at Appendix 1.
6. The Council’s approach to animal welfare has evolved over time taking into account, for example, animal welfare guidance. However, the Council’s approach involving numerous services has never been documented in one place.
7. The Council is an exemplar in respect of animal welfare and especially in animal welfare enforcement, evidenced by recent high profile prosecutions conducted by the Trading Standards and Licensing Department.
8. An animal welfare charter will further enhance the Council’s reputation and enable the public to easily understand the Council’s role, responsibilities and how these are carried out and implemented. The Vale of Glamorgan Animal Welfare Charter is attached as Appendix 2 to this report.
Relevant Issues and options
9. In the proposed Animal Welfare Charter the Council takes an approach to animal welfare that is based on the belief that the main responsibility for animal welfare lies with the owner or person in charge of the animal.
10. The Council will educate, and if necessary enforce, owners to take their responsibilities seriously but the Council will not take over the responsibility. The charter reflects this approach.
11. The charter does not cover every aspect of animal welfare but it does detail those areas that the Council considers most important and over which the Council has control and influence. There are many areas of animal welfare over which the Council has no direct influence or control and these areas have been omitted from the charter.
12. The charter details the enforcement responsibility of the Council, responsible dog ownership and policy decisions in relation to Council activities and Council owned land.
13. The charter sets out the Council’s enforcement responsibilities and the manner in which it will carry out those responsibilities. It is not possible to detail the Council’s response to all situations and scenarios hence the charter should be viewed as the minimum standards and expectations with recognition that it may be necessary for the Council to enforce more robustly or innovatively in certain circumstances.
14. As responsible dog ownership has a direct effect on issues such as stray dogs and dangerous dogs, the Council has an important role in advising and educating the public on responsible ownership, and this section details what the Council does in this area.
15. In respect of Council activities and Council owned land, the charter balances the welfare of animals with the enjoyment residents and visitors get from seeing and interacting with animals. Many of these activities would not occur if the Council adopted a blanket ban on performing animals. Some permitted exemptions are listed in the charter and others will be considered on a case by case basis, but the welfare of animals remains an overriding priority and no activities will be allowed where animals are not well cared for.
16. The Charter will enable the public to easily understand the Council’s role, its opinion on animal welfare matters, and will hopefully result in the early prevention of animal cruelty and suffering.
Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)
17. All enforcement and promotional activities within the charter are to be met within service budgets.
Sustainability and Climate Change Implications
18. There are no implications as a result of this report.
Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)
19. There are no implications as a result of this report.
Crime and Disorder Implications
20. It is a criminal offence to cause unnecessary suffering to an animal and to fail to provide for their well-being under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
21. There are numerous pieces of legislation that control keeping and transport of animals.
Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)
22. There are no implications as a result of this report.
23. Outcome 9 - Residents and visitors are safe and feel safe and the Vale is recognised as a low crime area.
Policy Framework and Budget
24. This is a matter for Executive decision.
Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)
25. The charter applies to the whole of the Vale of Glamorgan and is not word specific.
Relevant Scrutiny Committee
26. Housing and Public Protection.
Animal Welfare Act 2006
Control of Horses (Wales) Act 2014
Animal Health Act 1981
The Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 &1991
Pet Animals Act 1951
Riding Establishments Act 1964
Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976
Zoo Licensing Act 1981
Performing Animals Act 1925
Breeding and Sale of Dogs Act 1999
Christina Roberts-Kinsey – Principal Trading Standards Officer - tel. 01446 709344
Richard Price – Legal
Mandy Ewington – Licensing
Finance Support Manager
Senior Compliance/Enforcement Officer Visible Services
Rob Thomas - Director of Development Services