The Government has today published its response to a report into the effectiveness of the Animal Welfare Act
In November 2016, the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee published a report into the effectiveness of the Animal Welfare Act following their inquiry in which welfare organisations, including World Horse Welfare, gave evidence.
Today, the Government published its response to this report and the recommendations contained within it. World Horse Welfare Chief Executive, Roly Owers, said:
“We have really mixed feelings about the Government’s response to Efracom’s report. Above all we are deeply disappointed that it effectively promotes the status quo in enforcement.
“It was clear from the evidence given to the inquiry, especially from the equine sector, that when an owner fails to meet their obligations in caring for their animals no enforcement agency sees it as their responsibility to act. We do understand the pressures placed on local authorities but are nevertheless frustrated the Government did not take up Efracom’s recommendation to make enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act their duty rather than the option it is now. It is hard to see how England can have the best animal welfare in the world when no agency has a legal responsibility to enforce animal welfare law and ensure our animals are properly protected by the legislation which is in place for this very purpose.
“However, we do welcome the Government’s decision not to restrict the right of anyone, including the RSPCA, to take out private prosecutions under the Act as this is probably the most effective line of enforcement we have at our disposal.”
Read the full report