Horse welfare enforcement

Enforcement of legislation is critical to ensuring the welfare of horses around the world.

Enforcement of legislation is critical to ensuring the welfare of horses around the world.

Enforcement of legislation that protects the welfare of animals is often not prioritised by enforcement agencies. For legislation to be effective it must be enforced to help protect the health and welfare of horses globally. 

England and Wales

We are concerned that enforcement agencies, particularly local authorities and APHA, are currently not adequately enforcing this legislation (including the relevant Animal Welfare Acts, welfare during transport legislation and Equine ID). 

We believe this is due to a number of factors, including: 

  • Lack of resources. 
  • It is not a statutory duty on local authorities to enforce either the Animal Welfare Acts or Equine ID Regulations. 
  • Animal health and welfare is not a priority for local authorities, with many not appointing an animal welfare officer due to funding restrictions. 

Enforcement of equine health and welfare legislation will help protect our horses by:  

  • Ensuring equines are correctly identified with a microchip and passport – holding owners accountable, improving traceability in the event of a disease outbreak and ensuring horses who are signed-out of the human food chain do not enter it. 
  • Acting as a deterrent for those who are likely to commit an equine welfare offence. 
    Ensuring horses who are suffering from poor welfare are identified and acted upon appropriately, including at markets, establishments who hire out horses, the UK border and those being transported.  

The UK and Welsh Governments should provide enforcement agencies with appropriate resources to enforce the Animal Welfare Act and other legislation related to equine traceability, licensing and equine movements.  

Read more:

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