Who is responsible for what in animal welfare?

Published: May 2014


Topic(s): Animal Welfare

Type(s): Public guidance


In England and Wales a wide range of organisations respond to calls from members of the public about animal welfare problems and it can be very confusing to know who to report different problems to. This includes the police, local authorities, the RSPCA and Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency, but also includes social landlords and council teams whose primary responsibilities are not animal issues (e.g. social services).

Different bodies have different responsibilities and some have statutory powers to be able to take action. To ensure the best course of action is taken for an individual animal it is important that the right agency is contacted in the first instance.

The aim of this guidance note, produced jointly by the CIEH, the RSPCA and the Local Government Association, is to help members of the public understand the roles and responsibilities of different animal welfare agencies, and who they should contact if they have concerns or wish to raise a specific issue.

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