The Animal Welfare Act 2006

The Animal Welfare Act 2006 is an Act of Parliament which imposes a duty on keepers of animals to take reasonable steps to ensure that their welfare needs are being met.  Prior to the Animal Welfare Act, animal welfare law was largely reactive and action could only be taken once an animal had suffered unnecessarily.

Preventing animals suffering

This means enforcement agencies such as the Council, RSPCA and the Police can now act by advising and educating owners before their pets suffer. If this advice is not followed or the animal's needs are not being met then enforcement action may be taken.

Section 9 of the Animal Welfare Act places a duty of care on people to ensure they take reasonable steps in all the circumstances to meet the welfare needs of their animals to the extent required by good practice.

The 5 Welfare Needs

Outlined under Section 9, there are 5 specific welfare needs of animals that must be met to comply with the law. These 5 needs are:

  • need for a suitable environment
  • need for a suitable diet
  • need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns
  • need to be housed with, or apart, from other animals
  • need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.

If you are concerned about a dog in your area, please contact one of our Neighbourhood Dog Wardens on 0115 907 2244 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Our Neighbourhood Dog Wardens routinely conduct welfare checks on animals that have been reported to us to ensure that their welfare needs are being met.