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Dudley Council the historic capital of the Black Country
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Charter for the Welfare of Animals

Dudley Council have a statutory duty to ensure the protection of health and welfare for all animals. We recognise that animals have the right to a cruel free life and unnecessary suffering and support all current legislation, as well as changes to improve the protection of animals.

The Charter has been developed with the concerns about welfare, cruelty, abuse and neglect of animals by the local people. It aims to enforce the Councils duties to protect the local area, and to educate the public body to understand welfare for animals and the environment, as well as to teach responsible pet ownership.

Five Freedoms

The Council recognise that animals are conscious beings and capable of enjoying a state of well being and equally capable of suffering. Therefore we have a moral responsibility for the welfare of these animals and believe that all animals should have the right to enjoy the following five basic freedoms:

  • Freedom fear and distress.
  • Freedom from hunger and thirst.
  • Freedom from pain, disease and injury.
  • Freedom to express unnecessary constraint.
  • Freedom from physical discomfort.

Our Responsibilities

The Council welcome the Animal Welfare Act 2006, and The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 that ensures owners are educated in the welfare of their animals, meet these standards, and equally take responsibility for their ownership.

These responsibilities include the need:

  • For a suitable environment (place to live).
  • For a suitable diet.
  • To exhibit normal behaviour patterns.
  • To be housed with, or apart from, other animals (if applicable).
  • To be protected from pain, injury, suffering and disease.

It is also our responsibility to concentrate our efforts in the following areas:

  • Use enforcement powers fairly and firmly in animal welfare matters.
  • Exercise influence through policy decisions in matters involving animal welfare.
  • Educate and advise residents and visitors on animal welfare issues.
  • Provide up-to-date advice on animal welfare matters to individuals and organisations.
  • Seek to influence persons whose decisions or activities have an impact on animal welfare issues.

Statutory Duties

The Council has a statutory duty to licence certain establishments and activities within the district to ensure protection of animals and their wellbeing. A licence must be obtained for the following:

  • Pet shops
  • Dog Breeding Establishments
  • Dog and Cat Boarding Establishments (Including Home Boarding)
  • Riding Establishments
  • Owners of Dangerous Wild Animals

We will continue to ensure that authorised council officers, and where necessary a qualified Veterinary Surgeon will inspect the premises and that the conditions of all premises will be in line with the published guidance and licence conditions. It will carry out annual and unannounced inspections to ensure that standards are being maintained and that the licence conditions are being adhered to.

Council Policies

We will exercise its legal enforcement powers in relation to the following areas.

Blood Sports

We do not allow hunting on Council owned or Council managed land. This includes the hunting of foxes, deer, hare, and all other wildlife.

Circuses, Performances, Exhibitions and Displays of Animals

The Council's Land, owned or managed, is unlikely to be suitable for circuses, performances, exhibitions or displays of animals. The exhibition of animals must obtain a licence.

However it is our policy that all applications will be considered on an individual basis, with the consideration of animal welfare in mind.

Giving Animals As Prizes

The conditions for hiring or letting of the Councils facilities, premises or land, bans the provision of live creatures, animals or fish as prizes. We encourage other private premises and landowners to follow this lead.

Horse, Pony and Donkey Rides or Exhibiting to an Audience

Under the 2018 regulations, the hiring of horses, donkeys or the exhibition of animals must hold an animal activity licence, and meet the conditions as laid down by the Council. 

We support other landowners to adopt similar conditions.

Domestic and Captive Animals

We strongly advise that anyone thinking of getting a pet should have good knowledge and/or take professional advice on the care of the animals, and understand the best practices of pet ownership.

Responsible Pet Ownership

We strongly advise that anyone thinking of getting a pet should have good knowledge and/or take professional advice on the care of the animals before getting the pet.

We advise that all owners of cats, dogs, horses, ponies, donkeys and their hybrids are recommended to familiarize themselves with the Codes of Practice for the welfare of these species.

Once the pet has been acquired, responsible pet ownership should include consideration to micro chipping, neutering, regular health checks, vaccinations and the hygienic disposal of all animal waste. Pet owners are encouraged to control their animals properly to avoid the possibility of them causing annoyance or distress to members of the public or other animals.

Dogs and Stray Dogs

We liase with other organisations to promote responsible dog ownership by:

  • Providing readily available information found on the website on issues ranging from losing your dog, finding a stray dog, noise complaints, fouling and microchipping.
  • Providing dogs faeces bins in public areas.
  • Taking and enforcing appropriate action against irresponsible dog owners.

Stray Dogs

We will pick up any stray dogs between the hours of 8.30am and 5pm and will be taken to The City Dogs' Home, Brookhouse Lane, Bucknall, Stoke-on-Trent, ST2 8ND. Wardens can be contacted on 01782 304130.

All dogs will be thoroughly checked for identification in an attempt to return the dog to its owner. We support the re-homing of all unclaimed stray dogs unless there is veterinary advice not to do so.

Puppy Farming

We strongly oppose puppy farming and supports the RSPCA in recommending that prospective dog owners purchase only puppies that are seen with their mothers, and from breeders who have a breeding licence.

We would also encourage residents to consider re-homing a rescue dog rather than a puppy, in an effort to reduce the population of unwanted dogs.

Pet Sitting Services

We encourage responsible pet ownership and recommends that owners only use licensed boarding establishments listed on the Council website. We also advise that you seek feedback from others have used the services listed, and to visit the establishment before placement.

Tethering Horses

We support the Protection Against Cruel Tethering Act 1988 and will not allow the long term tethering of horses or ponies in an open environment, on any land owned or managed by the Council.

In line with the RSPCA, the Council does not oppose an animal being tethered for short periods. For example, for grooming or having a short break in a journey or whilst boundary fencing is being installed or repaired.

We wish to remind owners that tethered horses require adequate feed, water and shelter.

Dangerous Wild and Exotic Animals

We enforce the Dangerous Wild Act 1976. People who are keeping or selling animals listed on the dangerous and/ or exotic list should have specialist knowledge or seek professional advice on the care of these animals. They must also obtain a licence in order to keep these animals.

We will ensure that officers have the relevant training and knowledge for these animals, and encourages the Government to increase the number of animals listed on the act.

Wildlife

We support legislation measures to conserve habitats and wildlife, and will continue to support the establishments of local nature reserves, trails and conservation areas within the borough.

Control of Non-native Animals and Plants

The Council is concerned about the potential threat to British wildlife, pets and people by the release of non-native plants and animals into the wild. You can view a full list of prohibited species here.

You should seek expert advice if you think you have spotted a non-native animal or plant so that appropriate control or action can be taken.

Traps and Snares

The Council is opposed to the use of snares and traps that cause suffering to animals, and the capture of non-target species. We will only tolerate live catch traps where animals are to be released elsewhere and if absolutely necessary, animals should be humanely euthanized.

Bats

The Council supports legislation that protects bats and their roosts.

Bats: protection and licences

Angling

The Council recommends that anglers follow the code of practice based on the recommendations of the Medway report.

  • The use of double or treble hooks should be kept to a minimum, and avoided entirely when the intention is to return the catch alive to the water.
  • Fish intended for food should be killed humanely.
  • Unhooking a fish humanely and safely is one of the most important skills for an angler to learn. All anglers should be equipped with disgorgers, unhooking mats and be properly trained in their use.
  • Employment of the pike-gag should take fully into account the size of the fish for which it is to be used for.
  • Barbless hooks are strongly recommended in the interests of causing less injury to the fish.
  • Holding periods in keep-nets should be as brief as possible.

We enforce that fishing tackle be safely disposed of to prevent injury to both domestic and wild animals. Discarded fishing tackle is considered as litter and will incur penalties in relation to the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Pest Control

The Council promotes and supports the use of safe and humane methods of pest control, and encourages householders to seek professional advice, rather than over the counter preparations to prevent harm to non-target species, humans and the environment.

Pesticides

The Council is opposed to the unnecessary use of agrochemicals and pesticides and will:

  • Ensure that Council horticultural staff use methods of weed control which are not harmful to wildlife.
  • If chemicals must be used, the Council will ensure staff and encourage householders to use pesticides that's on the Governments 'approved list' in order to minimise harm to the environment and wildlife.

Transport of Live Animals

The Council will take action with regard to the laws that control the transport of farm animals. We will encourage that keepers are appropriately trained and knowledgeable of the species they are moving, and that they ensure the animals are properly watered, not overcrowded, fit to travel and travel in suitable vehicles.

We believe that the slaughtering of animals should take place as close to where they are reared where possible.

To achieve these objects, we will act in liaison with other local authorities, relevant government departments and duly authorised enforcement agencies.

Animal Diseases

The council has a contingency plan in place for animal diseases, such as foot and mouth, anthrax, swine vesicular disease, rabies etc. This will limit the spread of the diseases and the subsequent danger of suffering to healthy animals. We will ensure that staff are appropriately trained in emergency procedures and ready to respond instantly.

We will amend and update this animal welfare charter from time to time to reflect changes in the national legislation and local circumstances. We support all current animal welfare legislation and request that Members of the Parliament support any legislation to improve animal welfare conditions.

This work is undertaken in conjunction with the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

  • For further information please contact us.

    Contact Animal Welfare

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    Please note that the offices are closed at weekends and Bank Holidays.