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Summary of Charter for the Welfare of Animals

Dudley Council has key responsibilities for ensuring animal health and welfare within the borough. This work is undertaken in conjunction with the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (www.defra.gov.uk).

The Council believes that all animals, whether they are captive, domestic or wild, are all entitled to enjoy

  • Freedom from fear and distress,
  • Freedom from hunger and thirst,
  • Freedom from pain, disease and injury,
  • Freedom to express their normal behaviour, and
  • Freedom from physical discomfort.


The Council will

  • Use its 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, and
  • Seek to influence persons whose decisions or activities have an impact on animal welfare issues.


General Policy

The Council will not allow on any Council-owned or managed land rodeos, circuses or travelling

menageries which include performing animals, and will use its statutory powers to prevent performing animal acts in theatres, wherever possible.

The Council will not allow the following practices at show-jumping and eventing held on Council -owned or managed land:

  • Competitions where obstacles are unreasonably difficult,
  • The use of training or riding methods which cause distress or suffering,
  • The use of drugs to alter the performance of a horse or to enable it to compete.

The Council will not allow the giving of live animals as prizes at funfairs on Council-owned or managed land. The Council is opposed to hunting fox, deer, or hare with dogs, on land owned or administered by the Council. The Council is opposed to the unnecessary use of agrochemicals and pesticides.

Key work areas

The Council is responsible for inspecting and licensing premises under the

  • Pet Animals Act 1951,
  • Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963,
  • Breeding of Dogs Act 1973,
  • Riding Establishments Act 1970,
  • Zoo Licensing Act 1981 and
  • Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976
  • Performing Animals (Regulation) Act 1925

The Council has a key role to play in the enforcement of animal health and welfare issues in relation to farmed animals.

The council, as an Education Authority, will

  • Encourage the management of school grounds as ecological resources,
  • Encourage the use of videos and computer simulations for teaching animal anatomy and physiology in schools,
  • Explain to children the law in relation to protected and non-protected species,
  • Encourage the study of animals, their welfare, conservation and responsible pet ownership.
  • Each school will be encouraged to have an 'Animal Welfare Policy'

The Council will continue to support measures aimed at the conservation of wildlife through the establishment of local nature reserves, trails and conservation areas within the borough.

The Council opposes the indiscriminate destruction of animal habitats which will be borne in mind when considering planning applications. The Council will expect and encourage those who fish in Council controlled waters to adopt the following code of practice:

  • The use of double and treble hooks should be avoided especially where the intention is to return the fish alive to the water
  • Fish having swallowed hooks and those intended for food should be killed humanely before attempts to unhook them are made
  • Fish which are to be killed shall be dispatched as quickly as possible. Anglers should know how to kill a fish humanely
  • To assist in removing hooks all anglers should possess suitable 'disgorgers' appropriate to the size and species of the fish they are likely to catch
  • The use of barbless hooks is strongly recommended in the interests of causing less injury to the mouths of fish and, being easier to remove, reducing the amount of handling required.
  • If keep nets are to be used , fish should be confined for the shortest possible time to reduce the risk of injury ยท Great care should be taken when handling fish to minimise damage to the thin protective layers of kin and mucus covering the scales. Damage to these layers will increase the chances of infection and reduce the ability of fish to survive
  • Prolonged playing of fish, especially those destined to be returned to the water, and the use of ultra-fine tackle which necessitates such playing should be avoided
  • In view of the dangers posed to wildlife and other animals by discarded tackle, anglers should take the greatest acre to ensure that all such equipment and litter is disposed of safely and responsibly
  • The use of non-lead fishing weights is considered both necessary and essential in modern angling and should be used at all times.

If you wish to discuss any specific aspects of the Charter you may wish to contact us.

Contact Details

  • Name Environmental Safety and Health
  • Address People Directorate, 3-5 St James's Road, Dudley, DY1 1HZ
  • Telephone 0300 555 2345