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Animal Welfare Act Gets Royal Assent
A landmark piece of legislation, the Animal Welfare Act 2006, passed into law when it received Royal Assent on the 8th November 2006..
The key points of the Animal Welfare Bill are as follows:
Animal Health Minister Ben Bradshaw said:
- It introduces a duty of care on pet owners to ensure the needs of any animal for which they are responsible
- It creates a new offence of failing to provide for the needs of an animal in your care;
- It allows direct action to protect animals to be taken much earlier rather than have to wait for an animal to show the signs of suffering, with enforcers being able to intervene before suffering begins
- It places more emphasis and a duty of care on owners and keepers who will need to understand their responsibilities and take all reasonable steps to provide for the needs of their animals.
"The Government believes that by extending the duty of care to non-farmed animals, it will reduce animal suffering in this country. This is the culmination of several years work during which the government has worked closely with stakeholders. The result is legislation of which we can all be rightly proud."
Debby Reynolds, Chief Veterinary Officer, said :
"I am delighted that the Animal Welfare Bill has now received Royal Assent. The bringing up to date of animal welfare legislation will help to improve the way people look after their animals. The extra powers will mean that action can now be taken before an animal starts to suffer, and will put companion animals on the same legislative footing as farmed animals. The new Act forms an important part of our overall strategy on animal health and welfare."
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Pet Health Insurance, November 2006
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