Non-farmed animal welfare

The Welfare of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 (the 2011 Act) is enforced by local councils in respect of non-farmed animals. However, the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Development (DAERA) has developed Codes of Practice for non-farmed animals.

The Codes of Practice on the welfare of non-farmed animals are issued under powers in section 16 of the 2011 Act. The Codes provide advice and guidance on the welfare of cats, dogs, rabbits, horses and primates. Each code is based on the five needs of an animal.

You must take all reasonable steps to ensure that you meet the animal’s needs including:

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

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