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Animal Welfare

Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council is responsible for the enforcement of a range of animal welfare legislation, principally the Animal Health Act 1981, Food Safety Act 1990, European Communities Act 1972, Agriculture (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1968 and the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and subordinate legislation.

The Council is keen to work with farmers and people keeping livestock in order to protect business and public health. By providing advice and information to those involved in keeping livestock, any burden to business can be minimised and animal and public health safeguarded. The Authority works closely with the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) and adopts a risk-based approach to inspection. We carry out our work as illustrated below.

The primary objectives of the legislation are:

  • To prevent, control and eradicate animal diseases
  • To protect the welfare of animals at agricultural holdings, in transit and at markets
  • To safeguard human health and the food chain from transmissible diseases
  • Animal health officers enforce all aspects of the above legislation and their duties include:
  • Attending slaughterhouses, markets/gatherings and livestock sales, to ensure correct documentation, fitness of livestock, correct penning and handling
  • Farm inspections to ensure compliance with records and welfare
  • Roadside vehicle checks to ensure correct transportation documentation, licences, welfare and identifying illegal movements.
  • Issuing licences for livestock movements
  • Investigate complaints regarding welfare
  • Take formal action against offenders where other action remains unsuccessful

General Movement Licence

Following the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease in 2001 the Disease Control (Wales) Order 2003 was established to control the movement of stock and therefore prevent a repeat of the outbreak.

General Movement Licence application forms are available for:

  • Cattle
  • Sheep and Goats
  • Pigs
  • Deer

The latest animal movement rules are effective from 31st March 2011.

Animal Movement Documents

Movements of sheep, goats and pigs must be accompanied by a movement document (AML1 and AML2) on completion of the journey the white copy must be sent to the Local Authority of destination within 3 days.

The movement document can be obtained from your local authority.


The movement of pigs is reported electronically via a licence obtained from prior to the movement taking place.

Pet Travel Scheme

The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) is the system that allows pet animals from certain countries to enter the UK without having to undergo a period of quarantine, providing certain procedures are followed.

It also means that people in the UK can take their pets to other European Union (EU) countries, and return them to the UK.

They can also, having taken their pets to certain non-EU countries, bring them back to the UK without the need to be quarantined.

Further information regarding the above can be obtained by following the link below

Defra - Pet Travel Scheme

Horse Passports

In order to comply with the Equine Identification (Wales) Regulations 2009, all owners or keepers of horses including ponies, donkeys and other equidae have a responsibility to ensure they are correctly identified.

Identification documents and passports must be obtained from a recognised Passport-Issuing Authority (PIO).

  • all owners applying for a first time passport for equines from 1st July 2009 will need to micro-chip
  • only owners can apply for a passport
  • micro-chips can only be inserted by a veterinary surgeon
  • passports must accompany equines on all movements and be available for inspection at all times
  • all equines prescribed medicines not authorised for food producing animals including BUTE (Phenylbutazone) must be signed out of the human food chain
  • in the absence of a valid passport veterinary surgeons are limited to only administer/prescribe drugs that are authorised for food producing animals

In addition:-

  • Owners or keepers responsible for the horse must produce the passport without delay in the event of an inspection
  • Equines issued with a first passport outside the deadline dates will be excluded from the food chain
  • When a horse dies the owner must return the passport to the issuing body within 30 days of its death

 Further information regarding the above can be obtained following the link below.

Livestock Identification

 All agricultural animals must be correctly identified before leaving their holding, for further information regarding livestock identification and related legislation follow the link below

DEFRA - Livestock Movements, Identification and Tracing

Welfare guidance on keeping farmed animals can also be obtained from the following link

Farm Animal Welfare Guidance

Reporting Notifiable Diseases

Many animal diseases are highly contagious and must be reported as soon as an outbreak is suspected.

Such notifiable diseases include:

  • Foot and Mouth Disease
  • Swine Fever
  • Anthrax
  • Rabies

If you suspect signs of notifiable disease, or have a case confirmed, you must report it immediately to:

  • Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA)
  • Local Authority Animal Health Officer
  • Police

A comprehensive list of notifiable diseases can be obtained by following the link

Defra - Animal Diseases

The Animal Welfare Act 2006

The Animal Welfare Act 2006 came into force on the 27th March 2007 in Wales.

Not only is it against the law to be cruel to an animal, you must also ensure that all the welfare needs of your animals are met.

What does the Animal Welfare Act do?

It makes owners and keepers responsible for ensuring that the welfare needs of their animals are met.

These 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

The law also increases to 16 the minimum age at which a person can buy an animal and prohibits giving animals as prizes to unaccompanied children under this age.

Anyone who is cruel to an animal, or does not provide for its welfare needs, may be banned from owning animals, fined up to £20,000 and/or sent to prison.

Until recently animal welfare legislation meant that prosecution was only able to be made when actual cruelty or suffering was experienced. The Animal Welfare Act 2006 strengthens penalties for anyone convicted of an animal welfare offence, as well as giving law enforcement agencies the power to take action to prevent animal suffering before it has a chance to occur.

For further information and a copy of the Code of Practice for the Welfare of Dogs, Cats or Horses follow the following link.

Welsh Assembly Government - The Codes of Practice for the Welfare of Cats, Dogs, Equines and Rabbits

There are a number of leaflets available from the Animal Health Project regarding animal welfare issues that can be requested by contacting us.

Animal Welfare Team

Public Health and Protection Division,
Ty Elai
Dinas Isaf East
CF40 1NY

Tel: Tel: 01443 425001
Fax: 01443 425304