The Trading Standards service plays a vital role in animal welfare. The service regularly carries out inspections at farms to monitor and ensure that proper attention is being paid to the health and welfare of animals particularly in respect of:
Loading / unloading
Supplies of food and water
Animal Identification and Traceability
The service liaises with other enforcement agencies to ensure a co-coordinated approach to animal welfare. Farmers are expected to keep movement books for their livestock. It is essential these are maintained to ensure the history of an animal can be traced if necessary. The service is responsible for checking these records are maintained. A Data Protection Act - Fair Processing Notice.pdf outlines how your details may be used.
It is also our responsibility to maintain contingency plans for the spread of infectious disease like Foot and Mouth. Some of our duties are less pleasant than others - like having to incinerate the carcass of an animal suspected of having died of Anthrax.
In 2005 we became responsible for ensuring compliance with the Horse Passport Regulations.
If you would like further advice on animal health, please use the contact information listed at the bottom of this page, or visit the Welsh Assembly Government Website.
The Animal Welfare Act 2006
Local Authorities were given additional enforcement powers under Animal Welfare Act 2006, which came into force in Wales on 27th March 2007 and which amongst others, applies to pet animals including dogs, cats, rabbits, reptiles and horses.
Owners are responsible for ensuring that their animal’s welfare needs are met.
These include the need:
for a suitable environment
for a suitable diet
to be able to exhibit their normal behaviour patterns
to be housed with or apart from other animals (if applicable)
to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease
Any person who is cruel to an animal, or fails to provide for its welfare needs, may be banned from keeping animals, fined up to £20,000 and/or sent to prison.
As guidance for owners, Codes of Practice for the Welfare of Cats, Dogs and Equines have been made available. These provide advice on how to meet the needs your animal.
The Welsh Assembly Government has given Local Authorities extra responsibilities to deliver an education plan, to highlight the importance of Animal Welfare. This will involve officers attending community awareness days, supermarkets, schools, youth groups, shows and events to deliver the message:
“You have a responsibility and a duty to your animals”
In partnership with other animal protection organisations Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council is committed to the enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act and to provision of education, advice and information on Animal Welfare throughout the Borough.