Sunday, 4 December 2016

Thank You's...And Animal Welfare Inquiry Update

Firstly, we want to say thank you to our younger supporters who have decided to undertake their own efforts in order to raise money for our ponies this Christmas!  Thank you to Faie who has been out "busking" and through her talents raised £20 for the ponies at the weekend...And another thank you to Kate and her friends who are running a stall selling cakes and toys as part of a school project and they have decided to donate the proceeds to P4P - we all really appreciate your efforts!

Secondly, we wanted to update everyone the results (published in November) of the government's EFRA Committee inquiry into the Animal Welfare Act.  We were amongst many charities and animal organisations that submitted written evidence as part of the review.

One of the most important recommendations of the review was that the government should place a statutory duty on local authorities to enforce the Animal Welfare Act, and that the government must ensure that the resources are provided in order for this to function.  This would be an important step forward because at the moment there is no statutory obligation for any one group to enforce the law - Trading Standards, Defra, The Police or The RSPCA can all take action, but none have an obligatory duty to do so.  Many small rescues have to struggle to get action for welfare cases, and often it is the media which actually facilitates some kind of action.  Enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act at the current moment is somewhat of a postcode lottery...some areas are more proactive than others.

The inquiry also recommended that the RSPCA should withdraw as acting as a prosecutor (when there is a statuatory body with the duty to carry out this role), and that penalties for offences relating to Animal Welfare are increased.  There were quite a few more recommendations relating to dogs - that people breeding more than 2 litters a year should be licensed as a breeder, there should be a ban on the 3rd party sale of dogs, there should be more protection for offspring, and that the minimum age of dogs allowed to enter the country should be set at 6 months to try to discourage the smuggling of dogs.

If you would like to read the full "Animal Welfare in Britain: Domestic pets" report please click here

It is great that the government have been reviewing the Animal Welfare Act - we just have to hope that changes will be made that will bring about actual enforcment of the law...without anyone enforcing it, the law is rendered useless and there is nothing worse having to fight for an animal in distress - when you know you can offer it sanctuary and yet no-one with the power of authority will facilitate that animal reaching safety.  Often buying animals can be the only route left for welfare groups...we need the Animal Welfare Act to work...and enforcement of other related areas too...such as enforcement at markets...and exporting/transport of animals live abroad.

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