New Animal Welfare Act is just around the corner

The new Animal Welfare Act 2006 received royal assent in December 2006, after passing successfully through the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The New Law will come into effect from 6 April 2007 (and in Wales from 29 March 2007). Not only is it still against the law to be cruel to an animal, the obligation is now on owners to take responsibility for their animals and ensuring their animal’s needs are met. These include: Amongst other items, the New Law increases the minimum age a person can buy an animal to 16 years old and prohibits giving animals as prizes to unaccompanied children under this age. In addition, 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.

However it is many animal lovers’ opinions (including mine!) that this Law does not go far enough. For example, the banning of the electric shock collars (and other abusive gadgets) sold for use as “training aids” should have been included. These devices are used for training or controlling a dog by delivering a painful electric shock to the dog's neck in order to alter the dog's behaviour. It is an abusive gadget and inflicts pain, suffering and distress at the touch of a button!

A case is being made to ban these awful devices in Scotland (see full article click here)

Hopefully in the very near future these devices will be banned in England too – you can help by supporting Jan Fennell’s International Day of the Dog campaign this year. Please check the News section for the link to IDOD.

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