The United Kingdom”s Animal Welfare Act was passed in 2006 which makes it an offence to mistreat or neglect an animal for which someone is responsible. A person may be prosecuted by the RSPCA, Local Authority or Police for failure to uphold the welfare principles of the Act.
In 2010 the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs produced a Code of Practice for the Welfare of Dogs as a guide to dog owners, local authorities and RSPCA of a dog’s needs under the Animal Welfare Act.
A dog’s basic needs must be met:
- its need for a suitable environment
- its need for a suitable diet
- its need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour
- any need it has to be housed with, or kept apart from, other animals
- its need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease