Join us!
Basic- Yellow 120px

Chapter 5:      Implementation and Enforcement Provisions

Section 28    Authorities
Section 29    Authorisations
Section 30    Nature of Enforcement
Section 31     Powers of Enforcement Bodies
Section 32    Improvement Notes
Section 33    Duty to Alert and Report Offences and Duty to File a Criminal Complaint
Section 34    Charges and Fees
Section 35    Animal Welfare Committee
Section 36    Animal Welfare Ombudsman
Section 37    Animal Welfare and Protection Organisations/Humane Societies
Section 38    Animal Shelters, Animal Sanctuaries and Wildlife Rehabilitation Centres
Section 39    Veterinarians and Para-Veterinarians
Section 40    Animal Welfare Research
Section 41     Consumer Information
Section 42    Animal Welfare Measurement and Impact Assessment

Section 28    Authorities

Go to Explanatory Notes

(1) The Competent Authority responsible for the central animal welfare policy and administrative implementation and enforcement of this Act and any regulations [and ‘Welfare Codes’, standards and guidance] made under it shall be [Complete as appropriate. For instance: the Minister or Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food; of Environment; of Health; of Interior or of Justice].

(2) The Competent Authority has to ensure that any secondary legislation [and ‘Welfare Codes’, standards and guidance] is drafted consistently with the Act, and shall also be responsible for issuing implementation and enforcement instructions and guidance. It may authorise the Veterinary Services to draft or co-ordinate regulations [and establish, as appropriate, ‘Welfare Codes’, standards and guidance] and/or instructions and guidance of a technical nature. It shall also provide advice and guidance on animal welfare matters.

(3) The implementation and enforcement of compliance with the provisions of this Act and any regulations [and, as appropriate, ‘Welfare Codes’, standards and guidance] made under it shall be the responsibility of all government officials whose work covers animal issues and/or education and awareness (including but not limited to: veterinary and zoo-sanitary inspectors, veterinary and agricultural extension officers, nature conservation officers/wildlife officers, educators, government communication officers, traffic officers, customs officials and municipal stray management authorities).

(4) The organs of the public security/police shall by virtue of their office be deemed to be enforcement officers/Animal Welfare Inspectors for the general purpose of this Act.

(5) All [regional governments] and local authorities shall also have a duty to enforce this Act and any regulations [and, as appropriate, ‘Welfare Codes’, standards and guidance] made under it.

(6) A local government authority may make by-laws for the effective implementation and enforcement of this Act in its area of jurisdiction.

(7) The Competent Authority may also appoint as Animal Welfare Inspectors, proficient and experienced animal welfare professionals, including: employees of animal welfare organisations, registered veterinarians and para-professionals. Such appointed Animal Welfare Inspectors shall be given the specified law enforcement powers needed to fulfil their mandate.

(8) Only appropriately trained and experienced professionals shall be licensed as Animal Welfare Inspectors by the Competent Authority or its duly authorised agents.

(9) All enforcement and inspection of the present Act shall be carried out under the supervision of the Competent Authority, which shall also bear responsibility for ensuring that regular inspections are carried out on all authorised/licensed/registered concerns using animals.

Section 29    Authorisations

Go to Explanatory Notes

(1) Authorisation is required for certain activities involving sentient animals. These would include, but not be restricted to, the following:

  1. Keeping or breeding animals within the scope of business or economic activities (as per Section 16), including any species or use as well as animals for commercial sale and animal boarding (e.g. kennelling or livery);
  2. Operating a riding or carriage business (as per Section 16 and Section 26);
  3. Live animal traction or haulage businesses (as per Section 16 and Section 26);
  4. Trading, dealing or sale of animals as a commercial activity (as per Section 17), including: live animal importers or exporters; live animal markets, traders or auctions; ‘pet’ shops/companion animal sellers;
  5. Receiving abandoned, stray or lost, or confiscated animals (as per Section 18);
  6. Commercial transport of live animals (as per Section 19);
  7. Live animal assembly centres or staging posts (as per Section 19);
  8. Operating and managing a slaughterhouse, or any other establishment killing animals for a business or economic activity (as per Section 20);
  9. Training any animal for performance, sports or exhibition, including dog training facilities (as per Section 21);
  10. Operating an animal shelter, animal sanctuary or wildlife rehabilitation centre (as per Sections 18, 22 and 38);
  11. A positive list of the species of animals which may be kept as companion animals (as per Section 22);
  12. Commercial animal housing (as per Section 23);
  13. Animal experimentation or research (personal licences, project licenses, premises licenses and breeding establishment licenses) (as per Section 24);
  14. Hunting (property/species and hunters) (as per Section 25);
  15. Animal control businesses (including ‘pest control’) (as per Section 25);
  16. Zoological gardens (Zoos and Aquaria), where permitted for conservation purposes (as per Section 25);
  17. Any other keeping of wild animals (as per Section 25);
  18. A positive list of wild animal species which are permitted to be kept by private individuals and organisations (as per Section 25);
  19. Facilities or businesses using animals for entertainment, leisure, sports or exhibition, including circuses and variety shows (if permitted) (as per Section 27); and
  20. The use of animals for film, still photographs, video or television productions (as per Section 27).

This authorisation shall usually be in the form of a license issued by the Competent Authority or their authorised agents. This shall specify not only the activity, but also the species of animals covered.
Whereby this list is just a suggestion and shall not be seen as exclusive.

(2) More detailed provisions on the minimum requirements for the housing and care of animals; the essential professional, technical and personal skills for persons working in all areas of animal keeping and care; and the operation of the enforcement, authorisation and licensing system shall be determined by regulations [and, as appropriate, ‘Welfare Codes’, standards and guidance] of the Minister, the Ministry or the Competent Authority. This applies to all of the above activities requiring authorisation by the Minister, the Ministry or Competent Authority. With regard to authorisation procedures, these will include aspects such as: application and authorisation/licensing procedures; inspections; powers of entry and access to records; reporting and record keeping requirements; and access to animal keeping facilities.

Section 30    Nature of Enforcement

Go to Explanatory Notes

Enforcement shall consist of a mixture of: regular proactive inspections, ad-hoc inspections, general supervision, investigations into contraventions, and routine education and awareness. Inspection visits may be announced or unannounced. Preventative work shall be an important part of the enforcement process, and include education and awareness, information and advice (particularly as concerns proper animal keeping and care). Inspections shall be carried out based on risk assessment; random selection of inspection sites; regular, periodic inspections; and after becoming aware of an act done in contravention of the provisions of this Act. Inspection shall also be carried out simultaneously with the other supervision performed in relation to animal issues (as per Section 28 (3) above).

Section 31    Powers of Enforcement Bodies

Go to Explanatory Notes

(1) The bodies responsible for the enforcement of the present Act shall have access to premises, installations and equipment, vehicles, records and animals in order to review compliance with the subject Act or with any imposed prohibition to kept animals.

(2) The owners, managers or people in charge of the premises, installations and equipment, vehicles, records and animals shall enable the enforcement to be carried out; providing the required records, data, information and documentation to the Animal Welfare Inspector, and ensuring conditions for unhindered inspection.

(3) Upon the request of the Animal Welfare Inspector the owners, managers or people in charge must submit or prepare, within a specified time period, the prescribed records, data, information and documentation that the Animal Welfare Inspector requires for enforcement of the subject Act.

(4) The Competent Authorities and Animal Welfare Inspectors shall in particular have the following powers:

  1. To make announced or unannounced inspection visits and to enter, examine and control, any premises, installations, equipment and vehicles used for animals; as well as to examine any animals;
  2. To enter any premises or vehicle used for housing or transporting animals;
  3. To require any person in or on the premises to give the inspector such assistance as is reasonable;
  4. To examine any relevant records and CCTV footage, and to seize any record relating to suspected infringements;
  5. To record evidence of suspected infringements; including the taking of video or photographs and witness statements;
  6. To take and remove samples from the animal or premises;
  7. To terminate any infringements of this Act, including any infringements of this Section, by order or by reasonable force;
  8. To provide relief or to seize any animal which is kept in a condition which is causing or will lead to pain, suffering, injury, fear or distress for the animal if no effective remedy is provided and the person responsible is not willing or able to counteract the situation/abuse;
  9. To arrange the painless killing of any animal for which the continuation of life would be involved with irremediable pain, suffering or distress; and
  10. To arrange veterinary inspection of animals in case of doubt (of compliance with subject Act).

(5) For an animal which has as per Section 31 (4) been relieved or seized from its owner/keeper the provisions of Section 18 (1) and (2) apply accordingly.

Here regulations could be added covering the details for the relief and seizure of animals, including: The need to issue a receipt for any animal seized; the return of the animal when the requirements of this Act have been met; the period of time during which the animal will be safeguarded for the owner/keeper on his behalf before being either returned to the owner/keeper in cases where any infringements have been remedied, or the animal is finally confiscated and declared forfeited due to the expiry of this deadline.

Section 32    Improvement Notes

Go to Explanatory Notes

(1) In cases where an enforcement officer/Animal Welfare Inspector under this Act (according to Section 28) is of the opinion that a person who owns, keeps, or is in charge of an animal is failing to comply with the duties of care accorded by the provisions of this Act, or contravenes any of its provisions (particularly the requirements of Section 12 (1) - (5)), the said enforcement officer/Animal Welfare Inspector may serve to the person a notice which

  1. States that he is of that opinion,
  2. Specifies the respects in which he considers the person is failing to comply with the provisions of this Act,
  3. Stipulates the precise steps he considers need to be taken to rectify/remedy the defects and to comply with the provisions of this Act,
  4. Defines a period for the successful taking of those steps, and
  5. Explains the effects of subsections (2) and (3).

(2) In cases where a notice of improvement under subsection (1) is served, no proceedings for an offence specified in this improvement notice may be instituted before the end of the period stipulated for the compliance.

(3) If the person fully complies with the requirements of the improvement notice within the specified time period, no proceedings for any offence specified in the improvement notice will be brought forward.

Section 33    Duty to Alert and Report Offences and Duty to File a Criminal Complaint

Go to Explanatory Notes

(1) Anyone who has reasons to believe that any sentient animal is exposed to mistreatment, cruelty or serious neglect with regard to environment, attention/supervision and care shall as soon as possible alert the Competent Authority or the Police. The duty to alert applies subject to the limitations of other legislation.

(2) Anyone who becomes aware that a number of wild or stray animals are exposed to sickness, injury or other abnormal suffering shall as soon as possible alert the Competent Authority or the Police.

(3) In addition, the Competent Authority shall encourage citizens to report any animal welfare infringements for further investigation and action.

(4) The Competent Authority is obliged to take action on each such alert or report: recording, verifying and investigating; and taking appropriate remedial action where necessary.

(5) The Competent Authority is obliged to file a criminal complaint when a violation according to Section 43 (1) has been committed intentionally.

Section 34    Charges and Fees

Go to Explanatory Notes

(1) As far as the subject Act does not state otherwise the enforcement is free of charge.

(2) The Minister, the Ministry and/or the Competent Authority is entitled to make provisions for the invoicing of fees or charges to cover costs of certain administrative measures, i.e. for authorisations (licenses, permits, certificates, registrations etc.), supervision, control as well as specific services under the subject Act and subordinate regulations stipulated under the Act.

Section 35    Animal Welfare Committee

Go to Explanatory Notes

(1) The Competent Authority shall appoint an Animal Welfare Committee which shall advise and assist the Minister, Ministry and/or Competent Authority on all animal welfare issues. The remit of the Committee shall include the following:

  1. Assisting with the development of a national animal welfare policy and strategy; and the periodic review of such policy and strategy;
  2. Providing recommendations and advice regarding animal welfare to public institutions; including new ethical, scientific and practical perspectives;
  3. Providing suggestions and advice on the review of animal welfare legislation (primary as well as secondary), ‘Welfare Codes’, standards and guidance; and enforcement and execution procedures;
  4. Assisting in drafting any regulations, ‘Welfare Codes’, standards and guidelines with regard to the enforcement and execution of the subject Act;
  5. Reviewing and assessing methods of capture, entrapment and killing of animals, in order to make recommendations to the Competent Authority on those which are deemed to be humane and in accordance with the provisions of this subject Act and should therefore be included in the permitted list; and those which do not meet this criteria and should therefore be prohibited;
  6. Monitoring, reviewing and evaluating the enforcement and execution of the subject Act, and providing recommendations for any changes or enhancements necessary;
  7. Providing recommendations and advice on future animal welfare research priorities;
  8. Helping to develop animal welfare awareness education and campaigns for animal owners, keepers, users, and society; and
  9. Administering a special fund to support programmes designed to build and develop animal welfare education, awareness and practical programmes.

Whereby this list is just a suggestion and shall not be seen as exclusive.

(2) As regards the composition of the Animal Welfare Committee, it shall have a good balance of members from the fields of animal welfare, animal care, animal use, professionals and independent scientists (including veterinarians and animal behaviourists), as well as other professionals who could contribute positively to deliberations, including ethicists. Government employees may also be appointed, where animal welfare expertise and experience is present. Appointments shall be on a personal basis, and all representatives shall be selected on the grounds of expertise and sympathy to animal welfare objectives. The committee shall contain a high proportion of animal welfare experts and professionals, including representatives from leading (and/or specialist) animal welfare organisations. It shall include expertise in all major categories of animal welfare. Further rules on Committee membership shall include

  1. The membership is an unpaid honorary appointment, and each member shall have an agreed deputy who may replace the member in the case of an absence.
  2. The Committee shall appoint specialist sub-committees from amongst its members, covering each of the major categories of animal welfare issues:
    1)     Companion animals (pets) – including stray dog and cat management;
    2)     Animals kept for farming purposes – including fish farming;
    3)     Animals used for experimentation – including science, research and testing;
    4)     Wildlife – including pest control, and animals in zoos/aquaria;
    5)     Animals used for work; and
    6)     Animals used for sports, leisure and entertainment.
  3. Sub-committees may invite non-officio members to contribute advice or opinions on specific issues under discussion including, but not limited to, species experts.
  4. In addition to including professional ethical expertise, ethical training shall be given to all members of the Committee.

(3) The Competent Authority shall agree on detailed operating procedures and rules for the Committee, which shall include (but not be limited to) the following:

  1. The committee/council is independent and shall not be bound by any instructions regarding the performance of its duties.
  2. Procedures for the selection and appointment of Committee members, including the duration of the time of office and re-election arrangements.
  3. Procedures for voting and decision-making.
  4. Procedures for agreeing the criteria and modus operandi for authorisations, including monitoring and reviews.
  5. The Committee shall be granted full access to all relevant information and facilities necessary to fulfil its obligations and meet its responsibilities.
  6. Committee and Sub-Committee reports will allow minority views to be written up, and appended to the report.
  7. All Committee and Sub-Committee reports (including appended minority reports) shall be openly available to the public.
  8. The Committee shall prepare an annual report on its work and forward to the Minister, by [time limit] of each year. The annual report shall contain separate reports for each Sub-Committee. It shall incorporate a review of all recommendations made by the Committee, and action taken (or pending).

(4) The Sub-Committee for animal experimentation shall give opinions on ethical and animal protection issues in relation to the use of animals for experimental and educational purposes; including the establishment of an ethical review system for the review and authorisation of animal experiments.

(5) The Minister and Competent Authority is obliged to give full consideration to the views of the Committee before issuing any regulations [‘Welfare Codes’, standards and guidelines] under this Act.

Section 36     Animal Welfare Ombudsman

Go to Explanatory Notes

(1) The Minister or the Competent Authority shall appoint an Animal Welfare Ombudsman to act as an independent arbiter for the welfare of animals as well as their individual interests. The Ombudsman’s remit will include the resolution of any complaints or conflicts concerning animal welfare matters and the correct application of this subject Act.

(2) The Animal Welfare Ombudsman shall be appointed for a period of five years, whereby a multiple number of reappointments is possible. Only such persons can be appointed who have completed appropriate professional studies and have undergone additional training in the field of animal welfare.

(3) The Animal Welfare Ombudsman shall be supported by an office [and have out-stationed representatives in each state/province/district]. The Ombudsman’s office shall include animal welfare lawyers/advocates, qualified to assess and adjudicate on matters of animal welfare law, and to represent the interests of animals in court.

(4) The Competent Authority, officials, Animal Welfare Inspectors and the Animal Welfare Committee have an obligation to support the Animal Welfare Ombudsman in the exercising of his or her duties, including providing advice, assistance and access to records, statistics and data.

(5) The Animal Welfare Ombudsman and his or her staff shall be granted full access to all files of the proceedings and any relevant information relating to cases within its jurisdiction.

(6) The Animal Welfare Ombudsman shall, where necessary, arrange for his or her legal staff to represent the individual interests of any animal as its legal agent in administrative or criminal proceedings; and assume the status of a party in any stage of the process according to the subject Act.

(7) The Animal Welfare Ombudsman is independent and not bound by any instructions in exercising his or her duties.

(8) The Animal Welfare Ombudsman and his or her staff shall not engage in any activities which are inconsistent with their sphere of duties, and/or may suggest that their position might not be impartial.

Section 37    Animal Welfare and Protection Organisations/Humane Societies

Go to Explanatory Notes

(1) The Minister, the Ministry or the Competent Authority shall involve animal welfare and protection groups/humane societies in all animal related matters. In particular, there shall be full consultation and representation in all relevant discussions and decision-making, with due weight being placed on the advice and opinions of these organisations.

(2) No organisation or individual may call itself an animal welfare or animal protection organisation (or a humane society) unless they are a registered non-profit organisation whose main mission, purpose, objectives and programmes are aimed at the promotion and development of animal welfare.

(3) The Minister, the Ministry or the Competent Authority can approve and appoint any suitably skilled and experienced animal welfare and protection organisations/humane societies to assist in the enforcement of this subject act and any provisions based on it.

(4) To qualify for such approval the organisation/society has to meet the following requirements and conditions:

  1. That its main mission, purpose and objective is to promote and support animal welfare;
  2. That the organisation/society simultaneously aims at serving the interest of the general public;
  3. That the organisation can assure the Competent Authority that it is willing and able to fulfil all the required tasks and duties on behalf of the authorities in a professional and effective manner; and
  4. That the organisation/society applies for approval in the required format.

(5) Any approved animal welfare and protection organisation/humane society may suggest suitable persons for the function of an ‘Animal Welfare Inspector’ according to Section 28 (7) and (8) of this subject Act. This person can be a member/employee of the said animal welfare and protection organisation/humane society, and has to possess the professional knowledge, technical skills, competence and experience to qualify for the position of an Animal Welfare Inspector.

(6) In the case of any conflicts arising for such an Animal Welfare Inspector between the duties as a member/employee of an animal welfare and protection organisation/humane society and the position of an Animal Welfare Inspector under the subject Act, the duties of an Animal Welfare Inspector according to the subject Act shall prevail.

Section 38    Animal Shelters, Animal Sanctuaries and Wildlife Rehabilitation Centres

Go to Explanatory Notes

(1) An animal shelter, animal sanctuary or wildlife rehabilitation centre may be established by a registered non-profit organisation or a natural or legal person.

(2) Animal shelters, animal sanctuaries and wildlife rehabilitation centres fall under the category of establishments which require an authorisation in accordance with Section 29.

(3) The approval according to Section 29 shall only be granted when it is safeguarded that

  1. The welfare of animals can be provided for, and all provisions of this Act met.
  2. At least one person with the necessary expertise, knowledge and relevant technical skills is permanently and continuously involved in the management of the facility.
  3. Proper and adequate veterinary care for the animals is provided.
  4. All dogs and cats shall be spay-neutered before rehoming, to prevent further over-population, unless they are too young or physically unfit for the operation to be carried out before homing. In such cases, measures shall be taken to ensure that they are spay-neutered as soon as they are old or fit enough for this to be done without compromising their welfare. [The costs of this may be passed on to new owners rehoming the animals.]

(4) The management of an animal shelter, animal sanctuary or wildlife rehabilitation centre is obliged to keep records on each animal accepted into custody by date, name and place of residence of the owner or person handing over the animal (if finder, then also the location where found), type of animal, condition of health, the physical appearance and temperament of the animal, and any other facts of relevance or significance. Likewise on the occasion of discharging the animal the date, type of withdrawal, and in the case of an animal shelter the name and place of residence of the person collecting the animal, have to be registered. These records have to be kept available for a period of three years and can be requested for inspection by the authorities at any reasonable time.

(5) No organisation, facility or premises may call itself an animal shelter, animal sanctuary or wildlife rehabilitation centre, or imply that it is such an establishment, unless it has been licensed and authorised as such by the competent authority.

(6) Only registered non-profit organisations shall be entitled to seek and receive public donations, contributions and sponsorship for their work as an animal shelter, animal sanctuary or wildlife rehabilitation centre.

(7) In addition: Authorisation of the Minister responsible, the Ministry or the Competent Authority to adopt any regulations [and establish, as appropriate, ‘Welfare Codes’, standards and guidance] in this context.

Section 39    Veterinarians and Para-Veterinarians

Go to Explanatory Notes

(1) Veterinarians and para-veterinarians shall at all times use their scientific knowledge and veterinary skills to protect the health and welfare of any animal committed to their care, and for the prevention and relief of animal suffering.

(2) Regardless of any commercial or professional interest, veterinarians and para-veterinarians shall always put the welfare of the animal first.

(3) Where veterinarians and para-veterinarians have any evidence or suspicions that this law has not been complied with in any way, they are obliged to report this to the Competent Authority without delay.

(4) Animal welfare shall be included in the curriculum of any veterinary university or other tertiary or further education establishment offering veterinary or para-veterinary training in the country.

(5) Animal welfare shall be included as a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) course for veterinarians.

Section 40    Animal Welfare Research

Go to Explanatory Notes

The Competent Authority shall support the development of national research on animal welfare and, in particular, the development of research programmes designed to consider national animal welfare priorities, and the applicability of international animal welfare research to prevailing national and local situations. The Competent Authority shall also support the research and development of alternatives to the use of animals in research.

Section 41    Consumer Information

Go to Explanatory Notes

(1) Consumers shall be provided with clear information on the animal welfare criteria or implications of all products of animal origin, and all products that have used animals in their manufacture or testing. This shall be adequate and sufficient to empower consumers to make informed purchasing choices.

(2) Any information provided to inform consumers about the positive animal welfare criteria or credentials of products, or that could be deemed to signify positive animal welfare criteria or credentials, shall be accurate and not misleading in any manner. This applies whether on labels, signs, banners or otherwise; and whether presented in writing or pictorially.

Section 42    Animal Welfare Measurement and Impact Assessment

Go to Explanatory Notes

(1) An animal welfare impact assessment shall be carried out in all cases where there is the likelihood of policies, laws, programmes or activities adversely affecting the welfare or lives of animals.

(2) With regard to policy and legislative arenas, the assessment shall cover the need for coherence and consistency between other relevant policy areas and the welfare needs of animals. This brings an obligation to ensure that the welfare of animals is taken into account in all relevant areas of government policy and regulation.

(3) Where these assessments indicate the potential to cause adverse animal welfare impacts, or danger to animal lives, a full ethical review shall be conducted before any decisions are taken on the proposed policies, laws, programmes or activities; subsequently all measures shall be taken to avoid or counter such impacts or damage.

(4) The Competent Authority shall, after consulting with stakeholders, develop animal welfare indicators. These shall include both ‘input’ and ‘outcome’ measurements to be used each time there is an inspection or enforcement visit to any animal user or establishment. Such indicators shall be regularly reviewed, and updated on the basis of the latest scientific knowledge and ethical advances in the animal welfare field.

(5) Statistics shall be prepared based on different animal uses, in order to identify any welfare problems in specific animal industries or uses. These statistics shall be analysed annually, and made publically available.

(6) Where inspection and enforcement visits and/or statistics indicate a particular concern with any animal industry or use, then measures shall be taken to resolve this without delay. In cases where it is not possible to resolve such problems, then the animal use in question should be prohibited in order to prevent further animal suffering.


Don't miss out!

Subscribe to the World Animal Navigator to get monthly updates on our programs and resources! Browse past issues here. 


Get our new book!


Download the PDF

MAWA for print Cover

Log in to update your WAN Directory listing