Animal Health and Welfare Legislation

There is a wide range of legislation in the UK designed to protect the health and welfare of both domesticated and wild animals. 

Animal health and welfare legislation is enforced jointly in Cornwall by Cornwall Council and DEFRA (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) in association with other government bodies and independent organisations like the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals)

Trading Standards' Animal Health Officers:

  • proactively inspect animals on farms
  • proactively inspect animals at livestock markets, slaughterhouses, knackeryards, hunt kennels and licensed animal gatherings
  • inspect vehicles transporting animals
  • enforce a range of legislation whilst carrying out such visits including legislation relating to disease control, animal identification, animal movements, bio-security, animal welfare and animal by-products
  • register performing animals
  • responsible for the monitoring and enforcement of illegally imported animals.

We also respond to public referrals in all of these areas. 

Your Environmental Health service is responsible for:

In addition, DEFRA is responsible for:

  • national animal health and welfare strategy
  • international trade in animals
  • wildlife conservation and biodiversity
  • wildlife crime (the police also have input here)

Trading Standards works with DEFRA in enforcing legislation governing the health and welfare of farm animals. This includes responding to complaints of neglect or ill treatment of livestock on farms, during transport, at markets, etc. If you suspect a problem related to farm animals please call Public Health and Protection on 0300 1234 191 - your call will be treated in confidence.

If you suspect that any other animal is being subjected to any form of cruelty then you should contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.