Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011
From the 2nd of April 2012, District Councils have had responsibility for enforcement of the powers in the Welfare of Animals (NI) Act 2011, in respect of 'non-farmed animals' e.g. domestic pets of any vertebrate species and equines (horses and donkeys).
Local Councils have adopted a collaborative regional approach to the new legislation and have appointed Animal Welfare Officers to enforce animal welfare in respect of non-farmed animals only across Northern Ireland. The Officers have statutory enforcement powers and can take a range of action to improve the welfare of non-farmed animals including, providing advice, issuing an improvement notice, taking animals into their possession(in extreme cases of suffering), and initiating prosecution action. It should be emphasised that the responsibility for the welfare of any animal remains at all times with the owner or keeper of an animal. Enforcement officers will investigate complaints and ensure the owner complies with the legislation. Rehoming of animals that are unwanted should be dealt with through a sanctuary or relevant charity.
The enforcement officers cover the whole of Northern Ireland working on a regional basis. If you need to report an animal welfare issue during office hours Monday – Friday 9am-5pm you should contact the appropriate telephone number relating to the region you live in, which for Moyle residents is the Northern Area. Between 9am and 5pm at weekends and over holiday periods contact the same number and your call will be diverted to an answering service.
Northern Area ( 10 Councils) – Moyle, Antrim, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Carrickfergus, Coleraine, Cookstown, Larne, Magherafelt and Newtownabbey
Eastern Area (5 Councils) – Ards, Castlereagh, Down, Lisburn and North Down
Southern Area (5 Councils) – Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon, Dungannon and Newry and Mourne Telephone: 028 37515800
Western Area (5 Councils) – Derry, Fermanagh, Limavady, Omagh and Strabane Telephone: 028 82256226
Belfast City Council Area
Welfare complaints in respect of farmed animals (that is animals bred or kept for the production of food, wool or skin or other farming purposes) should be referred to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. During office hours Monday to Friday 9am-5pm telephone - 0300 200 7840
Weekends – contact a local Private Veterinary Practice or PSNI who will, as necessary, refer the welfare complaint to the relevant “on call” officer.
Welfare complaints in respect of wild animals, animal fighting, badger baiting or criminal activity against a person’s property including animals should be referred to the local Police Station.
Details of the enforcement roles and contact points can be accessed using the link below.
The recently posted Northern Ireland says "NO" to Animal Cruelty Facebook page has a summary of the actions of councils with regard to non-farmed animals since the introduction of the act in 2012:
Time for Councils to act on animal cruelty !
We make no apology for repeating the statistics about Councils first year in charge of animal welfare enforcement :-
1 person was prosecuted out of
4,292 incidents investigated
9 animal welfare officers cover the WHOLE of Northern Ireland
Not even 1 full time person in each council area
1 animal welfare officer is responsible for the whole of Belfast.
What is also becoming apparent from your comments is that for abuse to be acted upon it must take place between 9-5 Monday to Friday
What a pity the abusers don't seem to know this.
Appalling statistics which clearly show that our local councils are not allocating sufficient resources to combat animal cruelty
Shame them into taking action !
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People do care but they don't know !
And thanks Peter for designing and sharing this poster
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