Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) Regulations 2000 (as amended)

Applies to England

Title: The Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) Regulations 2000 (as amended)

Category: England Law

Date: 2000 (amended 2002 & 2003)

Reference: 2000/1870 [Full text] (amended by 2002/1646 [Full text] & 2003/299 [Full text])

General Description:

Note: These regulations will be replaced by the Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) Regulations 2007 on 1 October 2007.

These Regulations (and the Community legislation which they implement) reflect the obligations contained in the European Convention for the Protection of Animals kept for Farming Purposes, as read with the Protocol of Amendment to the European Convention for the Protection of Animals kept for Farming Purposes; and apply to all animals kept for farming purposes (subject to certain limited exceptions).

Regulation 3(1) lays down the general principle that owners and keepers of animals kept for farming purposes must take reasonable steps to ensure the welfare of animals in their care and to prevent them any unnecessary pain, suffering or injury. This principle applies to all animals (including fish, reptiles and amphibians).

The Regulations also provide for general requirements as to the conditions in which all farmed animals (other than fish, reptiles and amphibians) are bred or kept (regulation 3(2) and Schedule 1) and for specific additional requirements as to the conditions in which laying hens kept in battery cages (regulation 4 and Schedule 2), poultry (other than laying hens kept in battery cages) (regulation 5 and Schedule 3), calves (regulation 6 and Schedule 4), cattle (regulation 7 and Schedule 5), pigs (regulation 8 and Schedule 6) and rabbits (regulation 9 and Schedule 7) are bred or kept.

Regulation 10 contains provision to ensure that those in charge of animals have access to copies of the welfare codes issued under section 3 of the Agriculture (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1968 which apply to the animals being bred or kept and that they are acquainted with those codes. many of these codes are included in the EMA library (cattle, domestic fowls, pigs, sheep, goats), but further information relating to the welfare codes can be obtained from DEFRA.

Regulation 11 provides for the service of enforcement notices requiring action to be taken to deal with any breach of the Regulations and regulation 12 provides for a power of entry for persons authorised by the European Commission for the purpose of enforcing Community legislation.

Under regulation 13(1), any contravention of the Regulations is an offence against section 2 of the Agriculture (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1968. Under section 7 of that Act, the maximum penalty for such an offence is 3 months imprisonment and/or a fine at level 4 on the standard scale (currently, 2,500).

Pertinence to Agriculture: Animals, Prevention of Cruelty

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