New charter outlines council’s animal welfare standards
The Forestry Council has affirmed its intention to go “the extra mile” to protect animals from harm with the creation of a new Animal Welfare Charter.
The council said the charter sets out owners’ obligations in relation to their pets, including recommendations on “good practice” in care, and will help officers prosecute those guilty of unnecessary suffering and neglect.
It also contains contact details for those wishing to raise livestock welfare concerns, which is not the responsibility of the council.
While the council’s statutory obligations relate to domestic animals, including horses, the authority says the charter “supports the idea that all animals have the right to a humane life”, and specifies that minimum standards “must be exceeded as far as possible”.
Cllr Animal Welfare Champion Nicky Packer said: “Our team of Street Wardens at the Council are doing an incredible job of keeping our communities safe and protecting the animals in the District.
“As a council, we know animal welfare is an important issue for residents of the Forest of Dean. In addition to the obligations of owners vis-à-vis their pets, which the municipality must enforce, the Animal Welfare Charter makes recommendations for good practice in the care of pets and animal welfare. in general.
“The charter will help our team of officers to successfully prosecute those found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to animals and will be reviewed regularly, both to update it in line with changes in legislation and to continually improve the advice. .”
Enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 is not a legal requirement for councils, with the council being one of only two local authorities in Gloucestershire to deal with investigating cases of animal neglect animals.
The council provides a dog sitter service which handles complaints about out-of-control dogs in public areas, as well as working with Forest of Dean Dog Rescue to ensure those whose owners don’t show up are properly rehomed.
The Street Warden team also works with the Fraud Unit to investigate and secure convictions against those guilty of animal cruelty.
Community Safety Officer Damion Collins said: ‘The Street Warden team works hard alongside residents to ensure animals in the Forest of Dean are cared for responsibly.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank partners such as Forest of Dean Dog Rescue for their continued efforts in finding homes for unclaimed dogs and especially for dogs that have had such poor starts in life.
“This Animal Welfare Charter makes clear our commitment to go far beyond minimum legal obligations and underlines how committed we are to ensuring that all animals in the District are safe from suffering.”