Dogs: Animal Welfare

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 21st October 2015.

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Photo of David Simpson David Simpson Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Business, Innovation and Skills), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many prosecutions there have been for abandoning or neglecting dogs in each of the last five years.

Photo of George Eustice George Eustice The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

We do not hold information about species specific prosecutions. However, the table below provides numbers of prosecutions made under the Animal Welfare Act for each of the last five years.

Number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates' courts under sections 4 and 9 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, England and Wales, 2010-2014(1)(2)








Causing, permitting or failing to prevent unnecessary suffering

SS.4 & 32(1)






Failing to ensure needs of animal are met as required by good practice

SS.9 & 32(2)






(1) The figures given in the table on court proceedings relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

(2) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

Source: Justice Statistics Analytical Services - Ministry of Justice.

[Ref: PQc 12028 4083]

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