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Local authorities respond to individual cases of animal welfare and can allocate resources based on local priorities. Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, local authorities in England and Wales have powers to enforce the Animal Welfare Act 2006, which includes powers of entry and seizure in order to inspect allegations of poor animal welfare and cruelty.
Local authorities also have primary responsibility for the enforcement of legislation concerning animal welfare on farm, in transport and at markets. In addition, in England, local authorities have a statutory duty to enforce The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018, which regulate pet selling, dog breeding, dog and cat boarding, riding schools and exhibiting animals. Under the 2018 Regulations, local authorities have powers to issue, refuse and revoke licences for the five regulated activities. Local authorities are also responsible for licensing zoos under the Zoo Licensing Act 1981 and independent racing greyhound tracks under The Welfare of Racing Greyhounds Regulations 2010”.
Anyone concerned about a local authority’s handling of animal welfare cases can raise this in the first instance with the relevant local authority, of if not satisfied with the outcome, can refer the matter to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.