Horses: Animal Welfare

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered at on 27 February 2024.

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Photo of David Simmonds David Simmonds Conservative, Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will take steps to help ensure that people who neglect their horses are prosecuted.

Photo of Mark Spencer Mark Spencer The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Act 2021 amends the Animal Welfare Act 2006 (the 2006 Act) to provide one of the toughest sanctions in Europe and strengthens the UK's position as a global leader on animal welfare. The 2006 Act, as amended in 2021, now means a maximum sentence of five years and/or an unlimited fine will apply to the most serious animal cruelty offences, including causing unnecessary suffering, and is a significant step forward in improving animal welfare.

Local authorities have powers under the 2006 Act to act where a horse is suspected to be suffering on any land, public or private. In such circumstances, the local authority may enter the land and take control of the animal.

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