Code of Practice for pet owners

by Leanne Thompson on November 5, 2008

The government will soon be telling us how we should look after our dogs, under a new code of practice for pet owners. According to Defra, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the new code of practice will offer guidelines on the responsibilities for pet owners, as laid out in the 2006 Animal Welfare Act.

For example, it’s the pet owner’s responsibility to provide both entertainment and mental stimulation for their dog, and to provide a suitable place for them to do their business. Your dog’s diet is also regulated under the code of practice.

Under the code of practice, owners who break the rules won’t be fined, but could be prosecuted under animal cruelty charges.

The document is twenty-six pages long and warns owners about their responsibilities to their pets.

It is your responsibility to read the complete Code of Practice to fully understand your cat’s welfare needs and what the law requires you to do.

The document will be available on the Defra website, and as a leaflet.

Also included is advice on separation anxiety within dogs, and information on how dogs require the company of others, be they humans or animals, to remain happy.

The document offers advice for cat owners as well as dog owners, and also includes guidelines on introducing dogs to cats in your household.

Hilary Benn, the Environment Secretary, stated:

These three new codes of practice will outline the responsibilities under the Animal Welfare Act and give practical advice on how to fulfil them.

This means no one will be able to claim ignorance as an excuse for mistreating any animal.

Does anyone think this is going a little too far with regards to a nanny state? Do we need to be told how to look after our dogs and what is best for them?

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