The Animal Welfare Act of 2006 states that the Five Basic Welfare Needs of Pets should be provided and that owners have a Duty of Care to provide them.
1. The need for a suitable environment
2. The need for a suitable diet which includes fresh water at all times
3. The need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns
4. The need to be housed with, or apart from, other animals as required
5. The need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease
It is illegal for a child under 16 to own an animal but an adult can purchase one for them as long as they remain legally responsible for it.
Duty of Care applies to the Owner of an animal, Anyone in charge of an animal, and a Parent or Guardian of a child under 16 years.
Anyone cruel to animals may be banned from owning animals for life, fined up to £20,000.00 and/or be sent to prison