As part of the 2006 Animal Welfare Act, the DEFRA Code of Practice for farm animals has been adopted as guidelines for pet owners. These are known as the Five Freedoms.

Every pet in our care should have:

  1. Freedom from hunger or thirst by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour.
  2. Freedom from discomfort by providing an appropriate environment, including shelter and a comfortable resting area.
  3. Freedom from pain, injury or disease by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.
  4. Freedom to express most normal behaviour by providing sufficient space, proper facilities, and company of the animal’s own kind.
  5. Freedom from fear and distress by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid suffering.

Obviously, if are reading this, you are a responsible dog owner who does all this for your dog naturally. However, it is always good to have the knowledge to educate others!

People often acquire their pets without being aware or familiarising themselves with UK laws that can affect them as dog owners. As well as the Animal Welfare Act, the other important laws that dog owners should familiarise themselves with are: Environmental Protection Act (1990); Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014; Control of Dogs Order 1992; Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953, Animals Act 1971,section 3; Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.

This is an easy to read information guide provided by the UK Kennel Club, which gives a good overview.

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