Animal welfare act 2006: It’s your duty to care

This leaflet explains what the Animal Welfare Act 2006 is and how it effects you.



The Animal Welfare Act 2006 makes owners and keepers responsible for ensuring that the welfare needs of their animals are met.

These include the need:

  • for a suitable environment (place to live)
  • for a suitable diet
  • to exhibit normal behaviour patterns
  • to be housed with or apart from other animals (if applicable)
  • to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease

The law also increases the minimum age a person can buy an animal to 16 and prohibits giving animals as prizes to unaccompanied children under this age. Anyone who is cruel to an animal or does not provide for its welfare needs may be banned from owning animals, fined up to £20,000 and/or sent to prison.

Further information