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Abandonment of Animals Act 1960

Volume 470: debated on Wednesday 23 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make a statement on the operation of the Abandonment of Animals Act 1960; and what amendments have been made to this Act since 1997. (177126)

The Abandonment of Animals Act 1960 was repealed and replaced by the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

Under the 2006 Act, it is a criminal offence to either cause unnecessary suffering to—or fail to provide for the welfare needs of—any domestic or captive animal.

Under the Act, if someone who is responsible for an animal abandons it and it is unable to fend for itself, the person responsible will have failed to ensure its welfare and therefore committed an offence. If suffering has actually occurred as a result of the abandonment, a further offence will have been committed under the Act’s provisions on unnecessary suffering. The maximum fine when suffering occurs has been increased from £5,000 to £20,000.