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Publication - Guidance

Pet rabbit welfare guidance

Published: 6 Apr 2018
Part of:
Environment and climate change
ISBN:
9781788516273

This document provides detailed information about the needs of pet rabbits and how to meet these needs in accordance with good practice.

48 page PDF

2.1MB

48 page PDF

2.1MB

Contents
Pet rabbit welfare guidance
Appendix 1: The Law

48 page PDF

2.1MB

Appendix 1: The Law

The Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006

The following sections of the Act are referred to in the guidance and are set out here for ease of reference.

The boxes below contain extracts from the relevant sections of the Act.

The box shaded grey summarises the relevant offences and penalties in the Act.

The information quoted is the law as it stands on the date that this guidance is published. You should be aware that the legislation may be amended and any legal requirements quoted here could change. You should therefore check that this is an accurate statement of the law as it currently stands.

Section 18 of the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 provides:

Responsibility for animals

(1) In this Part [the animal welfare part of the Act], references to being responsible for an animal mean being responsible for it on a permanent or temporary basis.

(2) In this Part, references to being responsible for an animal include being in charge of it.

(3) For the purposes of this Part, a person who owns an animal is always to be regarded as being a person who is responsible for it.

(4) For the purposes of this Part, a person ("person A") is to be regarded as responsible for any animal for which a person who is under 16 years of age, of whom person A has the actual care and control, is responsible.

(5) For the purposes of this Part, a person does not relinquish responsibility for an animal by reason only of abandoning it.

Section 19 of the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 provides:

Unnecessary suffering

(1) A person commits an offence if –

(a) the person causes a protected animal unnecessary suffering by an act, and

(b) the person knew, or ought reasonably to have known, that the act would have caused the suffering or be likely to do so.

(2) A person who is responsible for an animal commits an offence if-

(a) the person causes the animal unnecessary suffering by an act or omission, and

(b) the person knew, or ought reasonably to have known, that the act or omission would have caused the suffering or be likely to do so.

(3) A person ("person A") who is responsible for an animal commits an offence if-

(a) another person causes the animal unnecessary suffering by an act or omission, and

(b) person A-

(i) permits that to happen, or

(ii) fails to take steps (whether by way of supervising the other person or otherwise) as are reasonable in the circumstances to prevent that happening.

(4) The considerations to which regard is to be had in determining, for the purposes of subsections (1) to (3), whether suffering is unnecessary include –

(a) whether the suffering could reasonably have been avoided or reduced,

(b) whether the conduct concerned was in compliance with any relevant enactment or any relevant provisions of a licence or code of practice issued under an enactment,

(c) whether the conduct concerned was for a legitimate purpose, for example –

(i) the purpose of benefiting the animal, or

(ii) the purpose of protecting a person, property or another animal,

(d) whether the suffering was proportionate to the purpose of the conduct concerned,

(e) whether the conduct concerned was in the circumstances that of a reasonably competent and humane person.

(5) This section does not apply to the destruction of an animal in an appropriate and humane manner.

Section 24 of the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 provides:

Ensuring welfare of animals

(1) A person commits an offence if the person does not take such steps as are reasonable in the circumstances to ensure that the needs of an animal for which the person is responsible are met to the extent required by good practice.

(2) The circumstances to which, for the purposes of subsection (1), regard is to be had include-

(a) any lawful purpose for which the animal is kept,

(b) any lawful activity undertaken in relation to the animal.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (1), an animal's needs include-

(a) its need for a suitable environment,

(b) its need for a suitable diet,

(c) its need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns,

(d) any need it has to be housed with, or apart from, other animals,

(e) its need to be protected from suffering, injury and disease.

(4) This section does not apply to the destruction of an animal in an appropriate and humane manner.


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