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Animal welfare

Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)

17/10/22 - an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) has come into force across Great Britain due to the increased risk of avian influenza from wild birds.

07/11/22 - mandatory housing measures make it a legal requirement to keep the animals inside.

These rules apply to anyone keeping birds, whether it's a few hens in a back garden, rearing game birds or a large commercial farm and to all bird keepers in England, Scotland and Wales

It is also a legal requirement for all bird keepers to follow strict biosecurity measures.

For the latest information and advice visit


To protect animal health and welfare, we inspect animal boarding establishments (home boarding, kennels and catteries), pet shops, zoos and horse riding establishments before issuing a licence.  Dog breeders must also be licensed by us.

We must be satisfied that:

  • animals will be kept in suitable accommodation
  • adequate food and drink will be provided
  • any mammalian animals will not be sold too young
  • steps are taken to prevent disease spreading among the animals
  • adequate fire and emergency provisions are in place

If you have concerns about the conditions at a particular boarding establishment, or if you think someone is breeding dogs without a licence, please contact Environmental Health.

To report animal cruelty (animal abuse or neglect) please contact the RSPCA.

Related guidance notes published by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) listed below: