Dogs and Animal Welfare

Animal Welfare

Photograph of some cattle in a field

Local Councils have adopted a collaborative regional approach to the new legislation and have appointed five Animal Welfare Officers to enforce animal welfare in respect of non-farmed animals, only across Northern Ireland. The Officers will have statutory enforcement powers and can take a range of action to improve the welfare of non-farmed including, providing advice, issuing an improvement notice, taking animal in to their possession, and initiating prosecution action.

From the 2nd of April 2012, District Councils have had responsibility for enforcement of the powers in the Welfare of Animals (NI) Act 2011, in respect of non-farmed animals e.g. domestic pets of any vertebrate species and equines (horses and donkeys).

The collaborative regional approach sees five Animal Welfare Officers cover the whole of Northern Ireland working on a regional basis.

Report an Animal Welfare Issue

If you need to report an animal welfare issue during office hours Monday to Friday 9am-5pm please contact our Animal Welfare Team on T: 028 2563 3134

Please note if you need to contact the service in relation to an urgent Animal Welfare enforcement issue between 9am to 5pm Saturday, Sunday or during Bank holidays then dial the above number and you will be directed to the out of hours service.

Welfare of Farm Animals

Welfare complaints in respect of farmed animals (that is animals bred or kept for the production of food, wool or skin or other farming purposes) should be referred to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. During office hours Monday to Friday 9am-5pm T: 0300 200 7840

During weekends contact a local Private Veterinary Practice or PSNI who will, as necessary, refer the welfare complaint to the relevant On Call officer.

Welfare of Wild Animals/Animal Fighting

Welfare complaints in respect of wild animals or animal fighting should be referred to your local Police Station - T: 028 9065 0222