Animals have a special ability to spread joy to those around them and many of us hold furry friends close to our hearts. While it’s second nature for most to show care for animals, unfortunately not all creatures are so lucky. The City Council has produced an updated document to set out the areas where it has direct responsibility for animal welfare across the city.
Chelmsford City Council’s Animal Welfare Policy focuses on the areas where it has influence and where it can, and will, take action when necessary. While not all matters are within the council’s ability to control, it aspires for all animals to live a happy life, free from cruel treatment.
Animal rights: the five freedoms
Many local people care very deeply about animal welfare and are rightly concerned if they see cruel treatment, abuse or neglect of animals. The council supports the view that all animals have a right to a good quality of life and that people have a duty of care towards animals in their charge. Animals have the right to enjoy five basic freedoms, detailed in the diagram below.
The council takes the five freedoms into account when exercising its statutory powers relating to animal health and welfare matters. Furthermore, the five freedoms will feed into developing future policies.
Animal welfare licencing responsibilities
The City Council is responsible for licensing involving animals in certain areas. These include:
- Animal Boarding Establishments
- Dangerous Wild Animals
- Dog Breeding Establishments
- Dog Warden Enforcement
- Pet Shops
- Riding Establishments
The policy document sets out what licences people need, how the council will monitor, inspect and protect animals, and any enforcement action that can be taken if necessary.
Gold award for dog wardens
The council also has a role in enforcing a range of statutory powers in relation to dogs. Their outstanding work to manage and prevent stray dogs in Chelmsford recently earned the dog warden team a top award from the RSPCA.
“Animals depend on humans for their protection from cruelty. Chelmsford City Council works tirelessly to protect public health and enhance community wellbeing; this includes the use of animal welfare legislation to provide protection against rogue animal breeders and dangerously out of control dogs. Not all matters relating to animal welfare fall within the council’s remit, but our updated Animal Welfare Policy clarifies the areas in which we can assist and take action.”Councillor Rose Moore, Cabinet Member for Greener and Safer Chelmsford
Read the updated Animal Welfare Policy to understand in much more detail where the council can help.
- If you see any animal which you believe to be injured or whose welfare is giving concern, you should contact the RSPCA in the first instance (Tel: 0300 1234 999).
- If you think an animal is in immediate danger, such as a dog locked in a hot car, you can contact Essex Police (Tel: 101 or 999 in an emergency).
- To report cruelty or an animal in distress in licenced premises such as a pet shop or boarding establishment, contact Chelmsford City Council: www.chelmsford.gov.uk/business/licensing/animal-licensing.