Animal health and welfare

Animal Health and Welfare Act 2006, neutering, reporting animal cruelty and reporting an out-of-control dog.

Animal Health and Welfare Act 2006

The Animal Health and Welfare Act 2006 aims to: 

  • improve the welfare of animals 
  • make pet owners (whether permanent or temporary) more responsible for animal welfare 
  • give greater investigation and entry powers for police and local authority staff to deal with offences 

Owner responsibilities 

Anyone responsible for an animal must make sure it's looked after. This includes: 

  • a suitable environment 
  • a suitable diet 
  • the ability to show normal behaviour patterns such as exercising  
  • being housed with, or apart from, other animals 
  • being protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease 
  • being protected from heat in the summer months – see RSPCA information on how to look after your pet when it’s warm


Offences include the: 

  • mutilation of animals, like removing all or part of a dog's tail (other than for good medical reasons) 
  • selling or giving a pet as a prize to anyone under 16  


Depending on the type of offence and animals involved, enforcement is shared between the: 

  • RSPCA 
  • police 
  • local authorities 
  • Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) 


It is recommended that you have your pet spayed or neutered. This means your pet will not reproduce.

We do not offer a neutering service. Please contact your local vet. 

See RSPCA information on neutering.

Free cat neutering

You may be eligible for free cat neutering. See London Cat Care & Control Consortium about free cat neutering

Reporting animal cruelty 

Contact the RSPCA to report animal cruelty.

Report an out of control dog 

You can contact the Metropolitan Police if you suspect: 

  • a dog is dangerously out of control  
  • the dog owner is using the animal as part of anti-social behaviour  

See information on how to report an out of control dog on the Metropolitan Police website.