General services we provide
- control of stray dogs under the Environmental Protection Act 1990
- noise control under the EPA 1990 (barking dogs and other animal noise)
- Dogs Fouling of Land Act 1996. Includes bin installations and dog fouling notices
- The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018
Cruelty to animals - who to contact
If you suspect that an animal of any kind is being subjected to any form of cruelty then contact the National Cruelty Helpline 0800 1234 999. The only organisation that can legally deal with this is the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA).
We have formal links with the Department of Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) in enforcing national legislation governing the health and welfare of farm animals. This includes responding to complaints of neglect or ill treatment of livestock on farms, during transport, at markets and other places.
We are responsible for the licensing of:
- animal boarding establishments
- dog breeding establishments
- hiring out horses
- keeping or training animals for exhibition
- selling animals as pets
- animal movements
- dangerous wild animals
DEFRA is the UK government department responsible for policy and regulations on environmental, food and rural issues. Visit the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) website for more information.
Poultry or captive birds
If you keep poultry (such as chickens, geese or ducks) or captive birds at your property, see the attached important notice issued by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). Alternatively, you may contact the council’s licensing team to discuss; keeping poultry or captive birds does not require a licence from the local authority.
For more information visit the DEFRA website.
Disease control measures in England
The options open to keepers in England will therefore depend on whether you are inside or outside one of the defined higher risk areas (HRAs). DEFRA hs published the rationale behind the new HRAs along with an interactive map which you can search using a postcode, place name or grid reference (preferred). You can access the map at:
The best way to avoid contact between poultry and wild birds is to keep them housed in a suitable building. However, the new targeted approach is designed to give keepers options and allow free range production to continue. The prevention zone covering England legally requires the following:
- all poultry and captive bird keepers in England must comply with a set of minimum biosecurity standards whether you are in the new HRAs or outside them
- all poultry and captive bird keepers in England with more than 500 birds must comply with additional biosecurity measures regardless of whether you are inside or outside the HRA
- outside the HRA, keepers have the option to allow poultry and kept birds managed access to fenced outdoor areas; if you plan to let your birds outdoors, there are additional biosecurity measures you must put in place; these apply regardless of the size of your flock, whether you have a commercial holding, a backyard flock or keep your birds as pets; before birds are let outside, you must take all reasonable steps to remove and minimise the risk of existing faecal contamination from wild birds
- outside the HRA, housing or fully netting the fenced outdoor areas is optional; all keepers must consider very carefully whether the measures you are taking sufficiently reduce the risk of contact between your birds and wild birds, particularly wild waterfowl; if you consider this remains a risk, you should keep your birds housed or in fully netted areas
- within the HRA, all poultry and captive birds, regardless of flock size, must either be housed or kept within fully netted outdoor areas, pens, cages or aviaries
All poultry keepers are required to take steps to reduce the risk of infection via the environment, for example in wild bird droppings, by practising good bio security. For more information read the detailed guidance on what you need to do at www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu.
If you have a backyard flock, you should read DEFRA’s short, simple advice on how to comply with these rules at www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/581952/ai-birdflu-factsheet-170106.pdf and how to protect birds' welfare when they're housed.
There is also a ban on gatherings of poultry across the UK www.gov.uk/government/news/poultry-gatherings-suspended-following-avian-flu-case.
This applies to birds including chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese, and restricts events such as livestock fairs, auctions and bird shows.
The CVO has also written to all poultry keepers setting out the new requirements.
More information about arrangements in England is available at: www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu
More information about arrangements in Scotland is available at: www.gov.scot/avianinfluenza
More information about arrangements in Wales is available at: gov.wales/topics/environmentcountryside/ahw/disease/avianflu/?lang=en
Links below explain risks of Avian Influenza and plans for enhanced bio security by DEFRA.