RSPCA Central, West & North East London

24-hour cruelty and advice line: 0300 1234 999

The Animal Welfare Act – your responsibilities as a pet owner

The Animal Welfare Act (2006) now makes an owner legally responsible for meeting the welfare needs of their pets and so must care for them properly by law- which most owners already do.

There are five welfare needs, which owners must legally meet

  • somewhere suitable to live
  • a proper diet, including fresh water
  • the ability to express normal behaviour
  • for any need to be housed with, or apart from, other animals
  • protection from, and treatment of, illness and injury.

It is an offence to cause neglect, cruelty or suffering to an animal. If you require assistance with rehoming your pet because you can no longer meet their welfare needs, please contact the branch at the earliest opportunity for advice and assistance.

If you wish to report suspected cruelty or neglect, please contact the National RSPCA’s cruelty line on 0300 1234 999.

Need more information?

Please see the animal care pages of the National RSPCA website for more information about pet care and meeting the needs of your animals, including advice about neutering and veterinary care.