Equestrian Needs Ltd

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The Animal Welfare Act 2006 provides owners and keepers with information on how to meet the welfare needs of their animals. There are codes of practice for the welfare of dogs, cats, horses (including other equidae) and privately kept non-human primates. The codes only apply to England and came into force from 6 April 2010.

For the purpose of the act an animal's needs include:

  • has a suitable environment to live in;
  • has a healthy diet;
  • is able to behave normally;
  • has appropriate company; and
  • is protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.

Breach of a provision of the Code is not an offence in itself, but if proceedings are brought against you for a welfare offence the Court will look at whether or not you have complied with the Code in deciding whether you have committed an offence.

You should not cause any unnecessary suffering to your animal; this could constitute a serious offence under the Act.


To view the code of practice click the icon below.

Code of Practice for the Welfare of Horses, Ponies, Donkeys and their Hybrids DEFRA
Estimated Size: 580KB


Report a Welfare Concern

Please note that some organisations are not available outside of office hours and alternative contacts may be provided.

RSPCA Telephone: 0300 1234 999

World Horse Welfare Hotline Telephone: 0800 0480180

Redwings Horse Sanctuary Welfare Hotline & Advice Telephone: 01508 481008

Last Updated: November 2012