Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013

15.

Prohibition on animal fighting, etc.

15.—(1) A person shall not organise or cause or permit to take place any performance involving—

( a) wrestling, fighting or struggling with an animal,

( b) dog-fighting,

( c) cock-fighting,

( d) animal baiting,

( e) throwing or casting with ropes or other appliances any unbroken horse or untrained bovine,

( f) riding or attempting to ride an animal which, by the use of any appliance or treatment, is or has been stimulated with the intention of making it buck, or

( g) any other activity that may cause unnecessary suffering to an animal and is prohibited by animal health and welfare regulations.

(2) A person shall not take part in, or be present (whether as a spectator or otherwise) at, an animal fight or performance or, an activity to which section 16 refers except for an investigative purpose, the proof of which lies with that person.

(3) A person shall not keep or train or cause or permit another person to keep or train an animal for the purpose of an animal fight or performance.

(4) A person shall not—

( a) publicise or promote a proposed animal fight or performance,

( b) provide information about an animal fight or performance to another with the intention of enabling or encouraging attendance at the fight or performance, or

( c) receive money or other consideration for admission to an animal fight or performance.

(5) A person shall not—

( a) have in his or her possession or under his or her control, sell or supply an animal for an animal fight or performance, or

( b) keep, use, manage, permit or assist in the keeping, use or management of, any land or premises for an animal fight or performance.

(6) A person shall not—

( a) make or accept a bet on the outcome of an animal fight or performance or on the likelihood of anything occurring in the course of an animal fight or performance, or

( b) take part in an animal fight or performance.

(7) A person shall not, save for an investigative purpose or without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, record an animal fight or performance by photograph, video or any other means or to supply, display, show or publish such.

(8) A person shall not have spurs, equipment or another appendage made, used or adapted for use in an animal fight or performance in his or her possession or under his or her control on land or premises on which an animal is kept or in a vehicle, vessel, aircraft, railway wagon or container in which an animal is being transported.

(9) In proceedings for an offence under this section in respect of the use of an appliance or treatment referred to in subsection (1)(f), it is a defence for the accused to show that he or she did not know and could not reasonably have been expected to know that the appliance or treatment was to be or was used for the intention referred to in that paragraph.

(10) A person who contravenes this section commits an offence.

(11) The considerations to which regard may be had when determining, for the purposes of this section, whether an animal has been involved in an animal fight or performance or that an animal fight or performance has occurred may, amongst any other considerations, include—

( a) any pattern of injuries or scars on the animal that are likely to have been inflicted in a fight or performance,

( b) equipment or drugs commonly used in an animal fight or performance on the land or premises concerned,

( c) the breed, type and nature of the animal,

( d) any blood, torn tissue or fur on the land or premises concerned, or

( e) records of animal fighting or performances (including betting slips) on the premises.

(12) The restriction contained in subsection (1)(e) does not prevent the training of an animal, for the purpose of domesticating the animal and making it safe to manage by persons competent to train that animal, provided that—

( a) unnecessary suffering is not thereby caused to the animal, and

( b) any activity involved in the training of the animal is not prohibited by animal health and welfare regulations.

(13) In this section—

“animal fight or performance” means fighting or an activity referred to in subsection (1);

“investigative purpose” means investigating an animal fight or performance and includes a criminal investigation or the taking of any photograph, video or filming for inclusion in a television programme service (within the meaning of section 2 of the Broadcasting Act 2009).