Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013

23.

Humane destruction of animal.

23.—(1) Subject to this section, a person shall not kill a protected animal or cause or permit another person to kill a protected animal, unless the person killing the animal is competent to kill it in accordance with animal health and welfare regulations (if any) and does so in such manner as to inflict as little suffering as possible in the circumstances.

(2) If an authorised officer, a veterinary practitioner acting as such or a person specified in animal health and welfare regulations is of the opinion that—

( a) an animal is fatally injured,

( b) an animal is so severely injured or diseased or in such pain or distress that, for the alleviation of its suffering, it should be killed,

( c) to prevent further suffering to an animal, it is necessary or expedient, or

( d) an animal is a danger to life or property,

he or she may, without having to seek the consent of its owner or the person in control of it, kill the animal or cause the animal to be killed or destroyed in such manner as to inflict as little suffering as possible in the circumstances and may destroy or dispose of the carcass or cause the destruction or disposal of the carcass.

(3) An authorised officer or person specified in animal health and welfare regulations (who is not a veterinary practitioner) shall not do anything under subsection (2)(a), (b) or (c) unless he or she has consulted with, or made a reasonable attempt in the circumstances to consult with, a veterinary practitioner in that regard.

(4) If an authorised officer in performance of the functions conferred on the officer under section 38(4)(v) , seizes and detains an animal, the officer may, if he or she considers it reasonable to do so, kill the animal or cause the animal to be killed in such manner as to inflict as little suffering as possible in the circumstances and may destroy or dispose of the carcass or cause the destruction or disposal of the carcass.

(5) Nothing in this section prevents the occasional killing by or on behalf of the owner of an individual protected animal that is injured if the killing is to prevent unnecessary, avoidable or excessive suffering to the animal.

(6) In forming an opinion for the purposes of subsection (2), an authorised officer may, among other considerations, have regard to—

( a) veterinary or other reputable opinion or advice which may be of general application or, in a particular instance, be obtained remotely, or

( b) a code of practice.

(7) A person who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence.