Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013


Feeding of animals.

13.—(1) A person who has a protected animal in his or her possession or under his or her control or transports such an animal shall provide and supply to the animal—

( a) a sufficient quantity of wholesome and uncontaminated drinking water or other suitable liquid appropriate to its physiological or behavioural needs which satisfies the animal’s fluid intake requirements,

( b) a quantity of suitable and wholesome food sufficient to satisfy the reasonable requirements of the animal, and

( c) such other nourishment having regard to its nature, type, species, breed, development, adaptation, domestication and state of health and to the animal’s physiological or behavioural needs,

in accordance with established experience and scientific knowledge.

(2) A person shall not provide, or cause to be provided, to an animal, food or liquid—

( a) that does not satisfy the reasonable requirements of the animal, or

( b) which—

(i) is of a nature that may itself cause the animal injury, disease or unnecessary suffering, or

(ii) contains a substance which may cause the animal injury, disease or unnecessary suffering.

(3) In proceedings in which a contravention of this section is alleged, it is a defence for the accused to show that he or she could not reasonably have—

( a) known either that the manner in which the food or liquid was provided, or that the food or liquid itself or a substance contained in the food or liquid, would be likely to cause an injury or unnecessary suffering to which the alleged offence relates, or

( b) prevented the animal consuming the food or liquid.

(4) Where a person having possession or control of a protected animal fails to comply with subsection (1) or (2) and the person is not the owner of the protected animal, then the owner of the animal shall also have committed an offence under subsection (5), unless the owner shows that he or she took all reasonable steps to ensure that all necessary measures in the circumstances were taken to comply with subsection (1) or (2), as the case may be.

(5) A person who fails to comply with subsection (1) or contravenes subsection (2) commits an offence.