Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013
Codes of practice.
25.—(1) The Minister may—
( a) establish a code of practice, or
( b) adopt, in whole or in part, a code of practice published by another person (whether within the State or otherwise),
for the purpose of providing practical guidance relating to any of the purposes in this Act.
(2) A code of practice established or adopted under subsection (1) may provide, amongst other matters, for—
( a) the care of animals,
( b) the good governance and operation of persons or bodies concerned with animal welfare, the prevention of cruelty to, rescue of, or provision of sanctuary to, animals,
( c) biosecurity measures,
( d) breeding and rearing of animals,
( e) the provision of food and liquid for animals,
( f) the provision of housing and shelter for animals,
( g) allowing animals to exhibit their natural and normal behaviour, or
( h) safeguarding animals from environmental hazards.
(3) A code of practice shall be published by the Minister—
( a) on the website of his or her Department of State in such a form or manner as the Minister thinks appropriate, and
( b) in printed form available on request on payment of such fee (if any) as the Minister decides,
and the code published shall specify the date from which it or any amendment to it has effect.
(4) A person who has in his or her possession or under his or her control an animal of a particular class or description shall have due regard to a code of practice that applies in relation to an animal of that class or description.
(5) Before establishing or adopting a code of practice, the Minister—
( a) shall publish on the website of his or her Department of State a draft of the proposed code and allow persons 30 days from the date of publication to make written representations to him or her in relation to the draft code or draft amendment, and
( b) may, having considered any representations received, establish or adopt the draft code, with or without modification.
(6) In proceedings for an offence under this Act relating to an animal where there was a code of practice in effect at the time of the commission of the alleged offence, subsection (7) applies.
(7) Where it is shown in any proceedings that an act or omission of the accused constituted an element of an offence and such act or omission was—
( a) a failure to observe a code of practice referred to in subsection (6), or
( b) in compliance with that code of practice,
the failure or compliance is admissible in evidence.
(8) A copy of a code of practice which has endorsed on it a certificate purporting to be signed by an officer of the Minister, authorised by the Minister in that behalf, stating that the copy is a true copy of the code of practice may, without proof of the signature of the person signing the certificate or that he or she is authorised to sign the certificate, be produced in every court and in all proceedings under this Act and is evidence, unless the contrary is shown, of the code of practice.