FAQ Wales

If you have an animal welfare enquiry from a constituent...

...about dog fouling

while in certain circumstances this can be associated with irresponsible dog ownership it is not a direct welfare issue in itself. Any concerns related to dog fouling should be directed at the Local Authority.

with concerns about vet bills...

Owners must take their pet to a vet as soon as possible if it becomes ill or is injured. It is a criminal offence to knowingly deny an animal veterinary treatment and cause it to suffer unnecessarily.

If they have a problem with paying for treatment, some vets may allow them to pay in installments to spread the cost. Furthermore, the RSPCA, PDSA and the Blue Cross provide veterinary treatment at reduced costs.

Local RSPCA branches are run independently by locally elected committees of trustees. They can sometimes help with vets’ bills if people are receiving certain state benefits. However, this will depend on their current financial position. For more information, contact your local RSPCA branch.
We also advise people to consider taking out a pet insurance policy for a few pounds a month. This will cover unexpected vet bills in the future.

with concerns about licensed animal establishments...

If you or your constituent have concerns about the conditions or activities of a licensed animal establishment such as a pet shop, boarding, dog breeding or horse riding establishment, contact should be made with the Local Authority who hold responsibility for licensing animal establishments.

who is concerned with dog barking noise...

Complaints about noise from animals, such as dogs barking, should be reported to the Local Authority.

Whilst it is natural for dogs to bark, excessive noise can be defined as a statutory nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Depending on the circumstances involved, the Local Authority may be able to take action.

Where a welfare concern is raised as a result of an investigation, the Local Authority will often liaise directly with the RSPCA.

is concerned about aggressive dogs...

Constituents who have a problem with status/dangerous dogs or dogs being used in anti-social behaviour should contact their Local Authority or police in the first instance.

If the animals are being fought (or there are other welfare or cruelty problems) please contact the RSPCA on our national cruelty and advice line 0300 1234 999.

who has found an orphaned wild animal...

Many young animals are brought to RSPCA centres by well meaning members of the public who are concerned that they have been orphaned. But this will not always have been the case.

If you or your constituent find a baby animal that appears to be alone it is best to watch from a distance for 24 hours, unless it is in immediate danger, before calling the RSPCA on our national cruelty and advice line 0300 1234 999.

For more detailed information on individual animals please visit the main RSPCA website.

who has found a lost or abandoned animal...

If an injured animal is found, people should contact the RSPCA 24-hour cruelty and advice line 0300 1234 999 and be ready to provide details of the animal and its precise location. Where possible and safe to do so, they should confine the animal and/or stay with it, keeping it quiet, still and warm. It is advised NOT to attempt to feed or give water to any injured animal.

about a lost pet...

Those who have lost a pet could contact their local veterinary surgeries, animal centres, and the police. They could also try putting up posters in the area with a picture of their pet, and advertising in newsagents, schools and local newspapers. Constituents who have lost a dog should contact their local council’s dog warden.

The RSPCA also recommends the PetsLocated.com website, which is an independent resource designed to automatically and proactively reunite missing pets with their owners.

about stray dogs...

Following the introduction of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005, Local Authorities have sole statutory responsibility for stray dogs. This legislation terminated any Police responsibility for stray dogs.

Anyone seeking to have a stray dog collected should contact their Local Authority.

RSPCA Cymru only collects stray dogs in a major emergency, such as if the animal is in imminent danger or risk from suffering and the Local Authority is unable to attend.

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 details a Local Authority’s responsibilities in relation to stray dogs, such as the appointment of a relevant officer, and ensuring stray dogs are seized and detained for a minimum period of seven days.

with concerns about an animal being mistreated, neglected or treated cruelly

If you or your constituent are concerned about the ill treatment of an animal, please ring the RSPCA’s 24-hour cruelty and advice line 0300 1234 999. The RSPCA treats all reports in the strictest confidence.

About the RSPCA

We’re proud to be the oldest welfare charity around. We were the first to introduce a law to protect animals and we work hard to ensure that all animals can live a life free from pain and suffering.

How many animals do the RSPCA rescue or seize last year?

Over 19 thousand individual animals were taken into RSPCA care in Wales in 2013.

How many complaints did the RSPCA receive last year?

We received 46,000 calls in 2012 - one for every 66 people in Wales. In 2013 we investigated over 11 thousand complaints in Wales - that’s more than one an hour or 30 per day.

Why does the RSPCA prosecute?

Wherever possible, the RSPCA offers advice and assistance to improve animal welfare, including giving people time to make improvements to their standards of care.

However, this is not always possible or appropriate, for example, if there has been a deliberate act of violence against an animal, where people won't accept assistance, or in extreme cases of neglect.

It is under these types of circumstances when we consider prosecution under laws, such as the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

When RSPCA Inspectors have reason to believe that an offence has been committed, they prepare a case file containing evidence such as witness statements, photographs, and veterinary or other expert advice.

Once the investigation is complete, the file is submitted to our prosecutions team, who consider whether the case ought to be prosecuted. The prosecutions team make the decision whether or not to prosecute individuals accused of offences relating to animals, with the RSPCA’s approach reflecting the principles of the Code for Crown Prosecutors.

What is the difference between RSPCA Cymru and RSPCA?

RSPCA is a registered charity that operates in England and Wales. Therefore, RSPCA Cymru is part of the wider RSPCA and is not an independent organisation.

How many prosecutions does the RSPCA undertake in Wales?

In 2013, 297 convictions were secured in the magistrates' court, with 79 defendants (including one juvenile offender) convicted.

Additional information concerning prosecutions, including case studies, can be found within the Wales pages of the RSPCA's Annual Prosecutions Report.

Information for Decision Makers

Is the UK Parliament or National Assembly for Wales responsible for animal welfare?

With some exceptions such as hunting and animals used in experiments , animal welfare is devolved to the National Assembly for Wales. Given this, RSPCA Cymru includes an External Relations Department dedicated to liaising with the Welsh Government, National Assembly for Wales and all relevant stakeholders in Wales.

What is the RSPCA's policy concerning political donations?

The RSPCA has worked for over 190 years with politicians from all legal political parties to develop and improve animal welfare. We do this both at different levels of government and directly with individuals and will continue to do so.

The Society works on a non-party political basis and does not endorse any political party, their politicians, or their policies. Nor do we accept any donations (whether purely financial or for services) from any political party or their representative, including for political PR purposes.

Can you provide briefing documents?

All of our reports, briefings and consultation responses are evidence-based with technical input from our scientific and legal specialists.

We have endeavoured to ensure that as many of these as possible are available here however if you have a specific request that is not covered here please do not hesitate to contact us on externalaffairscymru@rspca.org.uk or by ringing 0300 123 8912.

Days out with RSPCA Inspectors

*Please note that these are suspended during the pre-election period – 5th January to 5th May 2016*
If you are an elected representative we would be very pleased to arrange a day or half day out with your local inspector so you can see the work that they do in your constituency. For further information please email us at externalaffairscymru@rspca.org.uk
We are also able to arrange visits to local animal hospitals, branches and re-homing centres. In some cases we will be able to arrange visits to Freedom Food farms in your area.
All these provide an excellent opportunity for you to learn about some of the pressing animal welfare matters in your area and meet the dedicated individuals working on the frontline.