Ryedale District Council

Animal welfare

Information on animal welfare matters.

The Council believes that all animals have the right to enjoy five basic freedoms:

• Freedom from fear and distress
• Freedom from hunger and thirst
• Freedom from discomfort
• Freedom from pain, injury and disease
• Freedom to express normal behaviour

Please see the Council’s Animal Welfare Charter below.


  • Due to the vast range of legislation dealing with animals, it is not possible to detail them on this site but a useful summary can be obtained on the RSPCA website.
  • The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, is the main piece of legislation protecting wild birds and other animals. Find a summary on the RSPCA website.
  • Anyone keeping an animal in captivity has a legal obligation to meet that animals needs under the Animal Welfare Act. To keep a wild animal in captivity, you may need a licence.
  • Licences are required for performing animals and are issued by North Yorkshire County Council.

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Pet care advice

  • Pets shops in the Ryedale area are licensed by us and should provide pet care advice on the care of your pet when purchased.
  • There are also a range of other organisations that can produce information on the care of your pet, including The Animal Welfare Foundation, RSPCA, Blue Cross, PDSA, Dogs Trust etc. Some animal welfare organisations provide low cost pet care treatment, neutering, microchipping, vaccinations etc depending on your eligibility
  • Take preventative measures rather than wait until a problem affects your pet or animals. Advice on health measures can be obtained from your vet, and may include vaccination for a range of common diseases or simple pre flea treatment.
  • If your animals are housed outside the home, attention to housekeeping such as storage of food in sealed metal containers, controlled feeding/watering or adequate fencing can help minimise unwanted visitors such as rats or mice.

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Seasonal animal concerns

The different seasons bring different challenges to a range of animals, whether it's the heat of summer or the cold of winter. A range of advice  is available via the RSPCA website. Some of the common concerns are detailed below.

Dogs left in hot cars
A common issue is people leaving their dogs in the car during hot weather. Even if you just pop into the shop for a few groceries, even on a cloudy day and with the windows open, temperature can soar to dangerously high levels in just a few minutes. Dog owners have a legal duty under the Animal Welfare Act to prevent suffering. Anyone seeing a dog in distress and displaying symptoms of heatstroke in a hot car is advised to phone the police by dialing 999. Advice on dogs in hot cars is available from the RSPCA. Remember this advice also applies to other pets in the home or in other circumstances e.g. a conservatory or caravan.

Fireworks can cause distress to a range of animals including pets. There are a range of simple things you can do to help your pet to deal with fireworks. By preparing in advance before fireworks start your pet will be able to cope with the noise. The RSPCA leaflet Fireworks Frighten Animals gives good tips for helping your pet become less frightened of fireworks. In serious cases of fireworks phobia, the condition is treatable. Seek advice from your vet who will, if necessary, refer you to a professional clinical animal behaviourist.

Pets at Christmas
Owning a pet can be very rewarding but it also brings its responsibilities. Remember the saying that a pet is for life, not just for Christmas. There are a range of things to think about before considering taking on a new pet;

  • Have you the time to look after the pet or, if you are considering having a dog, to take it for walks?
  • Will the new pet get on with any existing pets you have?
  • Are you prepared to put up with any damage the pet may cause?
  • Have you the time and dedication to train the pet?
  • Are you aware of the costs of feeding, veterinary care, insurance etc?
  • Who will look after the pet when you are away from home?

Once you have considered the above and decided that you can meet these responsibilities, you can enjoy the companionship of your new pet and work to becoming a responsible pet owner.

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If you have any questions or need more information, please email us or telephone 01653 600666.

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Attachments (downloads)
FileNo of pagesFile sizeCreated
Download this file (Animal_welfare_policy 2014.pdf)Animal welfare charter 2014786 kB07-2014
Download this file (Who_responsible_animal_welfare_2014.pdf)Who is responsible for what in animal welfare?8364 kB07-2014

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Ryedale District Council
Ryedale House, Old Malton Road
Malton, North Yorkshire
YO17 7HH

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