Down District Council


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Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011

From the 2nd of April 2012, District Councils will have responsibility for enforcement of the powers in the Welfare of Animals (NI) Act 2011, in respect of non-farmed animals’ e.g. domestic pets of any vertebrate species and equines (horses and donkeys).

Local Councils have adopted a collaborative regional approach to the new legislation and have appointed five Animal Welfare Officers to enforce animal welfare in respect of non-farmed animals, only across Northern Ireland. The Officers will have statutory enforcement powers and can take a range of action to improve the welfare of non-farmed including, providing advice, issuing an improvement notice, taking animal in to their possession, and initiating prosecution action.

The five officers cover the whole of Northern Ireland working on a regional basis. If you need to report an animal welfare issue during office hours Monday – Friday 9am-5pm you should contact the appropriate telephone number relating to the region you live in. Outside these hours your call will be diverted to voicemail - please leave a message and contact details. At weekends and public holidays the out-of hours phone will be answered between 9am-5pm.

Belfast City Council Area
Telephone: 02890270431

Eastern Area (5 Councils) – Ards, Castlereagh, Down, Lisburn and North Down
Telephone: 02890494567

Northern Area (10 Councils) – Antrim, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Carrickfergus, Coleraine, Cookstown, Larne, Magherafelt, Moyle and Newtownabbey
Telephone:   02825660412

Southern Area (5 Councils) – Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon, Dungannon and Newry and Mourne
Telephone:   028 37515800

Western Area (5 Councils) – Derry, Fermanagh, Limavady, Omagh and Strabane
Telephone:    028 82256226

Welfare complaints in respect of farmed animals (that is animals bred or kept for the production of food, wool or skin or other farming purposes) should be referred to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.  During office hours Monday to Friday 9am-5pm telephone - 0300 200 7840

Weekends – contact a local Private Veterinary Practice or PSNI who will, as necessary, refer the welfare complaint to the relevant “on call” officer.

Welfare complaints in respect of wild animals or animal fighting should be referred to the local Police Station.

Details of the enforcement roles and contact points can be excess on the link below.