Animal health

Be aware of new animal health penalty notices

One of the most important topics in the UK is animal health and welfare. It is crucial to ensure anyone who raises livestock does all they can to protect the animals. This includes ensuring they have sufficient food and water, appropriate living conditions, and medical checks. The goal is to improve wellbeing to protect supplies, trade, and reduce the risk of diseases.


There was a significant change to how enforcement authorities can address animal welfare issues at the start of the year. Secondary legislation came in back in December. Because of the Animals (Penalty Notices) Act, enforcers can now issue penalty notices of up to £5,000 for offences.

Before the change, the tools available to enforcement officers were not as severe. They could offer warning letter and statutory notices to restrict the movement of animals. In the worst cases or situations of non-compliance, they could pursue prosecution.

The hope is the risk of such big financial penalties will encourage more producers to improve conditions for their animals. However, enforcement authorities will still primarily focus on providing advice and guidance. They will look to support owners to make changes to improve animal health and welfare.

Things to think about

A number of crucial things could result in enforcement action and penalty notices. One of the most serious is keeping animals in a poor living environment. It can have a massive impact on them. Most crucially, it could allow massive outbreaks of serious illnesses such as bovine TB and avian flu. So, owners should ensure all living environments are sufficient, including housing and pastures.

The second offence that authorities will be keeping an eye on is TB testing. There are strict rules here for cattle to manage bovine TB. They include pre and post movement testing. In addition, high risk herds can require testing as often as every six months. Owners that don’t keep up with testing, or are frequently overdue with it, can face penalties.

Finally, there will be a focus on animal breeders who operate without a license. It is important to have all necessary licenses and ensure breeding programs focus on animal health and wellbeing.


The Animals (Penalty Notices) Act had an impressive amount of support before its introduction. A massive 85% of responders were in favour of introducing it and allowing enforcement officers to issue the penalty notices.

Robbie Douglas-Miller, the Minister for Animal Welfare and Biosecurity welcomed the change too. He said all animal keepers had to observe their duty of care to protecting the wellbeing of animals as well as the biosecurity of the UK.

The RSPCA was also supportive of the new penalty notices. Their public affairs manager Lee Gingell said they will be a “valuable tool for policing administrative and technical offences”. This will help to protect animals and ensure best practice.

Do you need help with animal health?

JS Hubbuck Ltd is proud to support farmers in the UK. What we do is offer a massive selection of products to help with growing crops, raising animals, and more. It is a broad range, including different types of feed, health products, and also services to custom design feeding, housing, and handling systems.

So, if you need anything to help improve animal health, feel free to get in touch. We can offer information about various things, recommendations, and arrange delivery if you order from us.