Keeping animals 

Owners are responsible for making sure that their animal’s welfare needs are met. This includes providing:

  • A suitable environment
  • A suitable diet
  • To be able to exhibit their normal behaviour patterns
  • To be housed with or apart from other animals (if applicable)
  • To be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease

Any person who is cruel to an animal, or fails to provide for its welfare needs, may be banned from keeping animals, fined up to £20,000 and/or sent to prison.

Report animal cruelty


The National Equine Welfare Council (NEWC) works to protect horses, ponies, donkeys and mules. You should contact the NEWC if you think that a horse or pony is in distress and needs help (external website).


You can contact us to report cruelty to livestock. 

Contact us: Animal health and welfare

Other animals

You can report any other mistreated, neglected, injured or distressed animal by phoning 0300 1234 999 or online by signing up to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) website.

Report a matter to the RSPCA (external website)

Livestock and poultry

Even if you keep livestock for non-commercial reasons, you must register with the Welsh Government.
Premises keeping more than 50 birds must also be registered, although other poultry premises can voluntarily register.


We have created the following leaflets for animal owners:

The Welsh Government has worked with animal welfare specialists to create Codes of Practice to provide advice on how to meet the needs of your animal.

Animal Welfare (Welsh Government) (external website).

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