RSPCA Prosecutions

The RSPCA on suspicion of any animal cruelty or similar offences will interview under caution, sometimes at your home address and sometimes at a local police station.

It is important to note that you are entitled to free and independent legal advice for any such interviews as these are conducted under caution and will be used as evidence during any further prosecution.

For emergency assistance our 24/7 freephone number is

0800 073 6000


It is crucial that you obtain advice swiftly should the RSPCA wish to interview you concerning any offences of animal cruelty or similar matters.

Prosecutions are brought under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and / or the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991

RSPCA Prosecutions


Can you be prosecuted for causing deliberate neglect and suffering to an animal?

Section 4 Animal Welfare Act 2006 allows prosecutions to be brought against the owner of an animal or somebody who has control / care of the said animal for causing unnecessary suffering.  This can include both the deliberate causing of injury to the animal but also the failure to ensure that appropriate veterinary care is sought that results in the unnecessary suffering to the animal.


Examples of that include failing to secure veterinary treatment for conditions such as conjunctivitis, ear infections or worm / flea infestations.


Typically evidence from the RSPCA includes expert veterinary evidence to show the unneccesary suffering that has been caused.  At Waldrons we have access to a number of highly skilled defence veterinary experts that can be instructed to challenge any evidence from the prosecution.  We can assist you to challenge the evidence against you.

Duty of person responsible for animal to ensure welfare

Section 9  Animal Welfare Act – A person commits an offence if he / she does not take such steps as are reasonable in all the circumstances to ensure that the needs of an animal for which he / she is responsible are met to the extent required by good practice.


Examples of this include the failure to provide a suitable environment, failure to provide a suitable diet and failure to ensure the animal is protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.  There are guidelines for good practice in relation to most protected animals.

What is the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991?

Certain breeds and dogs that have the characteristics of those breeds are prohibited under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.


It is also a criminal offence to have a dog dangerously out of control in a public place.  Examples of this behaviour can include when a dog has bitten another person or another dog causing injury.  Or examples where they are not on a lead and out of control.

What is a Deprivation and Disqualification Order?

Under both the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 the prosecution can apply for an order to deprivation order.  That means that the protected animal can be taken from your care and disposed of so can be re-homed or sadly put down.


In addition the prosecution can apply for a disqualification order meaning that they can ban you from owning and keeping all protected animals or certain types of animals such as dogs etc for a specified period of time.  Any animal lover can appreciate that this could have a devastating effect on a person subjected to such an application.


At Waldrons we have an expert team who can challenge such applications before the Court and will do whatever we can to ensure that you are not disqualified from keeping animals

What do I do if I am contacted by the RSPCA?

It is vitally important that you contact us here at Waldrons if you are contacted by the RSPCA for the purposes of any investigation into animal cruelty.  You need the assistance of a solicitor in these circumstances.


Having been interviewed the RSPCA may summons you to appear before a local Magistrates’ Court charged with offences such as animal welfare, animal cruelty.  These offences can carry imprisonment and are known to be robustly prosecuted and tend to pull on the heart strings of Magistrates hearing such cases.


Following a recent change in the law concerning animal welfare offences then charges under section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 can now be dealt at the Crown Court in certain circumstances.


It is therefore important that your case is professionally defended before the Court to ensure the best possible outcome.

Why choose Waldrons?

Flexibility We are available for appointments at your home, at hospital or another location that’s convenient for you.
Dedicated You will have direct access to a Legal Advisor throughout your matter.
Established We have over 150 years’ experience in providing specialist legal advice representing individuals.
Costs We are clear on costs 100% of the time.
RSPCA Prosecutions

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Any solicitor can say they are experienced in what they do. We go the extra mile to demonstrate our expertise. Many of our lawyers have undertaken independent assessments of their knowledge and skills. Our accreditations give you the assurance that you are dealing with a specialist.

RSPCA Prosecutions

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