|The United Kingdom
|Waters v. Meakin
| 2 KB 111
The respondent had been acquitted of causing unnecessary suffering to rabbits (contrary to the Protection of Animals Act 1911, s. 1(1)) by releasing them into a fenced enclosure from which they had no reasonable chance of escape, before setting dogs after them. Dismissing the prosecutor's appeal, the Divisional Court held that the respondent's conduct fell within the exception provided for "hunting or coursing" by sub-s. (3) (b) of s. 1of the 1911 Act. From the moment that the captive animal is liberated to be hunted or coursed, it falls outwith the protection of the 1911 Act, irrespective of whether the hunting or coursing is humane or sportsmanlike.
|James v. RSPCA
|Defendant was charged with unnecessary suffering towards three horses found in terrible conditions. It was held that where a protected animal is found in distress, a veterinarian's certificate need not be in writing for a constable or inspector to exercise powers under Section 18 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 (namely seizure and detention). Oral certification of suffering will suffice in certain circumstances, for example where the protected animal requires urgent treatment and there is not sufficient time to produce a written certificate.
|R. v. Senior
| 1 QB 283
Held: The word "wilfully", when used in the context of an offence prohibiting cruelty to children, "means that the act is done deliberately and intentionally, not by accident or inadvertence, but so that the mind of the person who does the act goes with it" ( per Lord Russell of Killowen C.J.). Note: the word "wilfully" is occasionally an element of animal welfare offences, such as that of wilfully, without any reasonable cause or excuse, administering a poisonous drug or substance to an animal (Protection of Animals Act 1911, s 1(1)(d)).
|UK - Wildlife Trade - Ivory Act 2018
|This Act prohibits commercial activities concerning ivory in the UK and the import and re-export of ivory for commercial purposes to and from the UK. This includes: buying, selling and hiring ivory; offering or arranging to buy, sell or hire ivory; keeping ivory for sale or hire; exporting ivory from, and importing ivory to the United Kingdom for sale or hire. Minor exemptions include: pre-1918 items of outstanding artistic etc value and importance; pre-1975 musical instruments; and acquisition of items by qualifying museums.
|Rogers v. Teignbridge District Council
A planned event called "The Creepy Crawly Show" was to have been held at a racecourse and to have involved the display and sale of small exotic animals by a number of different breeders, dealers and enthusiasts. The event's organizer applied to the local council for a pet shop licence under the Pet Animals Act 1951. The application was refused on the ground that the event was prohibited by section 2 of the Act which states that a person is guilty of an offence if he "carries on a business of selling animals as pets in any part of a street or public place, [or] at a stall or barrow in a market". The organizer's appeal to the local magistrates court was dismissed. Held: the holding of the event would have involved the carrying on a business of selling pets in a "public place". It would also have involved the selling of animals in a market. The event was therefore prohibited by section 2 and that it would have been unlawful for the local authority to have licensed it.
|R (on the application of Countryside Alliance and others) v Attorney General and another
| UKHL 52
|An appeal was brought against a decision that the Hunting Act 2004 was not inconsistent with the EC Treaty, or incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. In particular, the appellants argued that the Act was incompatible with the right to a private and family life; and the right of freedom of assembly and association (Articles 8 and 11 of the Human Rights Act); along with Articles 1 and 14 of the Act (the right to peaceful enjoyment of property rights, and prohibition on discrimination). The appeal was rejected by the House of Lords. Findings included that Articles 8 and 11 were not engaged, and that even if they were, the hunting ban was proportionate to the end it sought to achieve and necessary in a democratic society.
|UK - Cruelty - Protection against Cruel Tethering Act 1988
For historical purposes only. Law has been repealed and/or replaced. The Protection against Cruel Tethering Act 1988 is an act to protect horses, asses and mules against cruel tethering. This means in such conditions or such a manner to cause that animal unnecessary suffering.
|England/Wales - Animal Welfare - Animal Welfare (Service Animals) Act 2019
|This Act amends the Animal Welfare Act of 2006 (England and Wales). It makes it an offence to be cause unnecessary suffering to a service animal whilst in service, removing the defence to human safety from the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Also known as 'Finn's Law.'
|Barrington v. Colbert
A net was placed over one opening of a land drain and a terrier dog sent into the other entrance with the objective of prompting a fox to run into the net. Magistrates acquitted the defendants of doing an act causing unnecessary suffering to the fox contrary to the Protection of Animals Act 1911, s 1(1)(a). The Divisional Court dismissed the prosecutor's appeal, holding that, applying Rowley v Murphy  2 QB 43, the fox was not a "captive animal" within the meaning of s 15(c) of the 1911 Act, mere confinement not being sufficient, and was therefore outside the protection of that Act.