Introducing penalty notices for animal health and welfare offences in England

Closed 20 Jul 2023

Opened 25 May 2023


We are seeking your views on the government’s proposed implementation of penalty notices for animal health and welfare offences in England only.

Why your views matter

We want to know your views on the scope of animal health and welfare offences that could be covered by penalty notices and elements on how the penalty regime might work in practice to ensure the guidance is clear and transparent to enforcers and the general public.

What happens next

Responses to this consultation will be used to help us determine the areas of offences across animal health and welfare could a penalty notice be an appropriate enforcement option.

A summary of responses to this consultation will be published on the government website at: An annex to the consultation summary will list all organisations that responded but will not include personal names, addresses or other contact details.

Defra may publish the content of your response to this consultation to make it available to the public without your personal name and private contact details (for example, home address, email address).

If you click on ‘Yes’ in response to the question asking if you would like anything in your response to be kept confidential, you are asked to state clearly what information you would like to be kept confidential and explain your reasons for confidentiality. The reason for this is that information in responses to this consultation may be subject to release to the public and other parties in accordance with the access to information law (these are primarily the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIRs), the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA)).

We have obligations, mainly under the EIRs, FOIA and DPA, to disclose information to particular recipients or to the public in certain circumstances. In view of this, your explanation of your reasons for requesting confidentiality for all or part of your response would help us balance these obligations for disclosure against any obligation of confidentiality. If we receive a request for the information that you have provided in your response to this consultation, we will take full account of your reasons for requesting confidentiality of your response, but we cannot guarantee that confidentiality can be maintained in all circumstances.

There may be occasions when Defra will share the information you provide in response to the consultation, including any personal data, with external analysts. This is for the purposes of consultation response analysis and provision of a report of the summary of responses only.


  • Charities/Voluntary Organisations
  • Animal welfare campaigners
  • Vets
  • Operators of animal gatherings
  • Abattoir Operator
  • Livestock show ground operators
  • Manufacturers of livestock identifiers
  • Local Authorities
  • Policy Teams
  • Pet Owners
  • Pet Interest Groups
  • Pet Carriers
  • Veterinarians
  • Local Authorities
  • Horse riders
  • Farmers
  • Trading Standards Officers
  • Environmental Health Officers
  • Stakeholders


  • Animals