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Animal welfare

We are responsible for monitoring and investigating animal health and welfare of livestock (particularly at markets and during transport) across Devon and Somerset, ensuring animals are treated correctly and not caused unnecessary suffering.

We work hard to identify unsatisfactory animal husbandry and will take action against those whose standards fall below the legal requirement, in accordance with our Enforcement policy.

Making a complaint

If you’re concerned about animals at livestock markets, slaughterhouses, in transit, during importation or in regard to possible disease outbreaks, contact us.

If you have a concern about an animal on a farm, contact the Animal and Plant Health Agency on 03000 200301.

For any other animal welfare issues, please contact the RSPCA’s 24-hour cruelty line on 0300 1234 999.

We follow up numerous reports of animal health and welfare issues, ensuring appropriate action is taken if issues are found. We have a strong track record in prosecuting those found to have caused unnecessary animal suffering or who have put animals or humans at risk.

Fallen stock (dead farm animals) and animal by-products

We are in charge of enforcing legislation about the disposal of animal carcases. Guidance for farmers on the safe and legal disposal of farm animals can be found in our advice leaflet and at GOV.UK – Fallen stock and safe disposal of dead animals.

While many people are distressed when they come across dead animals, particularly livestock, it should be remembered it is not necessarily evidence of mistreatment. However, if you have concerns about how a keeper is disposing of dead animals or if you find a dead farm animal you think the owner may not know about or which is on a highway, contact us.

Straying livestock

If you see straying livestock, find out what to do on our Animal movements page.