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Legislation

Fire and rescue services should have an awareness of animal-related legislation that may affect operational decisions. For a list of the legislation, along with a link to the National Operational Guidance: Legislation, see the Legislation references.

Consideration should be given to:

An important premise of these Acts is that the person who owns an animal shall always be regarded as being responsible for it. However, another person can be responsible for the animal on a temporary basis; this could include a fire and rescue service.

In all incidents involving badger setts, the relevant animal welfare charity should be contacted for advice or assistance. Permission will be required before interfering with a sett, for example to rescue a dog that has not been able to extricate itself after a reasonable period of time.

Fire and rescue services need to be aware of the legislation regarding the release of non-native wildlife into the wild, contained in:

As a special licence for the release of these animals is required, the relevant animal welfare charity should be contacted for advice or assistance.

Fire and rescue services may encounter illegally-imported animals during an incident. If activity contravening CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is suspected, the relevant animal welfare charity and the police should be contacted.