Animal health and welfare

What we do

Animal welfare enquiry

Our Environmental Health Service is responsible for carrying out our duties in relation to the Animal Health Act 1981 and other associated legislation in relation to animal health and welfare. This work is mainly carried out by a small team of specialist Animal Health Officers in Inverness and in Wick.

Our function is: 

  • To prevent the introduction and control the spread of contagious diseases, including some which may constitute a risk to human health (for example anthrax, rabies and tuberculosis)
  • Ensuring the welfare needs of animals and birds are met

Visiting livestock markets

Officers visit livestock markets to:

  • Make sure high welfare standards are maintained for the livestock in the market and during transportation to and from the market
  • Monitor compliance with bio-security rules that are in place to reduce the risk of any potential spread of disease
  • Make sure the livestock at the market are correctly identified and are moved with the correct paperwork
  • Look for any sign of disease

Carrying out transit checks

  • We stop and inspect vehicles transporting animals, with the support of the police to make sure high standards of welfare are maintained for animals during their journey
  • We make sure vehicles are constructed and used correctly for the transportation of each animal
  • We make sure animals are correctly identified and are moved with the correct paperwork

Visiting livestock holdings

Officers will carry out an inspection of and provide advice and assistance on:

  • Farm livestock records and veterinary medicine records
  • Animal movement licences and passports
  • Livestock identification
  • Disposal of livestock carcases
  • Livestock vehicles - construction and cleanliness

Other areas of work

  • Investigation of complaints in relation to animal health and welfare
  • Helping to maintain contingency plans which when used, help in the control of diseases such as rabies and foot and mouth disease
  • Investigation of any import and export of animals alleged to be in breach of regulations
  • Visits to premises which are subject to licence conditions such as catteries and kennels, pet shops, zoos, riding establishments, and premises keeping animals listed as dangerous wild animals
  • Providing advice and assistance on animal health and welfare legislation