The Protection of Animals Act 1911
Until very recently, the 1911 Protection of Animals Act was the law under which those who fail to try properly to help or care for their animals (who cause or permit unnecessary suffering) could be prosecuted. It has now been superseded by the Animal Welfare Act 2006, which came into force in April 2007.
This legislation lacked the sort of proper constitutional controls put on the activities of the RSPCA, which is not in the best spirit of democracy, fairness and open government. Sadly, the AVMC is not re-assured that the new legislation has addressed this yawning chasm in common sense and jurisprudential safety.
Homeopathy and animal welfare: There is an archaic prejudice against natural medicine in some halls of the RSPCA and this has led to prosecutions (under the Protection of Animals Act) that were not always valid, in our opinion. It is clear, however, that if an ‘owner’ fails to seek veterinary advice and instead seeks the advice of a non-vet in trying to help an ill animal, this could legitimately be seen as a failure to do all that could be done for the animal’s welfare. This is not least because the non-vet has no legal right to treat animals (in fact is operating illegally) and has no proper training in veterinary care and expertise. If the animal fails to respond, it could be strongly and legitimately argued that unnecessary suffering has been caused.