Smallholders who keep livestock should be in the know about the legislation that governs the keeping of farm animals on one’s property. The national Animals Protection Act gives a detailed list of what actions against animals will be treated as an offense:

Back to basics

That Act lays out the following basic rules for animals welfare.

Owners may not:

  • Overload, overdrive, override, ill-treat, neglect, infuriate, torture or maim or cruelly beat, kick, goad or terrify any animal;
  • confine, chain, tether or secure any animal unnecessarily or in a way that causes an animal unnecessary suffering. Confinement may also not happen in any place with inadequate space, ventilation, light protection or shelter from heat, cold or weather;
  • unnecessarily starve or under-feed or deny water or food to any animal;
  • lay or expose any poisoned fluid or edible matter or infectious agents except for the destruction of vermin or marauding domestic animals. Owners must take reasonable precautions to prevent injury or disease being caused to animals;
  • deliberately or negligently keep such animal in a dirty or parasitic condition or allow it to become infected with external parasites or fail to get veterinary or other medical treatment;
  • use on or attach to any animal any equipment, appliance or vehicle which causes or will cause injury to such animal or which is loaded, used or attached in a way that will cause the animal to be injured or become diseased or to suffer unnecessarily;
  • liberate or set free an animal in such a manner or place as to expose it to immediate attack or danger of attack by other animals or by wild animals, or baits or provokes any animal or incites any animal to attack another animal;
  • liberate any bird in a way that exposes it to immediate attack or danger of attack by animals, wild animals or wild birds;
  • drive or use any animal which is so diseased or so injured or in such a physical condition that it is unfit to be driven or to do any work.

The Act also governs the setting of traps and using animals for fighting.
The Act states the powers of officers of the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).
Breach of the anti-cruelty provisions of section 2 of the Animals Protection Act 1962 is punishable with fines, imprisonment, confiscation and banning animal ownership.

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