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Our environmental health team is responsible for enforcing the wide range of legislation in the UK designed to protect the health and welfare of both domesticated and wild animals.

Animal health and welfare legislation is enforced jointly by local authorities and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), in association with other government bodies and independent organisations, like the RSPCA.

The environmental health business support team licenses and inspects:

  • Horse riding establishments
  • Dog breeding establishments
  • Animal boarding establishments
  • Exotic, dangerous or wild animals
  • Pet shops
  • Zoos

We also investigate:

Avian influenza (bird flu)

Following a number of cases in other parts of the UK, the national risk level for avian influenza has been raised and DEFRA has declared an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone across the UK.

Advice on wild birds

DEFRA is closely monitoring cases in the UK and, to date, we have not had any identified cases in Portsmouth. However, there have been identified cases in Hampshire.

Residents are asked not to feed wild birds or approach sick or dead birds.

If you find dead wild waterfowl, such as swans, geese or ducks, or other dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey, you should report them to the DEFRA helpline on 03459 33 55 77.

It’s important to note that Public Health England has advised that the risk to public health from these strains of bird flu is very low.

Advice on kept and domestic birds

If you keep poultry, even as pets in your garden, you should keep a close watch on them for signs of disease and make sure you have good biosecurity measure in place to prevent contact with wild birds.

Speak to your vet if you have any concerns about the health of your birds. It’s a good idea to register your poultry, even if only kept as pets, so DEFRA can contact you during an outbreak and keep you updated with the latest advice.

More information and advice is available on the government website.

New Horse Microchipping Legislation

A new law requiring horse owners to microchip their animals has been introduced to prevent abuse and improve welfare.

From 1 October 2020, The Equine Identification (England) Regulations 2018 make it mandatory for all owners to microchip their horses, ponies and donkeys. If you own horses, you must now ensure that your animals are microchipped.

The legislation allows local authorities and police to track down the owners of dumped horses, and for the animals to be cared for. It will also mean that lost or stolen horses will be reunited with their owners more easily.

For more information contact us or the Word Horse Welfare Organisation.

The Legislation can be found on the gov.uk legislation page.

Further information