Animal disqualification orders

Last updated: 15 June 2017

You can be given an animal disqualification order for animal cruelty. This includes, but isn't limited to:

  • mutilation
  • poisoning
  • not properly caring for animals
  • making them fight each other

The order can be for a set amount of time or for the rest of your life.

Courts can make an order stopping you from:

  • owning or keeping animals
  • selling animals
  • transporting animals
  • working with animals
  • running a service which involves being in charge of animals (for example dog walking)

What happens if you break the terms of your disqualification order

Your animals can be taken away (even if they aren't suffering or in danger). They can also be sold, found new homes or destroyed.

The court can't arrange for your animals to be destroyed unless a vet believes that it would be the most humane option.

You'll get the chance to given information, or make a statement to, to the court before it makes a seizure order. This is the order that means your animals can be taken away.

The court can also make an interim order. This arranges for on-going care of your animal while the court considers an application to seize it.

The interim order will be effective until the court makes a decision about a seizure application.

You may have to pay the costs of carrying out the order.

What happens if you want to get a disqualification order cancelled or changed

The court can set a minimum length of time which must pass before you can ask for your ban to be cancelled or changed.

The court can:

  • refuse your application
  • cancel your order
  • relax the conditions of your order (for example so it lasts for a shorter length of time)

When considering your request the court will consider:

  • the reason why you were disqualified in the first place
  • your character
  • how you've behaved since the order was made

Appealing against an order

If you want to appeal against an order you may want to get legal advice.