THURROCK Council is set to agree an animal welfare plan which would see it round up feral cats and target puppy farms.
The wide-ranging policy, which will go before cabinet on Wednesday, outlining how the council will use its legal powers and influence to intervene in animal welfare matters, from dog licensing to circuses.
The council will back a round-up of feral cat populations, helping with the humane capture of feral cats which will be sent to rescue organisations where they will be neutered and rehomed.
A report to cabinet calls for the national compulsory dog registration scheme be introduced in Thurrock and that all dogs be required to have at all times a means of identification of its owner. The council says it will give support to the police in their enforcement of the dangerous dog legislation.
The council will also clamp down on puppy farming and “encourage responsible dog breeding practices”.
The report said: “The council is of the view that people who have control of animals or are responsible for them, either on a temporary basis or on a longer term basis, for example as the owners of an animal, have a duty to ensure they are not subjected to cruel or inhumane treatment.
“They are also responsible for ensuring that their animals have their basic requirements with regard to food, water and accommodation suitable for their species provided for.”
It adds young animals should not be separated from their mothers prematurely.
Circuses that use animals will not be allowed on council-owned land and the council will ban the use of animals as prizes on its land. Those visiting the borough will be inspected to ensure the animals are well cared for and that training methods are humane. Any suspected mistreatment or cruelty toward animals following such inspections “will be dealt with robustly”.
The report said: “Training methods should not involve suffering or fear by the animals nor should the performance by the animal be degrading in any way.”
The council encourages residents to buy food produced in accordance with farm welfare accreditation and supports the adoption and mandating of safe and humane practices in the transport and exportation of live animals.
It also supports the protections for wildlife mandated by the wildlife and countryside legislation currently in force.