If legislation to protect animals is to be effective, it must be adequately enforced.
Photograph: @danny_the_vet

What We Do

A resource for local authority inspectors, businesses and councillors on the issues within animal welfare.

Welcome to the LGAWG which provides information for local authority teams as well as other animal welfare enforcers such as the police and RSPCA. This Group seeks to raise the profile of animal welfare enforcement as well as sharing best practice and providing advice for those working with animals. Supported by DEFRA, the LGA and the Animal Health & Welfare Board England, the LGAWG provides up to date information and news.

Why LGAWG is Needed

Legislation may have good intentions but it is enforcement which really makes the difference to animal welfare standards in reality. Much of the animal welfare law falls to local authorities or the RSPCA to enforce. Local authorities have seen significant cutbacks in recent years meaning resources are slim. This has also meant a lack of training and personnel, however staff remain committed in many areas to enforcing animal welfare law and the public see it as a growing priority. LGAWG aims to support those working in this area as well as raising the profile of their work amongst the public and their elected politicians. We want to ensure enforcers have a voice and can help to shape legislation and guidance to get the very best outcomes for animal welfare whilst helping businesses meet those standards and the public understand their responsibility towards those animals in their care. We also want to bring together those enforcing animal welfare; local government officers, police and the RSPCA inspectors to look at how we can do it better and what support they all need to do the best job possible.

Who Are We?

The LGAWG is chaired by Rob Quest, Assistant Director at the City of London Corporation which, alongside the usual environmental work, also operates Heathrow Animal Reception Centre as part of its statutory responsibility for enforcing animal health and welfare legislation. Rob has extensive experience in the animal welfare field having advised many NGOs, being a lead member of the Canine & Feline Sector Group and having worked alongside DEFRA on the Animal Activity Licensing.

The LGAWG is run by Marisa Heath who also leads the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare and the Canine & Feline Sector Group. Marisa has been a Borough and County Councillor for over 15 years leading the Environmental portfolio and being Deputy Leader. She worked on the development of the Dog and Cat Welfare Codes, the Animal Activity Licensing and the Third Party Sales ban.

The LGAWG operates with a core group of local authority officers who wish to be closely involved with any work around legislation and enforcement. They may get involved in roundtable meetings with DEFRA and key stakeholders.  Any inspectors are welcome to join that group. Alongside that LGAWG has wider membership of those who just wish to be kept informed and asked for views electronically.

LGAWG would like to thank the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and the Pet Industry Federation for their financial contribution to setting up the group and this website.