General animal information

4.6.0.L7 Updated on:15 October 2021

The Animal Welfare Law

How to look after animals and make sure they don’t suffer is laid down in the Animal Welfare [Jersey] Law 2004. A licence is needed from The Minister for Planning and Environment to run pet shops, kennels, catteries and animal sanctuaries.

Accidents

In Jersey law, owners of animals involved in accidents or incidents are not liable or to blame unless the complaining party can prove negligence on the owner’s part. This involves the time and cost of court action.

The Law divides animals into two groups, dangerous or domestic. Owners of dangerous animals have a greater duty to keep the animals under strict control. This mainly concerns bulls.

Horses have complete protection. Owners are not liable unless total negligence on their part is proved.

Dogs

Under the Dogs (Jersey) Law 1961, dog owners must hold a licence and fit a collar with the owner’s name and address or contact details. Under Jersey law, dog owners only have to keep them on a lead within the town ring-road and on the beach from 10.30am to 6pm between 1 May and 30 September, so owners could be liable if an accident is caused by a dog not on a lead in this area.

Insurance

Some household insurance policies cover liability for pets and farmers are covered under their public liability policy.

Nuisance

It is the property owner’s responsibility to fence neighbour’s animals out and not the owner’s responsibility to keep their animals in.

There are non-harmful repellents for cats and dogs that come into your garden.

In serious cases of large numbers of birds, the Environmental Health Officers may act. Contact the Environmental Health Department on 445808.