Birmingham City Council

Birmingham City Council are looking for ways to save money and what better than to ditch front line Animal Welfare non statutory services.

The largest Local Authority in the UK and the Second City has prided itself in offering an all round service and now the management want to make savings. They want to stop dealing with welfare and cruelty cases. They hope that the shortfall can be picked up by the RSPCA.

Only thing that will suffer here is the animals again, and look at the example this will set to other Local Authorities.

Title of proposal – Cease all investigations into dog cruelty matters

About this service

The Council’s Animal Welfare Team has a legal duty to provide the following services:

  •   Seize and impound stray dogs
  •   Licence Pet Shops, Boarding Kennels, Breeding Kennels, Riding Establishments and Zoos, andissue performing animal Certificates.
  •   Investigate complaints regarding the above licenced premises to ensure licence conditionsare being met.
  •   Licence and prevent the unlawful sale and ownership of dangerous wild animals.
  •   Seize and quarantine illegally imported animals; maintain emergency plans and have trainedstaff to tackle notifiable animal related diseases such as Rabies, Foot and Mouth and AvianInfluenza.
  •   Inspect animals in transit; enforce the law on injured animals illegally transported; check thedisinfection and other records associated with animals delivered to Birmingham’s slaughterhouses, to prevent spread of disease, and liaise with other local authorities on this.The team also provides services that are not a legal duty for the Council:
  •   Patrols to catch people who do not clear up dog mess and issue fixed penalty notices.
  •   Investigate complaints of dog fouling in public spaces and put up signs to prevent this.
  •   Inspection of domestic residential properties on behalf of social services where children inthe care or supervision of the local authority are to have pet dogs.
  •   Control dogs at evictions or forced entries by Environmental health and Housing.
  •   Investigate complaints of animal cruelty related to privately owned dogs – this service is the subject of this proposal.

Proposed changes

The proposal is that the Council will no longer investigate or accept complaints relating to the ill treatment of dogs from the 1st April 2016.

It is not our legal duty to provide this service. In most other areas of the country, this is done by dog charities, in particular the RSPCA. We will refer people who have a complaint to Animal Welfare Charities.

We will be able to save money and retrain staff to carry out other duties in Environmental Health. The amount currently spent on the service and the proposed reduction is shown below.


Total Spend 15/16

Income 15/16

Net Spend 15/16

Saving in 16/17

Saving in 17/18

Saving in 18/19

Saving in 19/20






(£0.024m )

(£0.024m )

 What would this mean?

We will not accept or investigate any complaints relating to the mistreatment of dogs. We will signpost people to animal charities.

We will try to reduce the impact by:

Where possible, we will signpost people to other providers of this service which will be the RSPCA and other animal charities.

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