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Call For Welfare Consideration In Planning Process

09 June 2011

UK - Following on from the issues raised over Nocton Dairies Ltd's plans to build the UK's largest dairy farm, the RSPCA has announced that animal welfare should be a fundamental part of the planning process.

Although plans for the UK's largest dairy did not go ahead, it highlighted the need for animal welfare to become a 'material consideration' within the planning system.

RSPCA chief executive, Mark Watts, has written to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, to highlight the RSPCA's concern that animal welfare is not currently a 'material consideration' in the planning process, and that it should be considered for any development that houses animals; from catteries to large scale farms

As the government is currently in the process of looking at amending and improving the planning system, this is an excellent time, and therefore opportunity, to highlight this issue and to help move the debate forward in a constructive way.

Mr Watts commented: “Every year the RSPCA receives hundreds of letters from members of the public regarding planning applications that include the housing of animals in their local authority area.”

“While planning departments are willing to accept comments regarding animal welfare, and where appropriate the RSPCA has submitted our concerns about specific applications, planning departments do make it clear that it is not a 'material consideration' and thus an application cannot be turned down on those grounds.”

He also added that the RSPCA believes that including animal welfare as a 'material consideration' for certain applications will not only protect animal welfare, but ensure that all applications are handled consistently, regardless of whether the application is for five dog kennels or a farming facility for 3,000 cows.

The RSPCA expect such planning decisions to become more prevalent in the future, as many sectors of the farming industry seek to expand in an attempt to remain viable.

Further Reading

- Go to our previous news item on this story by clicking here.

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