Section 64 Companion Animals Act 1998 | Unclaimed Seized Animals

The Legislation

Section 64 of the Companion Animals Act 1998 is Unclaimed Seized Animals and is extracted below.

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64 Unclaimed seized or surrendered animal may be sold or destroyed

(1) If a seized animal (including an animal delivered to a council pound under section 63A) or a surrendered animal (other than an animal surrendered by its owner) has not been claimed, the council may sell or destroy the animal:
(a) if notice under section 63 (1) or (1A) has been given–after the period of 14 days following the giving of the notice, or
(b) if such a notice is not required to be given–after the animal has been held at the council pound for a period of 7 days.

(2) However, the council may, in accordance with any policy that has been adopted by the council in relation to the management of feral or infant companion animals, destroy the seized or surrendered animal concerned before the end of any such period referred to in subsection (1).

(2A) Any policy adopted by the council for the purposes of subsection (2) must comply with such guidelines as may be issued by the Director-General.

(3) An animal is “claimed” when:
(a) a person who appears to the person in charge of the pound to be the owner of the animal or acting on the owner’s behalf claims the animal, and
(b) the fees for the release of the animal (being fees determined by the council under this Part) are paid to the council, and
(c) the charges for the animal’s maintenance while it was detained by the council (being charges determined by the council under this Part) are paid to the council.

(3A) Despite any other provision of this section, if an offence under this Act in relation to a seized animal is in the course of being investigated (or proceedings in relation to any such offence have commenced but have not been determined):
(a) the council may detain the animal at the council pound, and
(b) the animal may not be claimed,
until such time as those investigations are completed or those proceedings are finally determined.

(4) An unregistered animal that is required to be registered cannot be claimed until an application for registration of the animal has been properly made (and any registration fee that is payable has been paid). The regulations may create exceptions to this subsection.

(5) Before destroying a seized or surrendered animal as authorised by subsection (1), it is the duty of the council concerned to consider whether there is an alternative action to that of destroying the animal and (if practicable) to adopt any such alternative.

(6) This section does not authorise a council to sell a dangerous or restricted dog.