Alderney Animal Welfare Law

Alderney Animal Welfare Society (AAWS) and Alderney Wildlife Trust (AWT) are aware of serious shortcomings regarding animal and wildlife legislation in Alderney, and welcome the recently expressed interest by the States of Alderney to ensure that proper legislation is developed.

There is currently no wildlife protection or Animal Welfare Acts as there are in the UK. Instead Alderney operates under a very dated Veterinary Surgery and Animal Welfare Ordinance 1994, the only wildlife protection being a bird protection ordinance little changed since 1950.

These Ordinances are basic and fail to protect animals on Alderney from mistreatment whether through improper care, ignorance or cruelty. They specifically fail to consider the importance of ethical review, independent scrutiny and audits on human activity.

Because of this, AAWS and AWT voluntarily adopt UK best practice, wherever possible, and refer to more modern Guernsey legislation. They also seek independent expert scrutiny with the formations of bodies such as the States of Alderney’s Ramsar Steering Group (representatives include RSPB and British Trust for Ornithology), and the AAWS working closely with the States Veterinary Surgeon and regulatory bodies.

For projects such as Track a Gannet (TAG) to go ahead, where in 2019 - 10 birds were caught and released, a detailed proposal must be prepared, including ethical review and proof of the benefits. This must then be put to the Ramsar Steering Group for review, then go through scrutiny by the civil service under the detailed criteria advised by the States Vet, before being considered and approved by the General Services Committee. This is a lengthy process, but it is wholly necessary to ensure our research is being conducted ethically, by correctly trained professionals, based on the mantra of ‘least harm, most good’, ensuring empirical research is ‘objective, reliable, valid, and meaningful’. With the introduction of updated animal welfare/wildlife protection law, this process will be strengthened.

Our aspiration is to ensure Alderney is a leader in its field through the creation of an independent scientific steering group, enshrined in animal welfare/wildlife protection law. It should be made up of representatives from independent professional bodies providing oversight and scientific and ethical scrutiny. The AAWS and AWT are currently in discussions with the States Vet and States of Alderney working towards this goal.

In the meantime, anyone seeing activities which appear to be cruel to either wildlife or pets, should report them and can do so in confidence, to AAWS, States Vet or Police.

AAWS - 01481 822616

States Vet - 01481 234567

Alderney Police -  01481 725111