Agenda item

Notice of Motion

This item is to receive any Notices of Motion.  One has been received and is attached to the agenda.




That the Notice of Motion submitted by Councillor Rose be supported, including the suggestion from the Cabinet Member, Councillor Bithell, that the remit of the scope of the work being carried out by the Valuations and Estates department being broadened, be accepted.


The following Notice of Motion had been submitted by Councillor Rose and was supported by Councillor Preece:


“This Council notes the current use of many types of animals at various events held by private organisations, friends of groups and the Council across the County and wishes to continue to do all that it can to promote, safeguard and encourage high standards of animal welfare.


The RSPCA states that it is opposed to the use of animals in entertainment or animal encounters where distress or suffering to an animal is likely to be caused. However, the organisation also recognises the benefits of certain types of events using animals, for example:-


?          dog agility events that involve training dogs to run through and over obstacles using treats, toys and praise; and

?          the use of animals in schools and other educational establishments (i.e. in the form of visits as opposed to the educational establishments keeping the animals themselves) with a view to teaching young people about animal care and welfare, which is a positive step towards ending cruelty towards animals

in the future.


The introduction of the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (Wales) Regulations 2021 is a significant step towards effectively controlling the use of, and encounters with, animals and ensuring their welfare. However, it is noted that there may be instances where, even though certain events may not in

principle be supported by the Council, the Authority may still be required (by law) to grant a licence if all relevant conditions are met.


Notwithstanding the above, the Council considers that:-

·         no animal should be made to endure stress or suffering;

·         all appropriate steps should be taken to mitigate any risk of stress or suffering to animals in any relevant events being held by any organisation within the County;

·         certain animals, such as dogs, may benefit from partaking in events but steps should still be taken to ensure their welfare and minimise any risk to them; and

·         the use of animals in certain instances – such as in schools, other educational establishments and community settings for educational and conservation purposes, by suitably registered charities – where appropriate and will have no negative impact on animal welfare subject to such events being managed properly.


This Council therefore resolves:-

                     I.        to note the implications of relevant licensing legislation which may grant, or require the Council to grant, licences to third parties for the use of animals within the County;

                    II.        subject to (III) below, to cease the use of animals in Council events and that, in particular, no Council organised event will include the use of reindeer or donkeys;

                  III.        that the use of animals such as birds, dogs, reptiles and invertebrates such as spiders, scorpions, crustations, or molluscs in Council organised events be permitted only where:-

A.   animals are being displayed for educational purposes or for purposes which are consistent with their natural habitat and activities; and

B.   the relevant non profit organisation providing the animal(s) holds a certificate issued in accordance with the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (Wales) Regulations 2021; and

C.   any appropriate mitigating measures as required by relevant officers of the Council are put in place to ensure the welfare of the animal(s) concerned and to ensure that they are not put at

risk by partaking in the event.

                  IV.        to apply the principles in (II) and (III) to events organised by other organisations where council co-operation other than statutory obligations are requested, such as in the case of road closures,

publicity, and use of council buildings or land etc.

                   V.        to circulate the above resolutions to all relevant departments, and to schools.


In speaking to the Notice of Motion, Councillor Rose thanked Members across the chamber for their support in advance of the meeting with animal welfare being dear to the hearts of all Members.  Things had moved on significantly but there were still animals suffering needlessly in communities.  He referred to expert advice on reindeers outside of their natural habitat, stressing the importance of keeping animals in their natural habitat.  Thirty councils had already banned the use of animals as entertainment in events with a further 108 confirming they would not be using animals at events over the Christmas period. Flintshire stood out for allowing the use of animals at events and in supporting the Notice of Motion would bring Flintshire in line with best practice.


Councillor Preece expressed her support for Councillor Rose saying that by supporting the notice of motion would champion animal welfare and demonstrate Flintshire as being a caring Council.


Councillor Bithell, as Cabinet Member for Planning, Public Health and Public Protection responded to the Notice of Motion for which he thanked Councillors Rose and Preece.  He supported what was presented before Members. He explained that the Valuations and Estates department had recently started a review of the licence arrangements for those who rented or leased land from Flintshire County Council. The work was due to concerns raised about the use of wildlife animals being given away as prizes.  He would request that officers broaden the remit of the scope of the work to incorporate the proposed resolution and that the findings be reported at the earliest opportunity to Cabinet.  Once the work was complete a communications strategy would need to be developed to emphasise that Flintshire County Council would not tolerate such outdated practices on its land and would seek to mitigate any stress or suffering to any animal.  The vigilance of the public and compliance of event organisers would be essential to ensure success. 


Councillors Rose and Preece welcomed the response and supported the suggestion of the remit of the scope of the work being carried out by the Valuations and Estates department being broadened.


Councillor Peers sought clarification on the use of reindeer and donkeys as at an event in Buckley recently a reindeer had led a procession which appeared to be well cared for and was welcomed by the children.  He felt to take that away from the children would be a retrograde step, particularly at Christmas.


Councillor Richard Jones referred to the donkey sanctuary which he supported.  It was open 365 days a year so people could visit and it helped to create a bond between children and animals as for some children who did not have a pet, this was one way in which they could interact and show compassion.  He commented on the nurturing for children in interacting with animals and by distancing some children away from that was a negative. 


Councillor Coggins Cogan referred to his degree in Zoology and said that herbivores did not enjoy being surrounded by carnivores.  If a reindeer was on its own, which it was not natural as their instinct was to be in herds, it would feel separated, penned in with lots of children around them.  Although the animal would be trained to be calm it would not be its natural way of being and animals should not be trained to suppress its own fear, anxiety and distress for the purposes of people being able to see them was disgraceful.  He was also a member of the donkey sanctuary, and the difference was donkeys were in their stables and they had the opportunity to move away from people visiting should they wish as they were not penned in from each side.


In his right of reply, Councillor Rose cited a quote from the donkey sanctuary “the donkey sanctuary does not endorse or encourage the use of donkeys or their hybrids in any form of entertainment”.  He said there was a clear difference in an organisation that was established for the welfare of animals to those that were not.  He agreed with the compassion being important for children which is not just seen at Christmas time but something that develops throughout their lifetime.  In response to a question on the reindeer seeming well cared for, that was an issue a lot of people had that were not in animal welfare where human elements were attributed to an animal when actually their natural behaviour did not match what we would expect or anticipate which he felt was the biggest failure in the situations described at events.


On being put to the vote the Notice of Motion was carried.




That the Notice of Motion submitted by Councillor Rose be supported, including the suggestion from the Cabinet Member, Councillor Bithell, that the remit of the scope of the work being carried out by the Valuations and Estates department being broadened, be accepted.

Supporting documents: