Animal health and welfare framework: 2020 to 2022

This framework provides a risk based approach to animal health and welfare duties carried out by local authorities.

Section 3: Roles and responsibilities within the Framework

3.1 Good working partnerships with shared common objectives and understanding should encourage the highest standards of delivery of animal health and welfare activities. This joint approach is vital to the success of the Framework.

3.2 The partnership will encompass:

  • APHA
  • Local authorities
  • Professional societies
  • Scottish Government

Partners will work together to:

  • promote and agree consistent standards;
  • provide support and guidance to all participating organisations;
  • establish the smooth running of the Framework;
  • participate in the Framework Steering Group for Scotland; and
  • review the Framework.

The role of APHA under the Framework

3.3 APHA is expected to:

  • communicate Scottish Government policy and priority updates to Veterinary Leads (VLs) following discussion and agreement with Scottish Government colleagues on national issues;
  • provide an overview of the national performance picture; and
  • train VLs and nominated local representatives.

3.4 APHA VLs or their nominated local representatives are expected to:

  • review and comment on the Service Plan and Profile with each local authority on a one-to-one basis at least annually, and whenever it becomes apparent that changes need to be made in priorities or commitments;
  • agree local priorities with local authorities based on local knowledge and intelligence;
  • provide input to regional initiatives or projects, with local authorities at regional Animal Health and Welfare Panel meetings for consideration in annual service planning;
  • hold routine liaison meetings with suitable representatives of local authorities and where appropriate, other interested parties;
  • provide a named local contact in addition to the VLs for routine communication on local authority matters;
  • offer participation in training exercises for emergency preparedness (or an alternative option, where the number of local authority participants is unwieldy);
  • provide feedback on performance; support Regional Animal Health and Welfare Panels providing information and guidance to assist local authorities in addressing areas of concern in the region;
  • provide veterinary and/or technical staff support to the local authority, or arrange suitable alternative support.
  • provide up to date information on registered livestock keepers in the local authority area;
  • attend discussions with the Scottish Government's lead policy officials and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) to set national and local priorities; and
  • consider Scottish Government priorities when agreeing the Service Plan with each local authority in Scotland.

The role of the Scottish Government under the Framework

3.5 The Scottish Government is expected to:

  • define national priorities in Scotland;
  • ensure policy engagement and input with other Framework partners;
  • access the data on AMES to help inform policy; and
  • collate statutory returns, and any other occasional returns which may be required.

The role of COSLA under the Framework

3.6 COSLA is expected to:

  • attend discussions with the Scottish Government's lead policy officials and APHA to set national priorities;
  • engage, consult and encourage local authority involvement;
  • support the Framework Steering Group for Scotland; and
  • help to resolve any major difficulties between parties.

The role of local authorities under the Framework

3.7 Authorities are expected to:

  • provide an annual Service Plan and a Local Authority Profile by an agreed date outlining their priorities and targets for animal health and welfare -this plan should be developed in conjunction with APHA and should describe what will be delivered, whether by the local authority, jointly with APHA or by APHA;
  • have contractual arrangements in place for service delivery where necessary;
  • discuss relative priorities and adjustments to Service Plans with the VL or their named local contact on a regular basis (annually, or as required if priorities change) and any changes should be made in consultation with the VL and if appropriate, the Scottish Government;
  • provide statutory returns (or any other occasional return) as required;
  • work in co-operation with other local authorities, organisations and agencies as appropriate including supporting regional initiatives and projects;
  • foster local partnerships;
  • support the Framework Steering Group for Scotland; and
  • meet the minimum standard/priority activity standard in the animal welfare activity matrix; or have a clear plan for ensuring that animal welfare complaints and concerns are passed to the relevant organisation to be dealt with appropriately.

The role of professional societies

3.8 The role of the Society of Chief Officers of Environmental Health in Scotland (SOCOEHS) and the Society of Chief Officers of Trading Standards in Scotland (SCOTSS) is to:

  • provide a professional management perspective;
  • endorse changes to the Framework and encourage their members to adopt it within their local authorities; and
  • identify issues, difficulties and areas for improvement and seek to influence changes to the Framework.

Subcontracting work

3.9 Where it is considered appropriate some or all of the functions relating to the Framework may be subcontracted to another local authority on a legal basis.


3.10 Framework Steering Group for Scotland


To provide governance for the Animal Health and Welfare Framework supporting a risk-based approach to animal health and welfare duties by local authorities and thus addressing the requirements of MANCP ensuring verification of compliance with animal health and welfare rules.


Membership reflects the partner organisations, Scottish Government, Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) and local authorities. Local authority membership includes representatives of the Society of Chief Officers of Trading Standards in Scotland (SCOTSS) and Society of Chief Officers of Environmental Health in Scotland (SOCOEHS), managers directly involved in implementing of the Framework and practitioners in animal health and welfare duties. APHA representation will include a member of the APHA Scottish Senior Leadership Management Team and a veterinary inspector directly involved in implementing the Framework.

Role of Membership:

Members of the Framework Steering Group will be required to represent their organisations and to propose amendments and updates of the Framework to their organisations for decisions. The Chief Officer Societies can make recommendations to local authorities but the decision to agree the Framework rests with each local authority.

3.11 The Group's terms of reference are as follows:

  • making strategic decisions about the Framework;
  • monitoring application of the Framework;
  • resolve significant national queries/issues; and


3.12 In order to ensure consistency, and allow adequate but not excessive monitoring of activity, there are two key documents which need to be considered:

  • the Local Authority Profile (Annex B); and
  • the Service Plan (Annex C).



Back to top