New laws that will protect pets from mistreatment and introduce harsher penalties for people found guilty of animal cruelty will come into effect on June 1.

The ‘Animal Welfare Act 2023’ will mean owners and people responsible for cats, dogs and many other domestic animals are legally required to ensure their welfare for the first time.

Currently, only livestock is protected in this way in the Isle of Man.

The provision to prosecute those who breach their duty of care will also be introduced at the same time, while a series of animal welfare codes have been published online to help owners.

Amy Beckett, the Isle of Man’s chief veterinary officer, said: ‘The guides cover a range of important information, so people can make sensible decisions and provide adequate care for their animals. This includes providing them with a suitable living environment and diet, while highlighting the best ways to protect them from pain, injury and disease.’

Claire Christian MHK, newly appointed political member for Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture, said: ‘Domestic animals play an important part in many of our lives, so it only right that they are protected from any harm or mistreatment.

‘As a dog owner myself, I am delighted to see greater protection and thank all those that have made it happen.’

Anyone concerned about the welfare of an animal can report it to DEFA by calling 01624 685844 or emailing [email protected].

Anyone concerned about animal cruelty should contact the police.