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Animal Welfare Scheme

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Cumbria operates a scheme to enable volunteers drawn from the membership of the Cumbria Independent Custody Visiting Scheme to make regular visits to the Cumbria Constabulary Dog Section to observe, comment and report on the condition and welfare of the Police dogs and the conditions under which they are housed, trained, transported, and deployed.    The scheme is based on guidance provided by the Dogs’ Trust and the RSPCA and is designed to ensure that appropriate standards of animal health and welfare are maintained.

The primary purpose of the scheme is to provide public reassurance with regard to the welfare of dogs engaged in police work and is operated in consultation with the Chief Constable of Cumbria Constabulary.   The scheme is designed to provide an independent check on the way Police dog handlers carry out their responsibilities with regard to the welfare of the animals in their care.

The Animal Welfare Visitors (AWVs) may raise issues which require immediate attention by the Dog Section and these issues will be raised directly with the Dog Section Manager at the conclusion of the visit.   Following each visit, the AWVs will complete a report of their findings, using a standard report form provided for the purpose1 which will be forwarded to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and a copy kept in the Dog Section Office.

AWVs will have the opportunity to meet together with the Scheme Administrator and the Dog Section Manager from time to time and not less than twice in each calendar year.   The work and findings of the AWVs are reported to the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Executive Board and publicised on the OPCC website.

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner has the final responsibility in all matters relating to the operation of the Animal Welfare Visiting Scheme.

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