Nigel Weller & Co

Defence solicitor specialising

in animal welfare law

01273 487123


Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation. Authority Number 00075951

Every day in Britain, ordinary, caring people are accused of crimes under the Animal Welfare Act. Many end up losing their pets, their reputations and a lot of money. Maybe even their homes.


They are usually prosecuted by the RSPCA, but it could be by their local authorities and Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).


If you are prosecuted you need specialist help from a lawyer who is an expert in animal welfare law and the methods of the RSPCA. Why?


Punishments are serious. Including seizure, possible destruction of your pets, up to six months in prison, a lifetime disqualification from keeping animals.


You may have to pay the RSPCA's costs. Unlike most criminal prosecutions, lose to the RSPCA and you may be required to pay their specialist solicitors and barristers – usually a minimum of £10,000.


Boarding fees. If your animals are seized, in the 6 to 12 months waiting for your case to come to court, YOU must pay for your own animals' boarding fees with the RSPCA. For a dog, this is around £20 per day, every day. Boarding costs are often even higher than legal costs.


You could lose your home. With costs so high, if you lose your case under the Animal Welfare Act your home is at risk.


You need a specialist lawyer: 


Animal welfare defence is an area of law that few solicitors and barristers understand. The RSPCA, however, employs specialists solely to prosecute people like you. Animal welfare law is not normally covered in legal text books and there is no case law, so most solicitors have little idea of how to mount a succesful defence against RSPCA prosecution.


You need a solicitor who is as expert in your defence as DEFRA or the RSPCA are in your prosecution. An animal defence law specialist who:


  • knows the case law

  • understands how veterinary science interacts with the law

  • is able to question the experts the prosecution uses

  • is able to instruct your own expert witnesses.

Although the RSPCA wear police-style uniforms they have no more right to enter your property than any other private individual. Check the

Your Rights page before answering any questions and email or call Nigel Weller on 01273 487123

May 2013, Norwich Crown Court: 


Nigel Weller & Co secures acquittal and return of red-backed shrikes seized by RSPCA.  



Caged birds106

Our client Ted Easter told Cage and Aviary Birds newspaper: "My solicitor did a splendid job of making the court aware of the issues in the legislation.

He was excellent at showing that I'm just a man who loves his hobby. He showed my human side."

Nigel Weller quoted in Sunday Telegraph RSPCA exposé: 


June 30 2013

Nigel Weller has been extensively quoted in a searing exposé of the RSPCA's brutal prosecutions of the young and the vulnerable.


Read the full article:

 The RSPCA Made Us Feel Like Criminals  


Read Nigel Weller's blog post

Derby Magistrates Court: 


Successful defence by Nigel Weller & Co, but RSPCA publicity forces couple to move abroad.


Mr & Mrs Dean Webb, a couple whose hobby was showing cats were raided by the RSPCA, and all the cats were seized.


After a 12-day trial, at the Derby Magistrates Court before District Judge Andrew Davison, the couple were acquitted of 9 charges contrary to sections 4 & 9 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.


See Nigel's blog post on the case, here. screen capture 2013-7-31-9-17-9

Nigel Weller wins costs and thanks from Devon OAP


September 2013


The RSPCA was left with a £10,000 legal bill after a judge attacked its decision to prosecute a loving pet owner  


Read the full article:

RSPCA left with £10k bill  


Read our client's letter.


For news of our recent cases and Nigel Weller's legal blog on defence against prosecution by the RSPCA, click here for Nigel's blog


Are you being prosecuted by the RSPCA under section 8 for "animal fighting"?


The RSPCA are increasingly using legislation that was intended to stop dog fighting, to prevent country people from traditional activities aimed to control pests.


Nigel Weller & Co are experts at fighting these prosecutions. Call us now on 01273 487123.


See our article on the subject in this month's Countryman's Weekly magazine, out 2 March 2016.