Access animal in transit

Control Measure Knowledge

The following legislation supports the power of entry to gain access to an animal, or to deal with an animal in distress:

Powers under these acts are restricted to veterinary surgeons, animal inspectors and the police. As they do not extend to the fire and rescue service, this could lead to prosecution for criminal damage if force is used to gain access to an animal in a mode of transport.

Therefore, before attempting to extricate an animal from a mode of transport, it will be necessary to gain the permission of the registered keeper of the vehicle, or the police, if damage may be caused. This would not apply if a fire and rescue service needs to gain access to a mode of transport for a legislated primary reason, such as rescuing a person, where rescuing an animal is in effect a secondary action.

If permission is granted, appropriate resources and equipment should be used to gain access to the mode of transport to create space. This should be followed by using the appropriate manual manipulation techniques or mechanical techniques, as provided in the National Operational Guidance for Transport and Search, rescue and casualty care.

The RSPCA provides advice to members of the public on their website for situations where a companion animal is believed to be in danger. The advice is that forced entry could be classed as criminal damage, and that actions may need to be defended in court.

If the incident commander determines that the only option is to force entry to the mode of transport to access an animal in danger, they should advise the police of this intention and the justification. Photos or videos of the animal in danger should be captured and details of any witnesses should be gathered.

If access to the animal is gained, the generic control measures for incidents involving animals should be considered. In particular there will be a need to determine an appropriate destination for the animal once it is no longer contained in the mode of transport.

Strategic Actions

Tactical Actions