Northern Ireland | Animal Welfare

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From the 2nd of April 2012, Local Authorities in Northern Ireland assumed responsibility for enforcement of the powers in the Welfare of Animals (NI) Act 2011, in respect of non-farmed animals e.g. domestic pets of any vertebrate species and equines (horses and donkeys).


The Northern Ireland Local Councils adopted a collaborative regional approach to the new legislation and appointed Animal Welfare Officers to enforce animal welfare in respect of non-farmed animals across Northern Ireland. The Officers have statutory enforcement powers and take a range of action to improve the welfare of non-farmed animals, including; providing advice, issuing an improvement notice, taking animal in to their possession, and initiating prosecution action.

In response to the new legislation, Tascomi developed a standardised, web-based and mobile-enabled software solution to support the remit of Animal Welfare Officers appointed across each geographical area in Northern Ireland, enabled in part by the collaborative approach adopted by Local Authorities. The Animal Welfare Officers’ role includes provision of advice, issuing improvement notices, and in extreme cases, taking animals into their possession and initiating prosecution action.

In line with Tascomi’s partnership approach with customers, the software was developed using Agile techniques, resulting in a system very responsive to customers needs and was rolled out in a very short timescale.

The Agile approach we used to develop the system had benefits for everyone and resulted in a highly efficient and system which we believe will greatly assist the Animal Welfare Officers. The approach we have taken allowed us to deliver a solution in a streamlined fashion, and enabled more in-depth relationships with our users.

Niall Adams, Commercial Director, Tascomi Ltd

As part of this project, Tascomi also developed a mobile-working app to enable Animal Welfare Officers to view and update their caseload while in the field. Similar to the Tascomi Licensing app used by Licencing Officers in many Northern Ireland Local Authorities, this app has off-line functionality, allowing officers to continue working even without an Internet connection.

Through the app, Animal Welfare Officers have instant access to case information, with the ability to input data remotely, removing unnecessary data re-entry when back at the office. Once an internet connection is available, the officer can then sychronise the new data back to the live system, ensuring that all other authorised Animal Welfare Officers have access to the most up-to-date information. The app also has the ability to provide the officer with directions from the current location to the next case, helping to reduce the travel expenses incurred.

Tascomi’s wealth of experience developing software systems for Environmental Health, Licencing, Building Control and other departments in 10 out of the 11 Northern Ireland Local Authorities and a national Environmental Health system for HSE Ireland, ensures that the Animal Welfare system provides Officers across Northern Ireland with the functionality and efficiencies which they require.

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