In the UK, there are no specific laws that govern the use of electric fencing. However, the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 require that all electrical systems, including electric fencing, are maintained to prevent danger.
Additionally, the Animal Welfare Act 2006 requires that the fencing must not cause unnecessary suffering to animals. This means that the fencing should be installed and maintained in a manner that prevents harm and injury to animals, such as through appropriate installation, insulation, and earthing of the fencing.
It is recommended to consult a specialist or an electrician to ensure that the fencing installation is appropriate and maintained correctly and safely.
The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974
The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 places a general duty on employers to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety, and welfare at work of all their employees.
The act also places specific duties on employers, the self-employed, and employees to take care of their own health and safety and that of others who may be affected by their work activities.
The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989
The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 place a legal duty on employers to take reasonable steps to prevent danger from electricity in the workplace and to ensure that any electrical equipment used is safe and without risk to health.
The regulations apply to all work activities involving the use of electricity, including the generation, transmission, distribution, and use of electrical energy.
They require that all electrical systems, equipment, and appliances are properly installed, maintained, and tested to prevent danger and that competent persons are employed to carry out such work.
The regulations also require that appropriate measures are taken to reduce the risk of injury in case of electrical incidents.
The Animal Welfare Act 2006
The Animal Welfare Act 2006 in the UK includes provisions regarding electric fencing and animal welfare.
The act requires that all persons responsible for animals take reasonable steps to ensure that their needs are met and that they are protected from harm and suffering.
With regards to electric fencing, this means that the fencing should not cause unnecessary suffering to animals, and that appropriate measures are taken to prevent harm and injury, such as appropriate insulation, and earthing of the fencing.
It is important to note that if an animal is caused unnecessary suffering due to electric fencing, the person responsible may be committing an offence under the act and may face penalties, including fines or imprisonment.