The Animal Welfare Consultancy

Animal Welfare Advice. Delivered by Independent Experts in Association with the


The Animal Welfare Consultancy (The AWC) offers expert independent welfare advice to improve the lives of animals and assist those who are responsible for them, whether on a temporary or permanent basis. Expert advice can save time and money and help avoid situations that have a negative impact on an animal's welfare.

Download our Guidance on Filming with Animals

Animals in Entertainment & Advertising

If you are using live animals in your production we offer independent welfare advice. Working alongside the relevant people on your production we can guide your production in maintaining and improving good welfare standards for animals as well as helping ensure health & safety and bio-security measures are in place to protect you, your staff and any visitors to your production. We can assist with relevant paperwork and advise with regard to relevant animal welfare legislation.


Animals in Live Events & Exhibition

Using animals in front of a live audience and/or inviting members of the public to bring their animals to an event brings with it a number of challenges to animal welfare. We can offer bespoke packages that help reduce the impact on welfare and communicate with audiences and members of the public regarding improving welfare standards.


Investigations & Expert Reports

With many years experience investigating serious and organised animal cruelty offences including puppy farming, illegal dog importation, circuses, zoos, badger persecution, wildlife crime, dog fighting and cockfighting, we can assist you with your investigations or prepare an expert report for court.


Training & Public Speaking

We can create and deliver bespoke training workshops and seminars in a wide range of areas including performing animals and investigating serious and organised animal cruelty.


Who we are


The AWC offers those responsible for animals advice to ensure they fulfil their legal obligations in relation to animal welfare. Our support offers an opportunity to improve animal welfare standards in the exhibition and entertainment industry and beyond. We work closely with colleagues from the RSPCA and other organisations to ensure our standards are high and in line with the latest welfare standards. The AWC also offers help and advice to organisations that require understanding and assistance in investigating and enforcing animal welfare legislation.

Consultant and director, Jody Gordon spent nearly 20 years working for the UK’s largest animal welfare charity, the RSPCA. During his career he spent over 10 years researching, developing and co-writing the RSPCA’s ‘Guidelines for the Welfare of Performing Animals’ including the latest edition, to be published in 2019. During that time he was the performing animal consultant on a number of high profile productions including the London Olympics Opening Ceremony, Jamie Oliver’s ‘Jamie Saves Our Bacon’ and 'Jimmy & Jamie’s Food Fight' for Channel 4, ITV'S 'Touch of Frost', ITV2’s ‘Top Dog Model’ and many more including television, advertising, theatre and live events.


As an Inspector in the RSPCA's Special Operations Unit Jody's duties consisted of gathering intelligence and investigating serious and organised animal cruelty including cruelty in zoos, circuses, pet shops and breeding establishments as well as dog-fighting, badger baiting and illegal importation of dogs. This would often result in the compilation of complex case files that would result in successful prosecution.


Case study

London Olympics Opening Ceremony

Danny Boyle's vision for the 2012 ceremony involved the use of horses, sheep, cows, goats, chickens and geese. Jody Gordon worked with the organisers, the suppliers and the vets to improve safety and ensure that the welfare of all animals were protected including contingency plans in case of emergency and an exit plan to remove all animals before the fireworks started.


Case study


Members of the public were invited to audition their dogs to be the next 'model superstar' of the dog world. Dogs were asked to 'perform' in a number of modelling scenarios and 3 celebrity judges would pick their favourites. Jody Gordon was one of 2 performing animal consultants who worked with 12yard from the concept stage through to the final shoot to ensure they maintained good welfare standards and helped communication between owners and the production crew.


Case study

A Touch of Frost 'If Dogs Run Free' - ITV

The storyline for the final series involved organised dog fighting. Jody Gordon, working as the RSPCA's performing animal consultant used his experience investigating dog fighting complaints to help the production stage an authentic looking dogfighting ring and set-up and help stage 'a fight' whilst protecting any dog from injury or distress.


Download the RSPCA's Guidelines for the Welfare of Performing Animals

If you require a copy of these guidelines please click the 'download' button to take you directly to the correct page on the RSPCA website.

©2019 The Animal Welfare Consultancy Limited / Privacy & Cookies Policy

The Animal Welfare Consultancy Limited is registered in England (Registered number 11923714) and its Registered Office Address is The Animal Welfare Consultancy Limited, Heworth House, Melrosegate, York, United Kingdom, YO31 0RP.

The RSPCA logo is a trade mark of the RSPCA used by The Animal Welfare Consultancy Limited under licence from RSPCA, registered in England and Wales, charity no. 219099,

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