Councils are being forced to cut or outsource animal welfare services, a report from the RSPCA has warned.
The charity said that unless councils are given extra funding to cover their welfare obligations, animals could suffer as a result.
It said that new legal obligations such as tackling the problem of fly-grazing horses and imposing stricter conditions on animal establishments will only stretch budgets tighter.
Rachel Williams, senior parliamentary advisor at the RSPCA, said: ‘There is no sign that demand for these services is reducing and if anything councils are being asked to do more crucial animal welfare work - with no extra funding.
‘We are already seeing the impact of this in the number of services being cut or outsourced, the number of previously specialist animal welfare staff being given ever wider remits and, in the most extreme cases, some local authorities abandoning aspects of animal welfare provision altogether.’
The charity has launched a new report to highlight the ten best ideas for improving animal welfare.