Animals on Campus Policy

This document sets out the policy for

Organisation(s):

FX Plus
Falmouth University
University of Exeter (Cornwall)
Students’ Union

Applies to:

All students, staff and visitors

Required Consultees:

FX Plus Accessibility
FX Plus Health & Safety
UoE Health & Safety
UoE EDI
UoE Occupational Health
Falmouth HR Services

Approved by:

FX Plus SET

Date approved:

18/11/2021

Review date:

17/11/2024


The Universities are committed to supporting all students and staff and recognise that some people will benefit from having an assistance, or emotional support/companion animal with them in University property to assist in accessibility and support. This policy sets out guidance to provide clarity regarding this.

1. Key Facts

Clause(s)Description
2.1Students or staff wishing to bring an Assistance Animal into University property should notify this in advance.
2.2Where justified by appropriate evidence, consideration will be given to requests regarding Emotional Support/Companion animals.
2.3Assistance Animals accompanying a disabled person are permitted anywhere on University property.
2.5Pets are not allowed in University buildings.
9.2Concerns in relation to Assistance or Emotional Support/Companion animals in University premises can raised informally with the animal’s keeper or Accessibility (students) or HR (staff).

2. Principles

  1. The Universities expect students and staff to notify an intention to bring an Assistance Animal into University property in advance. Students can direct their request via Accessibility, and staff via their Line Manager. The Universities expect that requests will usually be made with regard to Assistance Animals certified by a recognised organisation.
  2. In exceptional circumstances, and when there is clear medical evidence, consideration will be given to requests regarding Emotional Support/Companion animals.
  3. The Universities will support people who need an Assistance Animal and are prepared to make reasonable adjustments for Assistance Animal owners. Assistance Animals accompanying a disabled person are permitted anywhere on University property.
  4. Companion/Emotional Support animals are permitted on University property and in University buildings as a reasonable adjustment for a disability of medical condition, on a case-by-case basis.
  5. Pets are not allowed in University buildings except in limited circumstances and where specific authorisation is received.

3. Key Definitions

Assistance Animals

  1. Assistance animals (usually dogs) are trained to carry out a variety of practical tasks for disabled people as well as supporting their independence and confidence.
  2. They are are not pets and are treated as ‘auxiliary aids’. Most are instantly recognisable by a harness or jacket (although this is not legally required).
  3. Assistance animals usually qualified by one of the 8 charitable organisations registered as members of Assistance Dogs UK[1]. Not all assistance dogs are trained by ADUK members.
  4. Under the Equality Act 2010, assistance dogs are “legally permitted to accompany its client, owner, or partner, at all times and in all places, within the United Kingdom”.

Therapy animals

  1. A Therapy animal is a general term to describe an animal that is used to benefit people in a therapeutic way (Society for Companion Animal Studies). This includes a wide range of potential activities with a wide range of people.

Emotional Support/Companion animals

  1. An Emotional Support/Companion animal is owned by an individual with a disability (as defined by the Equality Act 2010). Emotional Support/Companion animals may also be prescribed to a disabled person by a healthcare or mental health professional.
  2. A Therapy or Emotional Support/Companion animal does not assist a disabled person with activities of daily living; and they are not, under UK law, currently considered service animals. Therapy and Emotional Support/Companion animals therefore do not have the same legal privileges as assistance animals, and in some cases, will not need to always accompany the individual.

Pets

  1. A pet is a domestic animal kept primarily for a person’s company, entertainment or protection.

4. Assistance animals: Responsibilities and process

Students or staff who wish to bring an Assistance Animal into University property must:

  1. Notify the University in advance so that appropriate arrangements / risk assessments can be put in place.
    • Students can direct their notification to Accessibility (accessibility@fxplus.ac.uk).
      • Accessibility may need to seek advice from relevant areas, including Residences and Facilities, the Course Team, Estates and Health & Safety Services.
      • Accessibility will include information about the Assistance Animal on the student’s Individual Learning Plan.
    • Staff can direct their notification to their Line Manager.
      • Line Managers should discuss the request with the staff member and refer it to HR Business Partnering team.
      • The HR Business Partnering team will seek advice from Health & Safety Services / Occupational Health to explore the individual’s needs comprehensively and ensure all appropriate adjustments are considered.
  2. Provide details on the dog’s registration (e.g., with ADUK) and provide evidence that dog and owner have completed training.
  3. Complete and abide by the Assistance and Companion Animal Agreement (see Appendix).
  4. Inform the Accommodation Office if living in University accommodation (accommodation@fxplus.ac.uk).
  5. Consideration will also be given to
    • The possible impact on other members of the University community and options for managing this (e.g., enquiring with others likely to come into contact with the animal if they have concerns or allergies)
    • Potential disruption to University services,
    • Whether other reasonable adjustments may be needed alongside the assistance animal (e.g., adaptations to the work area, ensuring a toileting area is available, adjustments to work/study patterns to support the welfare requirements of the animal.

5. Emotional Support/Companion animals: Responsibilities and process


Students or staff who wish to bring an Emotional Support/Companion animal into University property must:

  1. Request permission in advance.
    • Students can direct their notification to Accessibility (accessibility@fxplus.ac.uk).
      • Accessibility may need to seek advice from relevant areas, including Residences and Facilities, the Course Team, Estates and Health & Safety Services.
    • Staff can direct their notification to their Line Manager.
      • Line Managers should discuss the request with the staff member and refer it to HR Business Partnering team. The HR Business Partnering team will seek advice from Health & Safety Services / Occupational Health to explore the individual’s needs comprehensively and ensure all appropriate adjustments are considered.
    • Students and staff may be asked to seek additional information, assurances or permissions from groups or individuals who may be affected by their application.
  2. Provide appropriate medical evidence from a registered healthcare professional which supports the request, which should include specific and detailed information about the support the animal will provide and where it may need to go on University property
  3. Inform the Accommodation Office if living in University accommodation (accommodation@fxplus.ac.uk).
  4. If the request is approved, complete and abide by the Assistance and Companion Animal Agreement (see Appendix).
  5. Accessibility or the Line Manager will decide on the outcome of the request, in consultation with Health & Safety Services, Occupational Health, the HR Business partnering team and relevant other staff (e.g., a student’s course team or the staff member’s team) and inform the student or staff member.
  6. In reaching a decision, consideration will be given to inter alia
    • Whether the adjustment of bringing an Emotional Support/Companion animal into University property is reasonable and is sufficiently supported by evidence
    • Whether the student or staff member can be supported effectively through other supports or adjustments
    • The possible impact on other members of the University community (e.g., enquiring with others likely to come into contact with the animal if they have concerns or allergies)
    • Potential for disruption to University services
    • Whether there is a need to move office/residential accommodation
    • The welfare requirements of the animal.
  7. For students: If the request is supported, Accessibility will include information about the animal on the Individual Learning Plan.
  8. If a student is unhappy with the decision, a review can be requested by writing to the FX Plus Director of Student & Library Services. If the student remains dissatisfied, they will be entitled to follow the student complaints procedure.
  9. If a staff member is unhappy with the decision, a review can be requested by writing to the Director of HR Services (Exeter) or Head of Employee Relations and Business Partnering (Falmouth). If the staff member remains dissatisfied, they will be entitled to follow the relevant Grievance Procedure.

6. Pets: Responsibilities

  1. The Universities operate open campuses, and it is recognised that pet owners may bring pets onto University grounds. Pets must always be leashed and under control whilst on University property. Failure to observe this may result in the owner of the animal being asked to leave University property.
  2. The pet owner is responsible for the immediate clean–up of incidental damage caused by the pet (including fouling and digging damage). The clean-up should be thorough enough to not generate any additional work for staff or to cause inconvenience for members of the Campus community or visitors. Failure to comply with this may result in information being passed to the Cornwall Council Enforcement Officer.
  3. Pet owners who are temporary residents in University accommodation, and who wish to bring an animal into any building should inform the Accommodation Office in advance of the animal’s arrival (accommodation@fxplus.ac.uk). Requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis depending on the situation, impact and individual personal circumstance or need.
  4. Otherwise, pets may not enter any University buildings, including accommodation.
  5. The RSPCA advises that animals are not left alone inside a vehicle. Pet owners should not leave them in a vehicle on Campus.

7. Events, Filming and Photography

  1. Permission to bring animals into University buildings may be granted for events involving animals, for example, ‘Pets as Therapy’ events. To apply for permission, contact the Conferencing and Events Team[2].
  2. Animals required as an integral and necessary part of a course will be managed by the relevant University in accordance with their health and safety arrangements.

8. Record keeping

  1. Records of Assistance and Emotional Support/Companion animals should be retained as follows:
    • Students – Accessibility
    • Staff – HR Services.
  2. The information may be accessed by Residencies and Facilities, and Health & Safety Services on request.

9. Complaints and concerns

  • Any urgent issues (such as an incident of an animal attack) should be reported to Security on 4444 (internal extension) or 07768 557779 (24/7).
  • Any issues or concerns in relation to Assistance or Emotional Support/Companion animals in University premises can raised informally with either the animal’s keeper or Accessibility (students) or HR (staff). Any concerns that can not be resolved through informal means should be raised via the normal University or FX Plus reporting process.

10. Equality Impact Assessment

  1. This policy is intended to benefit individuals with disabilities, by providing additional support/adjustment to support them.

11. Contact for Further Information

  1. Urgent issues – Security: 4444 (internal extension) or 07768 557779 (24/7).
  2. Students – Accessibility: accessibility@fxplus.ac.uk.
  3. Staff – Line Manager
  4. Policy Owner – david.dickinson@fxplus.ac.uk

Appendix

Assistance and Companion Animal Agreement

To bring my animal into University property I agree to the following and have read and understood the policy:

  • My animal remains my responsibility at all times.
  • I will ensure that my animal is under my control and on a lead at all times when on University grounds.
  • I will ensure my animal is safely restrained if I need to leave them unsupervised for a short period of time.
  • I will ensure that I have insurance that includes public liability cover. I will provide evidence of this each year.
  • I will ensure that my animal is healthy, and that they have regular health checks, flea/worm treatments and vaccinations, and an adequate standard of grooming. I will take veterinary advice as appropriate and always ensure my animal is kept in accordance with good animal welfare practice.
  • I will respect any access restrictions established by FX Plus on the grounds of health and safety. I will ensure that my animal does not enter staff and students’ privately assigned spaces, such as offices and bedrooms, or any communal areas within residences, without permission.
  • I will ensure that my animal is easily identifiable as an assistance or therapy animal by the use of special collars, harnesses and/or ID tags when on duty.
  • I will discuss with Accessibility (students) or my line manager (staff) if I am made aware of any students or staff in University activities I attend that are allergic to my animal.
  • I will do all I can to ensure that my animal sits quietly next to me and does not disturb others or interfere with University services. If my animal causes disruption or distracts others, I will ensure that this stops even if this means leaving the room / activity.
  • I accept that I am responsible for any additional training needs for my animal and for the correct and safe performance of their duties.
  • If my animal damages property belonging to someone else or the University, I will pay for any repairs/replacements where it is reasonable for me to do so.
  • I will take responsibility for cleaning-up of my animal’s waste, consistent with my reasonable capacity. I shall use reasonable endeavours to use any designated spending (toileting) areas identified.
  • I will inform Accessibility (students) or my line manager (staff) as soon as possible if there are any complaints or negative comments made to me about my animal.

If my animal is an Emotional Support/Companion animal, I also agree that:

  • I will only take my animal into cafes, the Library or the Students’ Union if it is an ADUK trained assistance dog.
  • If it is not possible to manage a situation where someone is upset, anxious or scared of my animal in any other way, I will take it out of the room and discuss alternative arrangements with Accessibility.
  • I understand that if I am not able to comply with these ground rules or my animal is disruptive to other students and staff in a way that cannot be managed, I may not be able to bring my animal onto campus.

For students:

  • Accessibility will make my department aware that I may have an animal with me in lectures and seminars via my ILP, but I will make staff aware for any other meetings
  • If I have any labs, studios, workshops, practicals or field trips I will discuss details with Accessibility and my department

Owners are always responsible for the behaviour of their Assistance or Companion animal. FX Plus reserves the right to exclude an animal from a facility or, in extreme circumstances, from the campus, if the animal poses a risk to the health and safety of other people and to revoke permission if the Assistance and Companion Animal Agreement is breached.

Signed:                  

Name:

Date:


[1] An assistance animal that has been trained outside the UK by an organisation equivalent to one of the member organisations of Assistance Dogs (UK) is treated as an ADUK trained animal.

[2] https://falmouthac.sharepoint.com/sites/FXPlusCO/SitePages/Conferencing-and-Events.aspx