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The law governing the licensing of animal welfare establishments is changing from the 1 October 2018.
This has been done in order to bring the licensing regime up to date with local government regulation and improving animal care standards and make it compatible with the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
The full list of guidance documents are available through the web links below or the documents section on this page:
It is important that Licence holders understand the Guidance relevant to their business but as a start your attention is drawn to the following key changes:
Will all be contacted by the Council to make them aware of the changes.
Anyone wishing to apply for a new Licence is strongly advised to speak to a member of the Animal Welfare team before making an application.
The Animal Welfare Act 2006 came into force on 6 April 2007.
The aim of the Act is to improve the welfare of animals, impose greater responsibility on their carers, and provide greater investigation and entry powers for police and local authority staff to deal with offences.
Under section 9 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, it is the duty of any person responsible for an animal to ensure that its welfare needs are met. These include:
Depending on the type of offence and animals involved, enforcement is shared between the RSPCA, Police, Local Authorities and DEFRA.
The Local Authority, Police or a member of the public can undertake a prosecution which can be started up to 3 years after the offence (as long as its is within 6 months of the evidence becoming available).
Penalties will vary, but the most serious offences could incur a fine of up to £20,000 and /or 51 weeks imprisonment. Powers will be available to impose disqualification orders banning a person from owning or looking after animals and either dealing or transporting animals.
A change is likely to the licensing or registration of activities involving animals, such as, riding schools, pet shops and animal boarding establishments, which may involve risk-based inspections. Licensing of livery yards, racing greyhounds and animal sanctuaries is also being considered.
If you know about an animal that is injured or being treated cruelly, please call the RSPCA's national 24-hour cruelty and advice line on 0300 1234 999 or, visit the RSPCA website.
If you require help with something in this section, please contact us.