Changes to Animal Licensing Legislation
- Meeting of Licensing Committee, Thursday 20th September, 2018 6.30 pm (Item 29.)
- View the background to item 29.
Mr Martyn Jeynes, the Community Protection Manager, introduced his report which provided guidance from DEFRA on the new Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 which would come into effect on the 1st October 2018.
The Committee noted that the new legislation provided an updated licensing framework in England for five activities involving animals which were as follows:-
· Selling animals as pets
· Providing for or arranging for the provision of boarding for cats and dogs
· Hiring out horses
· Dog breeding
· Keeping or training animals for exhibition
Mr Jeynes highlighted areas that were now captured by the legislation such as online trading of pets.
In response to questions from Members, Mr Jeynes advised that:-
The fees were calculated according to the guidance
and took into account all the activities involved in the particular
processes such as travel, time spent at the establishment and the
processing of the licence application.
The new regulations were made on 16th
April 2018 and due to come into effect on 1st October
2018. The relatively late publication of the guidance, particularly
around fee setting meant that it had not been possible to brief
Members before the Committee meeting.
The legislation gave more powers to Local
Authorities, including giving Officers authority to enter
a premises with a warrant on suspicion
of trading rather than having to gather evidence of an offence
If selling pets online the person was required to
show a licence number on their advertisement.
A dog training establishment did not fall under the
new regime but the person who exhibited the dog would have to be
The guidance stated that there should only be 1
litter per bitch each year. The
restriction of 3 litters per year related to 3 breeding bitches in
one household. An Officer can
investigate if there was a suspicion that it was more.
The current licences were due to expire in December
2018 so existing
establishments had been contacted and advised about the new
regime. The legislation provided for
the transition of existing licences which needed to be issued under
the new regime once
expired. With most licences due
to expire in December 2018 there was likely to be heavy demand on
the service between October and December.
It would be possible to review the fees in 12
months’ time as there would have been sufficient time to
check if the fees had been calculated in the correct
Officers could follow up on concerns from residents
who suspected an activity was being operated without a
The guidance stated that a cost for enforcement
against unlicensed activities should be included, which would be
paid from licensed activities fees, as enforcing against unlicensed
activities protected their business.
Establishments who were awarded a 5 Star rating
would pay upfront cost in the first year, but the Council would
still need to recover its costs overall.
Dog Day Care and Home Dog Boarding were new
additions to the regulations and therefore an unknown
Dog Walkers and Horse Livery Stables were currently
outside of the scope of the legislation.
It was envisaged that the details of the Animal
Licences would be published on the licensing website in order that
anyone could check
to see if the establishments had a licence.
Officers would be working with the Communications
Team to ensure that the message was given out to the general public
to reflect the new changes. Mr Jeynes
stated that he would also address the requirement for a hotline so
residents could report their concerns around unlicensed
Officers had taken into account the cost of an
inspector and others in training to provide cover. It had also been recognised that for the first one
to two years the service would be resource heavy, especially as a
lot of the existing licences expire at the end of 2018.
The fees were calculated to cover the cost of the
service provided, this included the cost
for one official visit and an unannounced visit during the term of
· The activities of home dog boarding and dog day care were required to be licensed from 1st October. If these were excluded from the list of fees then it would not be possible to licence this activity. The guidance specifies the fees from other licensed activities cannot be used to subsidise another licensing activity. The fees for each licence had been costed based on predicted costs for the Council on administering the licence and not on the relative incomes of the activities themselves.
That the changes required by The Animal Welfare
(Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations
2018 be noted.
That the associated fee structure, produced in
accordance with the guidance provided by DEFRA effective from 1
October 2018 be agreed.
That a review of the service be submitted to the
Committee in 12 months’ time.
Voting: For: 8
4 Abstentions: 0
Councillor Garten asked for his dissent to be noted.
- CHANGES TO ANIMAL LICENSING LEGISLATION, item 29. PDF 186 KB View as HTML (29./1) 178 KB
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