Businesses alerted to new animal welfare registration laws

New welfare laws will mean that more people who run animal businesses will have to register with their local council.

Dog day boarders, keepers of exhibition animals and some dog breeders must contact West Oxfordshire District Council ahead of Government legislation which will become law in just a few months’ time.

On 1 October, these groups will be covered by the ‘The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018’ and anyone who does not register could be guilty of an offence.

Businesses looking after dogs away from their homes during the day will need a licence.

People who keep exhibition animals in the course of their business for educational or entertainment purposes will also need to register – this includes businesses such as falconry displays, dove releases, animal encounter experiences, or pat-a-pony days.

Additionally, dog breeders who breed three or more litters of puppies in any 12-month period and/or breed dogs and advertise a business selling dogs must register.

Cllr Norman MacRae, Cabinet Member responsible for Licensing at West Oxfordshire District Council said, “I am sure that most animal business operators would agree that tougher laws around animal welfare are to be welcomed. We ask that businesses contact us as soon as possible so that they are registered before the new law comes in place on 1 October.”

Please call 01993 861000 or email ers.licensing@publicagroup.uk

The full guidance on the new regulations is due in September, and uptake is expected to be high.

The legislation details can be viewed in full here.

 

Why animal licensing is important

Licensing is important because it provides a platform for regulation of animal businesses, ensuring that they adhere to good practice in animal welfare.

The lives of tens of thousands of animals are covered by this, from a bearded dragon sold in a pet shop to a dog sold over the internet. How these animals are cared for by a pet shop worker or puppy dealer determines if their business gets the go-ahead to operate.

 

Why the current licensing system is being reviewed

There are many laws surrounding licensing, all of which are over a decade old. These outdated pieces of legislation haven’t adapted to the changing types of animal-related businesses, and to new standards of good practice in animal welfare.