New laws to promote animal welfare

Published Wednesday, 10th October 2018

Newly-introduced laws may have significant implications for people who breed dogs or offer boarding facilities for cats and dogs, say Hartlepool Borough Council licensing chiefs.

The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018, introduced on 1 October, apply to dog breeding, animal boarding, pet shops and the hiring out of horses and exhibition of animals.

The new laws are designed to improve animal welfare and prevent animals from being exploited.

Ian Harrison, the Council’s Trading Standards & Licensing Manager, said: “The changes may have a serious impact on those who are currently engaged in any of these regulated activities. What may have previously been considered a hobby for some people may now be regarded as a business and, as such, require an investment of time and money to ensure it complies with the law.

“The new legislation looks to improve animal welfare standards by increasing the scope of what activities need to be licensed, imposing strict conditions on how these activities must operate and introducing new requirements such as the need to display a licence number when advertising puppies for sale.”

Members of the public looking to buy a puppy are now being advised to always look for a breeder’s licence number.

Mr Harrison added: “Existing licence holders have until 1 January 2019 to comply with the new law but those who are not currently licensed, and now should be, should contact the Council’s Licensing Team on (01429) 523354 as soon as possible to discuss their application.”

Failure to comply with the new regulations could result in prosecution and up to 51 weeks in prison and/or up to a £5000 fine.