HM Government has now published updated legislation for animal businesses and confirmed that these changes will take effect from 1 October 2018.
Under the new laws, animal boarding businesses (including home boarders and day carers), dog breeders, pet shops and riding establishments will be covered under a single type of licence from that date. The new licence will be known as an 'Animal Activity Licence' and will include nationally set licence conditions for businesses providing animal related services.
Basildon Council will have no powers to change the conditions set out in the legislation and all businesses engaged in providing animal related services will need to comply with the new licence conditions. The new legislation will also require that an assessment will be undertaken, of any premises providing animal related services for financial gain, before a licence is granted.
The new legislation will affect you if you currently have any of the following types of licence:
The new law will not affect you if you currently have any of the following types of licence:
New licence conditions are available in the following documents:
At the meeting of the Licensing Committee, held on 19 September 2018, the proposed fees in relation to animal activity establishments were approved.
Animal Activity Licence fees are available in the following document:
Businesses operating under any of the above existing licences will be able to continue to trade until the expiry date of their current licence/registration. All applications to renew licences will be under the new legislation. Details of the application process will be sent to existing licensed businesses prior to the expiry of the current licence. In the case of holders of registration under the Performing Animals (Regulation) Act 1925, the current registration will expire on 31 March 2019.
Applicants will need to apply for a licence under the new laws 10 weeks before the existing licence is due to expire. At present, we do not have the required application form which we anticipate will be published by DEFRA in the near future. We will be sending out initial reminders to all existing businesses on 1 October 2018. Once the application has been received, the information provided will be examined and then arrangements will be made to visit the premises to carry out an inspection. Initial inspections will be carried out by Licensing Officers and accompanied by a qualified veterinarian where appropriate.
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 (which are not exhaustive):
On 1st October 2018 we will be writing to all businesses who currently hold an animal activities licence, or who we think will be affected, to explain more about what the changes mean for them, how an application can be made upon the expiry of the existing licence, what will be involved in terms of the new process and inspections and what they can expect from Basildon Council.
For further information and enquiries please contact Basildon Council's Environmental Health Services, see contact details bottom of page.