{content}

Animal welfare and licensing

Coronavirus update:

In line with advice and current measures taken by Government to limit the spread of coronavirus, the Licensing offices have closed to the general public, and all face-to-face appointments and drop-in sessions are cancelled until further notice. You may still contact the Technical Hub with any licensing enquiries by calling 01724 297000 or by email at licensing@northlincs.gov.uk

The Canine & Feline Sector Group (CFSG) have issued guidance for the operation of animal related businesses and the National Animal Health and Welfare Panel (NAHWP) have also compiled a series of Frequently Asked Questions [PDF, 34Kb] relating to businesses involving animals during this time.

While the FAQ states the NAHWP are awaiting a response regarding licence extensions, we have made the decision to extend licences for six months should they be due to expire. Please ensure you have provided Licensing with a current email address as extension notices will be provided by email.

Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018

The Government has recently published the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 under section 13 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.  The effect of the new regulations is to replace some existing licensing regimes and to put in place a new licensing regime to control the following “licensable activities”:

  • Selling animals as pets
  • Providing or arranging for the provision of boarding for cats or dogs
  • Hiring out horses
  • Breeding dogs
  • Keeping or training animals for exhibition

The regulations came into effect on 1 October 2018 and introduced a new licensing regime to replace the licensing and registration regimes which were in place under the following legislation:

  •  Pet Animals Act 1951
  • Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963
  • Riding Establishments Acts 1964 & 1970
  • Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 & Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999
  • Performing Animals (Regulation) Act 1925

If you have a licence under one of the above pieces of legislation that is in force prior to 1 October 2018, it will continue to be valid under that legislation until it is due to expire.  You will then need to apply for a licence under the new regulations.

Guidance from DEFRA

The Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has now published procedural guidance for local authorities in relation to the new regulations, along with guidance notes on the conditions that will apply to licences issued to authorise the different licensable activities.  The procedural guidance and other guidance notes can be downloaded from the DEFRA pages of GOV.UK.

The keeping and running of animal boarding establishments (catteries and kennels) is controlled by the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) England Regulations 2018 under the licensable activity of providing or arranging for the provision of boarding for cats or dogs.

Any person wishing to carry on the business of providing, or arranging for the provision of, accommodation for other people’s dogs and cats, even if the premises is a private dwelling, must obtain a licence from the local authority.

Conditions

The Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has now published procedural guidance for local authorities in relation to the new regulations, along with guidance notes on the conditions that will apply to licences issued to authorise the different licensable activities.  The procedural guidance and other guidance notes can be downloaded from the DEFRA pages of GOV.UK.

These include:

  • dog boarding
  • home boarding for dogs
  • dog day care
  • dog breeding
  • cat boarding
  • selling animals as pets
  • hiring out horses
  • keeping or training animals for exhibition

Application forms

We have tried to make these documents as accessible as possible. If you require a different format, please contact us. You can read our Accessibility Statement on our website.

An animal activity licence application form (Part A) [PDF, 291 KB] can be downloaded, printed and sent to us along with an  application form for animal boarding (Part C) [PDF, 519Kb]

Both forms are required for the application.

All documents supporting this application must be supplied within three working days, otherwise the application may be deemed incomplete and be rejected. The application process will not commence until all information has been received.

Home Boarding Arrangers / Franchise Operators

You may add a new host family to an existing home boarding licence using the Home Boarding add Host to Licence application form[PDF, 275Kb].

If you are a new applicant, you may apply for a grant licence for the arrangement of home boarding using the Part A and C of the above form.

Timescale

We aim to process applications within 10 weeks, however this may take longer if further information is required or if it proves difficult to make the arrangements for the inspection.

Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) England Regulations 2018

The Government introduced a significant change with the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) England Regulations 2018. Visit the Canine and Feline Sector Group website for guidance documents to assist businesses in meeting the new requirements set out under those Regulations which came into effect on 1 October 2018.

Any person who wishes to carry on the business of providing, or arranging for the provision of, accommodation for other people’s dogs within a private home requires to be licensed under the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) England Regulations 2018.

A licence shall only be issued following a satisfactory inspection by an Authorised Officer of the Council.

Conditions

Any licence granted is subject to conditions to ensure the safety and welfare of the dogs being boarded. The local authority must also be satisfied the conditions will be met prior to the grant of a licence. These conditions are laid out in the Schedules of the above Regulations.  General conditions apply to all licences, and further relevant conditions are specific to the activity that is being applied for. The procedural guidance and other guidance notes can be downloaded from the DEFRA pages of GOV.UK.

These include:

  • dog boarding
  • home boarding for dogs

Downloadable application forms

An animal activity licence application form (Part A) [PDF, 291 KB] can be downloaded, printed and sent to us along with an application form for animal boarding (Part C) [PDF, 345 KB].

Both forms are required for the application. Home boarding arrangers should complete a Part C form for the premises where the arrangement takes place, and for each home boarding premises to be included in the licence.

Note: In support of the Local Authorities Coordinators of Regulatory Services (LACORS) and the Feline Advisory Bureau (FAB) it was considered that due to the free nature of cats they would not be recommended for home boarding and that this practice should be discouraged.

Timescale

We aim to process applications within 10 weeks, however this may take longer if further information is required or if it proves difficult to make the arrangements for the inspection.

Animal Activity Licensing Regulations 2018

The Government introduced a significant change with the Animal Activity Licensing Regulations 2018. Visit the Canine and Feline Sector Group’s website  for guidance documents to assist businesses in meeting the new requirements set out under those Regulations which came into effect on 1 October 2018.

A licence is required by anyone who breeds dogs and advertises a business of selling dogs, or three or more litters are born in any 12 month period.

Conditions

Any licence granted is subject to conditions. The local authority must also be satisfied the conditions will be met prior to the grant of a licence. These conditions are laid out in the Schedules of the above Regulations.  Conditions related to breeding dogs are published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

Downloadable application forms

An animal activity licence application form (Part A) [PDF, 291 KB] can be downloaded, printed and sent to us along with an application form for dog breeding (Part F) [PDF, 267 KB].

Both forms are required for the application. All documents supporting this application must be supplied within 3 working days, otherwise the application may be deemed incomplete and be rejected. The application process will not commence until all information has been received.

Timescale

We aim to process applications within 10 weeks, however this may take longer if further information is required or if it proves difficult to make the arrangements for the inspection.

Certain types of animals are classified as dangerous wild animals (DWA). These are listed on a schedule attached to the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976.

Anyone who wants to keep a classified dangerous wild animal at their home must hold a licence issued by the council. Licences are issued subject to specialised and strict conditions. These aim to protect the welfare, safety and security of the animal, its owner and the public. Licences need renewing every year. They are subject to a satisfactory vet report.

Downloadable application form

Timescale

We aim to deal with grant and renewal applications within 49 days. Tacit consent applies. This means that you will be able to act as though your application has been granted/renewed if you have not heard from us by the end of the above application period.

The keeping or training of animals for exhibition is controlled by the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) England Regulations 2018.

Any person or business who wishes to keep or train animals for exhibition in the course of a business for educational or entertainment purposes needs a Exhibiting Animals Licence.

Conditions

Any licence granted is subject to conditions. The local authority must also be satisfied the conditions will be met prior to the grant of a licence. These conditions are laid out in the Schedules of the above Regulations.  General conditions apply to all licences, and further relevant conditions are specific to the activity that is being applied for.

The procedural guidance and other guidance notes can be downloaded from the DEFRA pages of GOV.UK.

These include:

Application forms

An animal activity licence application form (Part A) [PDF, 291 KB] can be downloaded, printed and sent to us along with an application form for exhibiting animals  (Part D) [PDF, 411].

Both forms are required for the application. All documents supporting this application must be supplied within three working days, otherwise the application may be deemed incomplete and be rejected. The application process will not commence until all information has been received.

Timescale

We aim to process applications within 10 weeks, however this may take longer if further information is required or if it proves difficult to make the arrangements for the inspection.

Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) England Regulations 2018

The Government introduced a significant change with the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) England Regulations 2018. Visit the Canine and Feline Sector Group’s website for guidance documents to assist businesses in meeting the new requirements set out under those Regulations which came into effect on 1 October 2018.

Appeal the Refusal to Grant or Renew a Licence

Any person aggrieved by a refusal to grant or renew a licence, or have an existing licence revoked or varied, may appeal to the First Tier Tribunal within 28 days of the decision being made.

Appeal against the Star Rating

It is also possible to appeal to the Council on the star rating awarded and or to request a re-assessment inspection if improvement works are undertaken.

In the first instance the business is encouraged to discuss their star rating informally with the “inspecting officer”. This will allow for a full explanation of how the rating was decided to be discussed. Any discussions do not form part of the formal process and do not change the timeframe for lodging an appeal. An appeal can be withdrawn after the informal discussion. A star rating cannot be changed after an informal discussion but the business can apply for a re-inspection at their cost after implementing any recommendations that could result in a higher star rating (due to the nature of the star rating it may not be possible for a star rating to be improved upon)

A formal appeal will need to be submitted to the Licensing Authority in writing (can be email) within 21 days of the receipt of the licence (this includes weekends and bank holidays). Appeals will only be accepted in writing.

The local authority then has 21 days (including weekends and bank holidays) from the date they receive the appeal to determine the appeal. The local authority will inform the business of their decision upon the determination of the appeal.

The appeal will be determined by the Assistant Group Manager that issued the licence or by a designated deputy (Team Leader). Any officer involved in the production of the rating or the inspection on which the rating is based on will not consider the appeal.

The outcome of the appeal will be determined after considering the inspection reports and all associated paperwork along with the past record of the business alongside the star rating criteria. In some cases a further visit may be required. The cost of the visit will be borne by the applicant unless it results in a higher rating being awarded. (An appeal can be withdrawn at this stage should the business not want to pay for an inspection) The requirement for a visit will depend on the nature of the dispute and whether or not a decision can be made on the basis of the inspection report and appeal form.

If the business disagrees with the outcome of the appeal the decision can be challenged by way of judicial review. It is advised that the business seeks its own legal advice ahead of any judicial review proceedings. The business also has recourse to the local authority complaints procedure (taking the matter to the Local Government Ombudsman where appropriate) if they consider that the service has not been properly delivered.

If your issue is in relation to the Star Rating scheme itself rather than the inspecting officers interpretation of it you will need to contact DEFRA; who are responsible for the drafting of the scheme.

The sale of animals as pets is controlled by the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) England Regulations 2018. This licensable activity includes pet shops, replacing Pet Shop Licences, and also includes other types of business that may be involved in the sale of animals.

Any person or business selling animals as domestic pets or for ornamental purposes needs a Selling Animals as Pets Licence. Animals cannot be sold in the open air or from a market stall.

Conditions

Any licence granted is subject to conditions. The local authority must also be satisfied the conditions will be met prior to the grant of a licence. These conditions are laid out in the Schedules of the above Regulations.  General conditions apply to all licences, and further relevant conditions are specific to the activity that is being applied for.

The procedural guidance and other guidance notes can be downloaded from the DEFRA pages of GOV.UK.

These include:

Application forms

An animal activity licence application form (Part A) [PDF, 480 KB] can be downloaded, printed and sent to us along with an application form to sell animals as pets (Part B) [PDF, 482KB].

Both forms are required for the application. All documents supporting this application must be supplied within three working days, otherwise the application may be deemed incomplete and be rejected. The application process will not commence until all information has been received.   

Timescale

We aim to process applications within 10 weeks, however this may take longer if further information is required or if it proves difficult to make the arrangements for the inspection.

Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) England Regulations 2018

The Government introduced a significant change with the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) England Regulations 2018. Visit the Canine and Feline Sector Group’s website for guidance documents to assist businesses in meeting the new requirements set out under those Regulations which came into effect on 1 October 2018.

Any premises that provide horses for hire or riding instruction for money must hold a riding establishment licence.

Livery stables that house and care for other people’s horses do not need a licence.

Anyone who operates a riding establishment must be suitably qualified or experienced.

Conditions

Any licence granted is subject to conditions to ensure the welfare and safety of the horses, riders and the public. The local authority must also be satisfied the conditions will be met prior to the grant of a licence. These conditions are laid out in the Schedules of the above Regulations.  General conditions apply to all licences, and further relevant conditions are specific to the activity that is being applied for.

The procedural guidance and other guidance notes can be downloaded from the DEFRA pages of GOV.UK.

These include:

Application forms

An animal activity licence application form (Part A) [PDF, 291 KB] can be downloaded, printed and sent to us along with an application form for a licence to hire out horses (Part E) [PDF, 411 KB].

Both forms are required for the application. All documents supporting this application must be supplied within three working days, otherwise the application may be deemed incomplete and be rejected. The application process will not commence until all information has been received.

Timescale

We aim to process applications within 10 weeks, however this may take longer if further information is required or if it proves difficult to make the arrangements for the inspection.

Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) England Regulations 2018

The Government introduced a significant change with the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) England Regulations 2018. Visit the Canine and Feline Sector Group’s website for guidance documents to assist businesses in meeting the new requirements set out under those Regulations which came into effect on 1 October 2018.

Any person running an establishment where wild animals are kept for exhibition to the public (other than for the purposes of a circus or a pet shop) requires a licence.

In order to issue the licence the council will inspect the premises and consult other local agencies such as DEFRA, police, fire and the planning authority.

Licences are usually granted for four years.

How to apply

A notice of intention to apply  Form-B [PDF, 89Kb], must be published in at least one national and one local newspaper and a further copy exhibited at the site of the proposed zoo.

A further notice to Local Authority Form C [PDF, 305Kb], detailing intention to apply, must be submitted to the council. Both notices must be submitted at least two months before a full application can be made.

Only after at least two months after the submission of notice of intent to apply, a full licence can be applied for.

You can download an application form for new and existing applicants Form D [PDF, 209Kb] and return it to the Licensing Department, PO Box 42, Church Square House, Scunthorpe, DN15 6XQ

All documents supporting your application must be supplied within three working days, otherwise the application may be deemed incomplete and rejected. The application process will not commence until all the information has been received.

If you require any further information, please contact the licensing team on licensing@northlincs.gov.uk or call 01724 297000.

Timescale

We aim to deal with grant and renewal applications within 105 days. Tacit consent applies. This means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted/renewed if you have not heard from us by the end of the above application period.

You can find the fee for this licence by going to our licence fee register.