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Animal licensing solicitors

The regulation of pet breeding and sales has become an increasingly important focus of local authority enforcement work. In recent years new licensing regimes and legislation has come into force with the purpose of protecting the welfare of animals and ensuring that breeders and sellers are regulated properly. This means that any individual or business wishing to breed animals will, in most cases, require a licence to do so. The failure to hold the correct licence or a failure to follow licence conditions can result in enforcement action, including financial penalties, licence suspensions and revocations, and prosecutions.

If you have any concerns about your business in relation to the licence needed or the regulations in relation to breeding or selling animals, get in touch with our expert team for specialist advice. Call us on 0161 696 6250 or complete our online enquiry form.

 

Animal licensing and regulation

An animal license will only be issued by your local licensing authority if they are satisfied with your application and that you meet all of the relevant requirements. The licence itself will have a number of conditions that must be adhered to, including conditions in respect of the number and type of animal, staffing, environment, diet, animal handling and interactions, and protection from pain, suffering, injury and disease.

License implications

If the local authority is satisfied that you are not complying with licence conditions in place, there has been a breach of regulations, information supplied by the licence holder is misleading, or it is necessary to protect the welfare of an animal, they can:

  • Suspend your licence;
  • Vary your licence; or
  • Revoke your licence.

If the local authority intend to vary or suspend your licence, you will have an opportunity to make written representations and you must do so within 7 working days of receipt of the decision. It is important to note that you seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity to ensure that representations can be made within this timeframe.

After representations are made, the local authority are required to make a decision as to how to proceed within 7 working days. If you continue to disagree with the local authority’s decision, you have the right of appeal to the First-tier Tribunal.

If the local authority intend to revoke your licence, you will be notified of the decision and you have the right to appeal to the First-tier Tribunal within 28 days of the decision. The Tribunal may suspend the decision to revoke the licence until the appeal is determined.

Taking action immediately can help your business to minimise the risks of serious enforcement measures being taken and help protect your business interests. If you require assistance with any of the above, it is important that you seek advice and contact us on 0161 696 6250 or complete our online enquiry form.

Offences

If the local authority is satisfied that there has been a breach of a licence condition, this is an offence and they have the power to prosecute and this can result in financial penalties.

It is also an offence to carry out a licensable activity without a licence; the local authority have the power to prosecute and this can result in heavy financial penalties, imprisonment for up to 6 months, or both.

Convictions can have implications on your licence, and it can disqualify you from holding a licence or owning animals in the future. It can therefore have a huge impact upon your business and it is imperative that you seek advice at the earliest opportunity. 

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