Agenda item - Animal Activity Licensing

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Agenda item

Animal Activity Licensing

Report of the Executive Director, Neighbourhoods, Communities and Housing (copy attached)

Minutes:

14.1    The Committee considered a report of the Executive Director, Neighbourhoods, Communities and Housing detailing the legislative changes which had been made to the Licensing of Animal Activities. The report set out the revised fees and charges implemented from 1 October 2018 which were based on the cost of recovery in relation to the licensing of Animal Activities and set out the delegation of authority for granting, refusing, suspending or revoking of licences. The level of fees and charges levied were to be set locally and were based on full cost of recovery. The Animal Welfare (licensing of activities involving animals) (England) Regulations 2018 had come into effect on 1 October 2018.

 

14.2    It was noted that the new regulations would amend or repeal pre-existing legislation as set out in the report and were now the primary legislation for licensing, animal boarding (catteries and kennels), home boarding of dogs, dog day care, dog breeding, riding establishments, sales of animals (formerly pet shops) and performing animals. A copy of the legislation in full was attached at Appendix 2 to the report.

 

14.3    The Chair, Councillor O’Quinn, stated that the changes in legislation were welcomed as they clarified many of the grey areas that had emerged as a result of the rise in dog care services in particular, home care services which had risen over recent years. Detail specifying arrangements as to how dogs could be accommodated within a property and in relation to written consent being given by a dog’s owner were helpful both for those running small businesses and for dog owners themselves.

 

14.4    Councillor Hyde concurred, stating that she was pleased to note that concerns that had been expressed in regard to the previous legislation and the new regulations as originally drafted had been addressed. Councillor Hyde cited a resident in her ward who operated a small reputable dog care business around her child care responsibilities. Whilst it was important that animals were cared for to an appropriate standard if requirements had been too draconian she would have had to cease her business which would have placed her family in a very difficult financial situation.

 

14.5    Councillor Cattell sought clarification regarding elements of the legislation which related to dog grooming and regarding where the activities of organisations such as the RSPCA fell within the legislation.

 

14.6    Councillor Page sought clarification regarding the operation of circuses or other shows where live animal performances took place and in respect of the checks and balances which were in place to ensure that these animals were properly kept and looked after, also in relation to pet vending establishments where the level of fees chargeable appeared to have reduced. It was explained that the number of pet shops in the city had reduced and that that was also reflected in the level of fees charged. Councillor Page also enquired regarding the process for revoking/refusing a licence and it was explained that was a two stage process.

 

14.7    Councillor Morris stated that he still had some concerns regarding the conditions under which animals were kept and how their health needs were catered for, particularly aquatics, it was explained that the care of all animals and fish was covered by these regulations and parallel legislation.

 

14.8    Councillor Deane stated that dog walking services did not appear to be covered but it was explained that this was regulated by legislation.

 

14.9    Councillor Wares stated that for completeness in his view the Committee also needed to ratify the proposed delegations to officers to so that they were authorised to invoke them as appropriate. The Chair, Councillor O’Quinn concurred in that view and Councillor Wares formally proposed the resolution set out at (3) below. This was seconded by Councillor O’Quinn and then voted on and agreed unanimously by the Committee.

 

14.10  RESOLVED – (1) That the Committee notes the legislative changes to the Licensing of Animal Activities set out in the report;

 

(2) That the Committee ratifies the fees and charges detailed in the table set out at paragraph 3.2.3 of the report; and

 

(3) To the extent that it may be required, that the Committee also ratifies the proposed delegation of powers as set out on paragraph 3.5 of the report.

 

Note: Having declared a personal and prejudicial interest in relation to the above report Councillor Knight withdrew from the meeting during its consideration and took no part in the discussion or decision making process.

Supporting documents:

 


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