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Agenda Item No 6

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Licensing Committee: 4th March 2014

 

Report of the Director of Development Services

 

Proposed Conditions to be attached to Animal Boarding Establishment Licences and Pet Shop Licences

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To consider a review of the conditions, which are attached to all Animal Boarding Establishment Licences and Pet Shop Licences.

Recommendation

It is recommended that a six week consultation be undertaken in relation to the proposed conditions for the Vale of Glamorgan Council Animal Boarding Establishments and Pet Shops.

Reason for the Recommendation

To ensure appropriate consultation is undertaken as part of the review of the Vale of Glamorgan Animal Boarding Establishment and Pet Shop Licensing conditions.

 

Background

2.         At present all Animal Boarding Establishment Licences are issued subject to compliance with the Vale of Glamorgan Council's "Standard Conditions for Animal Boarding Establishments", shown atAppendix A to this Report.

3.         The licensing of Animal Boarding Establishments is currently governed by the Animal Boarding Establishment Act 1963 and the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

4.         The Vale of Glamorgan Council's "Standard Conditions for Animal Boarding Establishments" were derived from model conditions, issued by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health in 1995.  These conditions are now considered to be outdated and do not take account of matters contained within the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

5.         At present all Pet Shop Licences are issued subject to compliance with the Vale of Glamorgan Council's "Standard Conditions for Pet Shops", shown at Appendix B to this Report.

6.         The licensing of Pet Shops is currently governed by the Pet Animals Act 1951 and the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

7.         The Vale of Glamorgan Council's "Standard Conditions for Pet Shops" were derived from model standards for pet shop licence conditions, issued by the Local Government Association in 1998.  These conditions are now considered to be outdated and do not take account of matters contained within the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

8.         The Animal Welfare Act 2006 represented a change to animal welfare law.  The aim of the Act is to consolidate and modernise legislation such as the Animal Boarding Establishment Act and the Pet Animals Act by placing a clear duty of care on those who are responsible for animals. 

9.         Prior to the Animal Welfare Act officers would need to have proven that as a result of individual's actions, an animal had suffered.

10.      Officers now use the Animal Welfare Act alongside the parent legislation to ensure that animals do not suffer.

11.      Officers achieve this by ensuring that conditions attached to such licences ensure that every animal is provided with the five freedoms, namely:

i. Freedom from hunger and thirst

ii. Freedom from discomfort

iii. Freedom from pain, injury and disease

iv. Freedom to behave normally

v. Freedom from fear and distress

 

12.      At present, the Vale of Glamorgan Council do not differentiate by way of condition, between those premises that board Cats or Dogs or both. 

13.      It is proposed that separate conditions are adopted for Catteries and Kennels.

14.      In 2013, The Welsh Heads of Trading Standards, the Welsh Heads of Environmental Health, and Welsh Local Government Association recommended new licence conditions to be adopted by Local Authorities in Wales.

15.      The new Licensing Conditions and Guidance for Dog Boarding Kennels are shown at Appendix C to this Report.

16.      The new Licensing Conditions and Guidance for Boarding Catteries are shown at Appendix D to this Report.

17.      The new Licensing Conditions and Guidance for Pet Shops are shown at Appendix E to this Report.

18.      The proposed conditions for Pet Shops, Animal Boarding Establishments and Dog Breeding Establishments have been adopted by 6 Welsh authorities and another 6 (including Bridgend and Cardiff) are also in the process of adopting these conditions.

19.      The Vale of Glamorgan Council are not requesting the adoption of the conditions in respect of Dog Breeding Establishments, as "The Animal Welfare (Breeding of Dogs) (Wales) Regulations 2012 are expected to come into force within the next six months, following which, we will then review the conditions.

Relevant Issues and Options

20.      The Vale of Glamorgan Council's Licensing Department have carried out research looking at specific conditions that have been specified on individual licences.

21.      As a result of this research, the Licensing Department are requesting that amendments are made to the new conditions.

22.      The requested amendments to the Licensing Conditions and Guidance for Dog Boarding Kennels are shown at Appendix F to this Report.

23.      The requested amendments to the Licensing Conditions and Guidance for Boarding Catteries are shown at Appendix G to this Report.

24.      The requested amendments to the Licensing Conditions and Guidance for Pet Shops are shown at Appendix H to this Report.

25.      The proposed conditions for Dog Boarding Kennels, Boarding Catteries and Pet Shops are intended to set a minimum standard, to be met by all licensed premises.  S1(3) of the Animal Boarding Act and s1(3) of the Pet Animals Act 1951, permit local authorities to add further conditions, known as specific conditions, to individual licences, in order to ensure that the requirements of the Acts are met.  Such conditions may be added following an inspection of the premises, and the Local Authority may put a time limit on the implementation of conditions, depending on the severity of the matter.        

26.      The period of the Licence is outlined under section 1(5) of the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963, which states:-

Any such licence shall (according to the applicant’s requirements) relate to the year in which it is granted or to the next following year. In the former case, the licence shall come into force at the beginning of the day on which it is granted, and in the latter case it shall come into force at the beginning of the next following year.

27.      It is proposed that the conditions shown at Appendices C, D and E to this report are issued for a six week consultation with those persons who are currently licensed by the Vale of Glamorgan Council as Animal Boarding Establishments and Pet Shops, with a view to the adoption of the new conditions. 

28.      Should Committee decide to implement the proposed conditions following the consultation period, they would come into effect for any Grants of Animal Boarding Establishment or Pet Shop Licences.  For existing Licence Holders, this would be on 1st January 2015. 

29.      Following consultation with current holders of Animal Boarding Establishment Licences and Pet Shop Licences, and the adoption of the proposed conditions it will be proposed that grandfather rights will apply for current Licence holders, where it is deemed suitable; for example at Animal Boarding Establishments where the current construction of the kennels or chalets do not meet the new requirements, provided that the structure is impervious and can be cleaned to a satisfactory standard, in order to prevent the spread of infectious or contagious disease.  Any new builds at the establishment(s) will be required to meet the proposed conditions. 

30.      It will also be proposed that the grandfather rights will remain unless the named Licence holder/s change or the Licence is allowed to lapse.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

31.      All resources directed to the administration and enforcement of the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963 and Pet Animals Act 1951 are recovered through the corresponding fees and charges for those Licences. 

32.      Licensing Committee approved the Licence fees associated with Animal Boarding Establishments and Pet Shops on 5th March 2013.  The current fee for an Animal Boarding Establishment Licence or a Pet Shop Licence is £222. 

33.      Any veterinary costs incurred for the duration of an Animal Boarding Establishment Licence or a Pet Shop Licence, are payable by the Licence Holder. 

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

34.      There are no implications as a result of this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

35.      Under section 1 of the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963, in determining whether to grant a licence for the keeping of a pet shop by any person at any premises, a local authority shall in particular (but without prejudice to their discretion to withhold a licence on other grounds) have regard to the need for securing

(a)that animals will at all times be kept in accommodation suitable as respects construction, size of quarters, number of occupants, exercising facilities, temperature, lighting, ventilation and cleanliness;

 

(b)that animals will be adequately supplied with suitable food, drink and bedding material, adequately exercised, and (so far as necessary) visited at suitable intervals;

 

(c)that all reasonable precautions will be taken to prevent and control the spread among animals of infectious or contagious diseases, including the provision of adequate isolation facilities;

 

(d)that appropriate steps will be taken for the protection of the animals in case of fire or other emergency;

 

(e)that a register be kept containing a description of any animals received into the establishment, date of arrival and departure, and the name and address of the owner, such register to be available for inspection at all times by an officer of the local authority, veterinary surgeon or veterinary practitioner authorised under section 2(1) of this Act

and shall specify such conditions in the licence, if granted by them, as appear to the local authority necessary or expedient in the particular case for securing all the objects specified in paragraphs (a) to (e) of this subsection.

 

36.      Under section 1 of the Pet Animals Act 1951, in determining whether to grant a licence for the keeping of a pet shop by any person at any premises, a local authority shall in particular (but without prejudice to their discretion to withhold a licence on other grounds) have regard to the need for securing

(a)that animals will at all times be kept in accommodation suitable as respects size, temperature, lighting, ventilation and cleanliness;

 

(b)that animals will be adequately supplied with suitable food and drink and (so far as necessary) visited at suitable intervals;

 

(c) that animals, being mammals, will not be sold at too early an age;

 

(d) that all reasonable precautions will be taken to prevent the spread among animals of infectious diseases;

 

(e) that appropriate steps will be taken in case of fire or other emergency;

 

and shall specify such conditions in the licence, if granted by them, as appear to the local authority necessary or expedient in the particular case for securing all or any of the objects specified in paragraphs (a) to (e) of this subsection.

Crime and Disorder Implications

37.      Under Section 17 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 the Council has a statutory duty to consider crime and disorder implications whilst regulating licensing activities.  We must have due regard to the likely effect of the exercise of those functions on the need to do all we can reasonably do to prevent crime and disorder in our area.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

38.      The Council is obliged to apply its licensing conditions on an equitable basis in the case of all applications.

Corporate/Service Objectives

39.      To protect the health and safety of the community by ensuring businesses meet legislative requirements, controlling infectious diseases, encouraging responsible companion animal ownership, controlling pests and regulating animal health and welfare.  To maintain a fair and equitable trading environment.

Policy Framework and Budget

40.      This is a matter for Licensing Committee decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

41.      This report is not ward specific.

42.      All existing licence holders will be consulted on these proposed conditions.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

43.      Housing and Public Protection.

Background Papers

None.

 

Contact Officer

Amanda Ewington, Licensing Officer 01446 709105

 

Officers Consulted

Richard Price, Legal Officer

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas, Director of Development Services

 

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