Handbook chapter 2

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Handbook chapter 2

  1. 1. CHAPTER 2 LICENSING ANIMAL ESTABLISHMENTS To ensure the safekeeping and welfare of certain companion and captive wild animals in mainly commercial establishments, the local authority has a duty of licensing in accordance with the following legislation: Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963 Breeding of Dogs Acts 1973 & 1991 Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999 Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 Performing Animals (Regulations) Act 1925 Pet Animals Act 1951 Riding Establishments Acts 1964 & 1970 Zoo Licensing Act 1981 In deciding whether to grant a licence, the council, as well as being able to withhold it for other reasons, must pay regard particularly to the need to ensure that the animals will be suitably accommodated, fed, exercised and protected from disease and fire. In addition, proper records must be kept and made available for inspection. A licence will contain these conditions, amongst others, which may be added by the local authority. Often there are guidelines and model licence conditions are available to adopt or use as reference, such as those for the breeding of dogs, boarding establishments and pet shops. Care should be exercised in using these guidelines and discretion used to relate them to the particular circumstances of the establishment. A licence fee will be charged by the issuing authority, which should cover the costs of administration, both inspection by the local authority officer and veterinary inspector (if used/required) and towards likely enforcement expenditure. Although the relevant Act may stipulate a minimum fee to be charged, there is no current upper limit but all authorities should be able to justify their fees against the cost of operations. Councils may authorise, in writing, any of its officers or any veterinary surgeon to carry 2-1
  2. 2. out inspections. Some acts stipulate that a veterinary inspector is required (possibly for the first inspection of the new licence only) and that these inspections are from an approved list of vets. The majority of these licences run for a year (see appropriate Act). An applicant aggrieved by the refusal of a licence or by any of its conditions can seek adjudication through the magistrates’ court. It is important to look at the individual Acts and any additions or amendments, and to check which authority has the duty to enforce it. If there is any doubt the officer should check with a senior officer or the legal department. Inspections An animal welfare officer carrying out an inspection of any premises should have prepared for it and allowed sufficient time to undertake it fully with no interruptions. Over a period of time and after several visits, the animal welfare officer is likely to become familiar with the layout of establishments and gain some insight into their day to day running. Prior to the visit the licence application form, any previous inspection reports, and notes of any outstanding works which should have been done by the proprietor, should be read. The licence conditions (including any additional ones) for the establishment should be reviewed. An animal welfare officer should only inspect animals with which he is familiar and has either experience or knowledge. If there are some species about which the officer has little knowledge on the premises, information should be acquired prior to inspection and reference can be made to an expert in the species if required. It may be useful to refer to reference books and make contact with national and local organisations and societies, which specialise in a particular species of animal. A list of useful contacts is provided at the back of the Handbook. Some Acts, such as the Riding Establishments Act, require a veterinary inspection, so close liaison with the veterinary surgeon about the inspection will be required. Prior notice (usually at least 24 hours) should be given to the establishment of the date of inspection. The animal welfare officer should also attend when a veterinary inspection is required as the veterinary surgeon has been employed by the council to assist them in its issue of a licence. Although the veterinary inspector will supply a report and advise on whether a licence should be granted or not, ultimately, it is the decision of the council to grant a licence, not the attending veterinary surgeon. It is therefore sensible to have a local authority officer present to answer any questions about the licence from the proprietor and to be in the position to be able to advise the council on its decision. Commonly, a majority of inspectors find the use of a simple checklist as an aide-memoire to be useful when carrying out inspections. It ensures the animal welfare officer sees and 2-2
  3. 3. covers all areas of the establishment and allows him to make notes and comments on work that requires improvement or repair. Check with neighbouring authorities to see if they have developed such a checklist. Other useful sources of information can be found in the useful contacts section at the back of the Handbook. Good inspection technique involves the ability to observe and communicate. The check- list will keep the animal welfare officer focused on the areas to be inspected, but as he looks around the establishment, constant observation as well as engaging in conversation with staff, helps to get an overview. Enquiries with staff should include questions such as; has there been any illness in the unit? What improvements are planned? What’s your routine when a new animal arrives? The animal welfare officer’s response and comments to staff should not only be about what (if anything) needs to be done at an establishment, but also encouragement and advice on improvements and ways to introduce such items as environmental enrichment programmes. By this means, despite ensuring the establishment meets its licence conditions, the animal welfare officer offers advice on improving and building on existing facilities. The opportunity can also be taken to explain about any changes to legislation and licence conditions and bring the establishment up to date on the latest practices and materials. It is also possible to learn better practices from a well run establishment. Enforcement Situations at an establishment can change quickly, either due to staff shortages, property damage, or overcrowding of animals. It is not practical or cost effective to visit the premises weekly, so the local authority is reliant on customers/visitors to alert them if there are any problems. Carrying out an inspection at the time of the licence application and, if possible, a subsequent inspection later on in the licensing year helps monitor establishments. A third inspection during the winter months, when other factors like heating need to be taken into account, is beneficial but very much dependent on the availability of resources. Experience will show which premises require more frequent visits and which are well run. These additional visits (which could include the initial inspection if appropriate) should be un-announced so there is no likelihood of any general ‘tidying up’ of the establishment prior to the visit. It is an offence wilfully to obstruct or delay the exercise of the powers of entry and inspection by authorised officers at all reasonable times at licensed premises. Entry to unlicensed establishments may require police assistance and/or a warrant issued by the local magistrate. Investigation will be required of a complaint logged against a licensed establishment and must be fair and impartial. Obtaining some background information could assist prior to making a visit and inspection. For example, if a dog returning home after being boarded at a kennels has cuts over its body which later were examined by the owner’s veterinary 2-3
  4. 4. surgeon; it would be useful to have the veterinary surgeon’s report on the dog as it may give some indication of how the injury was caused. When interviewing the proprietor about the complaint, the animal welfare officer will consider if there has been any contravention of the licence conditions. The seriousness of the matter will determine whether legal proceedings, usually through the magistrates’ court, are required or a less formal approach may be taken. The less formal approach may be appropriate when repair can be done immediately or improvements can be made during an agreed framework of time. When requesting any works to be done, the animal welfare officer is advised to inspect completion. All requests for improvements or works should be confirmed in writing to the licensee by way of the issue of an Improvement Notice. Such a Notice is issued at the time of a visit detailing the works required and a time for completion. The process for taking legal proceedings will vary from council to council, and the legal department should be consulted. In the majority of cases, the animal welfare officer will be required to submit a report, inspection sheet, photographic evidence and witness statements together with any additional reports, such as that provided by a veterinary surgeon, copy of the licence and licence conditions for the subject. Definition of a local authority A local authority is defined in the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963, S5(2): “‘local authority’ means the council of any . . . county district, the council of a . .. borough or the Common Council of the City of London, and in Scotland means [a council constituted under section 2 of the Local Government etc (Scotland) Act 1994” and this definition is used throughout. Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963 Catteries and kennels for cats and dogs must be licensed by the local authority. For this purpose a kennels is defined as: “the carrying on by him at premises of any nature (including a private dwelling) of a business of providing accommodation for other people’s animals: Provided that (a) a person shall not be deemed to keep a boarding establishment for animals by reason only of his providing accommodation for other people’s animals in connection with a business of which the provision of such accommodation is not the main activity; and (b) nothing in this Act shall apply to the keeping of an animal at any premises in pursuance of a requirement imposed under, or having effect by virtue of, the Animal Health Act 1981.” 2-4
  5. 5. On receipt of a licence application, the local authority should ensure the applicant is not disqualified (Sl(2)) from running this or associated businesses or from the keeping of pets: “Every local authority may, on application being made to them for that purpose by a person who is not for the time being disqualified (a) under this Act, from keeping a boarding establishment for animals; or (b) under the Pet Animals Act 1951, from keeping a pet shop; or (c), (d)... ; or (e) under the Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1954, from having the custody of animals” The Act also secures (Sl(3)) that: “ (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; a) 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; b) that appropriate steps will be taken for the protection of the animals in case of fire or other emergency; c) 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.” Additional conditions in the licence can therefore be applied as appear to the local authority as necessary or expedient for securing all of the above conditions. Any person aggrieved by the refusal of a licence or the licence conditions, can appeal to the Magistrates’ Court Sl(4): “ (4) Any person aggrieved by the refusal of a local authority to grant such a licence, or by any 2-5
  6. 6. condition subject to which such a licence is proposed to be granted, may appeal to a magistrates’ court; and the court may on such an appeal give such directions with respect to the issue of a licence or, as the case may be, with respect to the conditions subject to which a licence is to be granted as it thinks proper.” The licence must relate to the year in which it is granted (expires 31st December) or to the next following year (from 1st January, expires 31st December) Sl(5) and (6): “ (5) 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. (6) Subject to the provisions hereinafter contained with respect to cancellation, any such licence shall remain in force until the end of the year to which it relates and shall then expire.” A fee for the licence will be charged; there is no maximum. If the licence holder dies, the licence is treated as having been granted to his personal representatives for three months after the death. This period can be extended by the local authority if required in order to wind up the deceased’s estate. Otherwise, the licence cannot be transferred and relates only to the proprietor and at the premises given on the licence Sl(7): “ (7) In the event of the death of a person who is keeping a boarding establishment for animals at any premises under the authority of a licence granted under this Act, that licence shall be deemed to have been granted to his personal representatives in respect of those premises and shall, notwithstanding subsection (6) of this section (but subject to the provisions hereinafter contained with respect to cancellation), remain in force until the end of the period of three months beginning with the death; and shall then expire: Provided that the local authority by whom the licence was granted may from time to time, on the application of those representatives, extend or further extend the said period of three months if the authority are satisfied that the extension is necessary for the purpose of winding up the deceased’s estate and that no other circumstances make it undesirable.” Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 Breeding of Dogs Act 1991 Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999 A licence is required, issued by the Local authority, where there is the business of breeding dogs for sale (there is Home Office guidance on this point), whether by their keeper or any other person at premises (including a private dwelling) in S7 where: 2-6
  7. 7. “ (2) A person keeps a breeding establishment for dogs at any premises if he carries on at those premises a business of breeding dogs for sale (whether by him or any other person). (3) Subject to subsection (5) of this section, where (a) a person keeps a bitch at any premises at any time during any period of twelve months; and (b) the bitch gives birth to a litter of puppies at any time during that period, he shall be treated as carrying on a business of breeding dogs for sale at the premises throughout the period if a total of four or more other litters is born during the period to bitches falling within subsection (4) of this section. (4) The bitches falling within this subsection are (a) the bitch mentioned in subsection (3)(a) and (b) of this section and any other bitches kept by the person at the premises at any time during the period; (b) any bitches kept by any relative of his at the premises at any such time; (c) any bitches kept by him elsewhere at any such time; and (d) any bitches kept (anywhere) by any person at any such time under a breeding arrangement made with him. (5) Subsection (3) of this section does not apply if the person shows that none of the puppies born to bitches falling within paragraph (a), (b) or (d) of subsection (4) of this section was in fact sold during the period (whether by him or any other person). (6) In subsection (4) of this section “breeding arrangement” means a contract or other arrangement under which the person agrees that another person may keep a bitch of his on terms that, should the bitch give birth, the other person is to provide him with either (a) one or more of the puppies; or (b) the whole or part of the proceeds of selling any of them; and “relative” means the person’s parent or grandparent, child or grandchild, sibling, aunt or uncle or niece or nephew or someone with whom he lives as a couple. (7) In this section “premises” includes a private dwelling.” Normal conditions apply, similar to those given in the section for Animal Boarding Establishments. The need to secure adequate welfare standards is in the Breeding of Dogs Act as amended S1(4): “ (a) that the dogs will at all times be kept in accommodation suitable as respects construction, size of quarters, number of occupants, exercising facilities, temperature, lighting, 2-7
  8. 8. ventilation and cleanliness; (b) that the dogs will be adequately supplied with suitable food, drink and bedding material, adequately exercised, and . . . visited at suitable intervals; (c) that all reasonable precautions will be taken to prevent and control the spread among dogs of infectious or contagious diseases; (d) that appropriate steps will be taken for the protection of the dogs in case of fire or other emergency; (e) that all appropriate steps will be taken to secure that the dogs will be provided with suitable food, drink and bedding material and adequately exercised when being transported to or from the breeding establishment; (f) that bitches are not mated if they are less than one year old; (g) that bitches do not give birth to more than six litters of puppies each, (h) that bitches do not give birth to puppies before the end of the period of twelve months beginning with the day on which they last gave birth to puppies; and (i) that accurate records in a form prescribed by regulations are kept at the premises and made available for inspection there by any officer of the local authority, or any veterinary surgeon or veterinary practitioner, authorised by the local authority to inspect the premises;” The keeper of a licensed breeding establishment is guilty of an offence under the Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Acts 8(1) if: “ (a) he sells a dog otherwise than at a licensed breeding establishment, a licensed pet shop or a licensed Scottish rearing establishment, (b) he sells a dog otherwise than to the keeper of a licensed pet shop or a licensed Scottish rearing establishment knowing or believing that the person who buys it intends that it should be sold (by him or any other person), (c) he sells a dog which is less than eight weeks old otherwise than to the keeper of a licensed pet shop or a licensed Scottish rearing establishment, (d) he sells to the keeper of a licensed pet shop or a licensed Scottish rearing establishment a dog which was not born at a licensed breeding establishment, or (e) he sells to the keeper of a licensed pet shop or a licensed Scottish rearing establishment a dog which, when delivered, is not wearing a collar with an identifying tag or badge.” The legislation is slightly different in Scotland where rearing establishments exist and the keeper of it is guilty of an offence S8(2) if: 2-8
  9. 9. “ (a) he sells a dog otherwise than at a licensed Scottish rearing establishment or a licensed pet shop, (b) he sells a dog otherwise than to the keeper of a licensed pet shop knowing or believing that the person who buys it intends that it should be sold (by him or any other person), (c) he sells a dog which is less than eight weeks old otherwise than to the keeper of a licensed pet shop, or (d) he sells a dog which, when delivered to him, was wearing a collar with an identifying tag or badge but is not wearing such a collar when delivered to the person to whom he sells it.” In both countries the keeper of a pet shop is also committing an offence S8(3) if: “ (3) The keeper of a licensed pet shop is guilty of an offence if he sells a dog which, when delivered to him, was wearing a collar with an identifying tag or badge but is not wearing such a collar when delivered to the person to whom he sells it.” The Kennel Club will assist where possible in investigations into breeding establishments if approached by an animal welfare officer. If prosecutions are taken they have the disciplinary systems in place to deal with the matter where appropriate. The Kennel Club’s contact details are given at the useful contacts section at the back of the Handbook. Pet Animals Act 1951 (as amended) The Act relates to the licensing of pet shops but would include amongst others, pet wholesalers and aquatic fish sales from garden centres. The regulating rules are similar to those for boarding kennels and dog breeding and is defined as ‘The carrying on at premises of any nature (including a private dwelling) of a business of selling animals as pets and the keeping of those pets intended for sale either by their keeper or any other person. In this context “animal” includes any description of vertebrate (animals with a back bone). Mammals must not be sold at too early an age.’ A person is not keeping a pet shop if he only keeps or sells pedigree animals eligible for registration with a recognised club or society bred by him or the offspring of any animal kept by him as a pet, or pets which are bred for show purposes and later found they are not suitable or required for such use. It is an offence to sell pets in any part of a street or public place or from a stall or barrow in a market (see Pet Animals Act 1951 S2) or to a person the seller has reasonable cause to believe is under the age of 16 as amended by the Animal Welfare Act 2006. It is wise to check with the council legal department regarding a definition of a public place. Riding Establishments Acts 1964 and 1970 The keeping of a riding establishment is defined as the carrying on of a business of keeping 2-9
  10. 10. horses for either or both of the following: a. horses are being let out on hire for riding; b. horses are being used to provide instruction in riding for the return of money The above require licensing by the local authority. Military establishments, the police, the Zoological Society of London and Scotland are exempt from licensing, including universities providing courses for veterinary students. Again, the rules about licensing are similar to those for kennels, pet shops and dog breeders, although there are a number of pre-conditions before a licence can be granted: ● the applicant must be at least 18 years old or an incorporated body; ● the applicant must not be disqualified from keeping an animal licensing establishment or from having custody of animals; ● payment of a licence fee, and that the establishment is in the area of the local authority; ● the riding establishment must be inspected by a veterinary surgeon (vet from approved RCVS list) and to include in his report the condition of the inspected horses; ● the applicant must be able to demonstrate that he has experience in the management of horses or holds an approved certificate. (See Act; for example the British Horse Society Instructor Certificate). Before granting a licence the local authority must consider the following: ● Health and safety records (including keeping a register of horses under 4 years old) ● shoeing ● accommodation ● food and water supply ● shelter ● bedding material and bedding 2-10
  11. 11. ● exercising ● grooming ● resting ● disease prevention and first aid equipment (including medicines) ● fire precautions ● forage ● stable equipment and saddlery ● suitability of the horses for hire or instruction ● the provision of liability insurance. If the local authority is not satisfied that a full licence should be granted, it can issue a provisional licence for three months which may be extended by a further three months to ensure standards are improved. Any horse found during the inspection to be unfit, requires a veterinary certificate to be issued prior to its return to work. It is an offence to obstruct an authorised officer in carrying out his duties to enter and inspect a licensed premises or to conceal a horse with intent to avoid its inspection. Other offences include: keeping an unlicensed riding establishment; a breach of the licence conditions; using a horse when it is likely to cause it suffering; supplying defective equipment causing suffering or an accident to its rider; using a horse under four years of age or a mare heavy with foal or within three months after foaling and giving false information. Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 The Act regulates the keeping of certain species of dangerous wild animals. The fundamental aim is to prohibit the possession of such animals except under licence to ensure public safety. It also covers the welfare of the animals kept, but not in great detail. The Act applies to animals listed in its schedule and the list may be amended by the Secretary of State (DEFRA). Licences to keep dangerous wild animals are granted by the local authority. Zoological collections, circuses, pet shops and places registered under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 are exempt from the Act S5 as they are already licensed under separate legislation: “The provisions of this Act shall not apply to any dangerous wild animal kept in: 2-11
  12. 12. (1) a zoo within the meaning of the Zoo Licensing Act 1981 for which a licence is in force (or is not for the time being required) under that Act; (2) a circus; (3) premises licensed as a pet shop under the Pet Animals Act 1951; (4) a place [which is a designated establishment within the meaning of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986].” As with all licensing of animal establishments, certain conditions are required to be met prior to the licence being granted. These are in S1(3)(c) to (f) and relate to the species being kept, the applicant’s ability to ensure the welfare of the animal and its security and protection against disease, fire and other emergency: “ (c) any animal concerned will at all times of its being kept only under the authority of the licence (i) be held in accommodation which secures that the animal will not escape, which is suitable as regards construction, size, temperature, lighting, ventilation, drainage and cleanliness and which is suitable for the number of animals proposed to be held in the accommodation, and (ii) be supplied with adequate and suitable food, drink and bedding material and be visited at suitable intervals; (d) appropriate steps will at all such times be taken for the protection of any animal concerned in case of fire or other emergency; (e) all reasonable precautions will be taken at all such times to prevent and control the spread of infectious diseases; (f) while any animal concerned is at the premises where it will normally be held, its accommodation is such that it can take adequate exercise.” Currently, as with riding schools, a veterinary report is required S1 (5): “A local authority shall not grant a licence under this Act unless a veterinary surgeon or veterinary practitioner authorised by the authority to do so under section 3 of this Act has inspected the premises where any animal will normally be held in pursuance of the licence and the authority has received and considered a report by the surgeon or practitioner, containing such particulars as in the authority’s opinion enable it to decide whether the premises are such that any animal proposed to be kept under the authority of the licence may suitably be held there, and describing the condition of the premises and of any animal or other thing found there.” Because of the specialist nature of the animals kept, it is advisable to find a veterinary surgeon who has experience with the species kept. A local veterinary practice may be able to advise of a suitable person or the BVA will provide contacts for the British 2-12
  13. 13. Veterinary Zoological Society (BVZS). In addition DEFRA have a list of veterinary zoo inspectors. Any additional cost should be reflected in the overall fees to the applicant. Liability insurance is also required S1(6)(iv) in case the animal escapes and causes injury or damage; “ (iv) the person to whom the licence is granted shall hold a current insurance policy which insures him and any other person entitled to keep the animal under the authority of the licence against liability for any damage which may be caused by the animal; and (v) the terms of any such policy shall be satisfactory in the opinion of the authority;” Security of the animal is a prime consideration, so additional licence conditions for this and welfare requirements can be added where deemed necessary. If a dangerous wild animal is kept without a licence, or a condition of a licence is contravened or not complied with, the council may seize the animal S4(1) and dispose of it with no compensation payable. “Where (a) an animal is being kept contrary to section 1(1) of this Act, or (b) any condition of a licence under this Act is contravened or not complied with, the local authority in whose area any animal concerned is for the time being may seize the animal, and either retain it in the authority’s possession or destroy or otherwise dispose of it, and shall not be liable to pay compensation to any person in respect of the exercise of its powers under this subsection.” If the animal is moved it is a requirement for the keeper to inform the local authority in whose area it will be moved to S1(8): “Where a local authority proposes to insert in a licence under this Act a provision permitting any animal to be, for any continuous period exceeding 72 hours, at premises outside the area of the authority, the authority shall consult the local authority in whose area those premises are situated.” Zoo Licensing Act 1981 All zoological gardens (zoos) are required to be licensed by the local authority. Applications for a licence must be received in writing at least two months before commencement to allow time to arrange inspections. New applications must be advertised in the local and national press with a copy available on site. Certain conditions and standards will be attached to the licence which cannot be granted unless consideration is given to the health and safety of persons living in the neighbourhood 2-13
  14. 14. of the zoo and that there are adequate standards of accommodation, staffing and management for the proper care and well being of the animals present. An initial licence is for four years with fresh licences granted to existing licence holders every six years. Inspectors must come from the DEFRA list of experienced veterinary surgeons and competent persons, normally outside zoo staff. Periodic inspections must also be carried out by the local authority giving not less than 28 days notice to the zoo management. Special investigations of a zoo can be carried out at anytime. The local authority or DEFRA can alter the licence conditions or cancel them, but must allow for representations from the licence holder. DEFRA have issued guidelines to the local authorities and also implement or give advice on European Directives on zoos. Contacting the nearest council who have a zoo in their area for advice on procedures may be helpful if this is the local authority’s first licence application. The British Veterinary Zoological society (BVZS) can also help with advice. Their details are at the useful contacts section at the back of the Handbook. Performing Animals (Regulation) Act 1925 Persons who exhibit or train any performing animal are required to register with the county council which are defined in S5(1) as: “ As respects the City of London, the common council; As respects any London borough, the council of the borough; As respects any county or metropolitan district, the council of the county or district:” and in S6 (a) for Scotland as: “ The expression “local authority” means a council constituted under section 2 of the Local Government etc (Scotland) Act 1994.” Exhibit is defined in S5(1) as: “The expression “exhibit” means exhibit at any entertainment to which the public are admitted, whether on payment of money or otherwise, and the expression “train” means train for the purpose of any such exhibition, and the expressions “exhibitor” and “trainer” have respectively the corresponding meanings.” The animal welfare officer should be aware of his council’s policy on circuses. Some authorities do not allow circuses which have animals to use council controlled land. Applications for registration must give details of the animals and the nature of the performances (exhibit or train). On most occasions circus trainers are the majority of persons registered. Military, police and animals used for agricultural or sporting purposes do not require registration. 2-14
  15. 15. Any place where performing animals are trained, exhibited or kept is open to inspection by authorised officers and the viewing of the trainer’s certificate. Magistrates can, on complaint made by the police or council officer, prohibit the use of animals if it is found that cruelty is caused and can make orders giving certain conditions. The Licensing Act 2003, which deals with regulating performances, also makes it a requirement for circuses to be licensed as public entertainment by local authorities. Guidance For inspectors of zoos and dangerous wild animals there are a number of circulars issued by DEFRA and guidance to help with the interpretation of the Acts and any new additional conditions. Riding schools now have a veterinary inspection form and guidance. For animal boarding establishments, dog breeding and pet shops, organisations like the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH), with help from others such as specialist animal interest groups and the veterinary profession have issued model licence conditions and guidance which is a framework for inspection standards. This is intended to offer minimal standards and encourage improvement of animal establishments. The animal welfare officer should be familiar with such documents as well as looking at the DEFRA website where up to date information can be obtained. The website also provides information on consultation exercises and their results. As scientific knowledge changes guidelines may also change and so a regular review of standards is essential. Too frequent changes of a substantial nature should be avoided as service providers will have invested significant funds in their premises. Such changes to guidance and amendments to Acts means that the animal welfare officer needs to keep informed and prepared to advise proprietors and council members. Some authorities can resource the use of a licensing newsletter sent to licence holders which helps to inform and provides a good communication link with customers. Contact with the licensing officer in other local authorities may help to develop liaison. In addition local contacts for animal charities and organisations such as the RSPCA, Dogs Trust, Blue Cross, Feline Advisory Bureau (re catteries) and reptile clubs may be useful sources of advice. County animal welfare forums offer an excellent base for officers to seek advice and exchange ideas. See the useful contacts section at the back of the Handbook. 2-15

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