Agenda item

A report on the proposed fees for The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (Wales) Regulations 2021


Heddwyn Evans referred to the background and the current situation outlined in the report. It was noted that the proposed fees were in response to the increase in people selling pets privately and online rather than purchasing from a pet shop. A reference to the Current Situation was provided, which included that an introduction to the legislation was presented through the Democratic process in November 2021 and also Lucy’s Law, which was already in place in England. The proposed fees listed on page 2 of the report reflects the additional work the authority has to undertake and the level of input from officers.


Reference was made to What is in and out of the scope: Selling Animals as Pets including the Business Test, In scope criteria, Guideline indicators of running a business of selling animals as pets, Out of scope criteria and Guideline indicators of “out of scope” activities as outlined in the report. 


Members were provided with the opportunity to ask questions which were answered by Heddwyn Evans. The main points raised were as follows: 


·        Heddwyn Evans explained that they monitor online advertisements and the frequency of advertisements by unlicensed breeders, which may indicate that breeding was done as a commercial activity.

·        There are difficulties with traceability in terms of monitoring the welfare of dogs once they had ended breeding as there is no legislation to support this. Protection is in place for licensed breeders that do not allow more than one litter a year and 6 in a lifetime. In addition, there is a retirement strategy in place and microchipping was a legal requirement. Work is continually being done to protect the welfare of animals.

·        In terms of who was categorized as a breeder, Heddwyn Evans clarified that authorities were looking at various scenarios to ensure there was consistency. Monitoring over a course of time is key to see if the activity is commercial and to make a profit. Each case will be considered on its own merit before a decision is done.

·        Following concerns raised by members that families may have a litter a year for additional income, Heddwyn Evans clarified there were no intentions to licence people in this position but rather, people who had litters from multiple dogs in a year.

·        HMRC Badges indicate that a £1000 profit may suggest a commercial activity- Heddwyn Evans highlighted that this would raise concerns given the increase in prices recently.

·        Monitoring websites, identifying breeders and patterns of operation is time-consuming. The added enforcement has been included in the fee. If additional resources will be required to undertake the work, consideration will need to be given to this.

·        Concerns were raised by members that the difference in the definition of domestic or commercial activity was a grey area.

·        Members felt that having a family pet was important, to educate children on how to care for pets. 

·        Alun Williams, CLO, reassured members that the aim was to target unlicensed people who were clearly operating as dealers of pets and are profiting from their actions. Having a licensing and fee structure for these news licences was mandatory from a legal perspective.  


Following questions from the Committee Members, it was agreed to recommend the report and the proposed fee structure for Cabinet approval.



Supporting documents: