The Government announced yesterday that they plan to introduce legislation (called 'Lucy's Law') to ban the sale of puppies and kittens through a third party agent, this means pet shops or pet dealers. The detail of this legislation has not yet been published but once introduced it should have no impact on breeders who register with GCCF as they sell the kittens they breed directly to a new owner, and not to a pet shop or animal dealer.
Reports on the new legislation have also mentioned the fact that licensed dog breeders may or will be asked to quote their license number in adverts placed on-line or elsewhere. This does not apply to most cat breeders as they remain defined as hobby breeders if not operating a commercial cat breeding business and so do not require a licence from the 1st October 2018, when new animal licensing legislation comes into effect.
Media reports on ‘Lucy’s Law’ have stated that the intention is to ban puppy and kitten farming which is correct, but it should not be forgotten that dog and cat breeding are covered by different rules (schedules) within the new legislation. Once there is further information on the detail of exactly how the new proposal will regulate advertising an update will be given.
Steve Crow - Director
Animal Welfare legislation 2018 - Defra guidelines for local authority inspectors
What is in and out of the scope: Selling animals as pets
2. Schedule1of theAnimalWelfare(LicensingofActivitiesInvolvingAnimals)(England) Regulations 2018 (“the regulations”) defines the licensable activities for each sector. In all cases except dog breeding, the licensable activity is restricted to businesses or those operating on a commercial basis.
- The regulations specify two example business tests to be considered when determining whether an activity is considered commercial, and thus within scope. They are not the exclusive factors to be considered but are examples and other factors, such as those listed in the nine badges of trade set out by HMRC, are also relevant. The regulations include the following on this issue:
- The circumstances which a local authority must take into account in determining whether an activity is being carried on in the course of a business for the purposes of this Schedule include, for example, whether the operator—
(a) makes any sale by, or otherwise carries on, the activity with a view to making a profit, or
(b) earns any commission or fee from the activity.
- This guidance is intended to assist inspectors in determining whether or not an activity may be subject to the regulations noting that ultimately there will be an element of judgement required.
- Set out below are examples of the type of activity that should or should not be considered within the scope of the regulations and the indicators that should be considered when deciding whether a licence is required.
- Local authority inspectors should take account of all elements of the advice below and weigh them against each other before reaching a decision as to whether an activity falls within scope of the regulations.
Selling animals as pets: Text of the definition in Schedule 1 of the regulations
“2. Selling animals as pets (or with a view to their being later resold as pets) in the course of a business including keeping animals in the course of a business with a view to their being so sold or resold.
In scope criteria
Activities that fulfil one or more of the following criteria are subject to licensing:
Guideline indicators of running a business of selling animals as pets
The following may assist consideration of the criteria listed above:
· Advertising through a variety of sites, forums or media could indicate a commercial activity.
Out of scope criteria
Activities that fulfil one or more of the following criteria are not subject to licensing:
Guideline indicators of “out of scope” activities
The following may assist consideration of the criteria listed above:
Update on Licensing of Cat Breeders
Please see my previous postings on this Noticeboard for the full background on this topic.
Since my last update in October 2017, work has continued to write the guidance that will be necessary for interpreting each of the five schedules contained within the Statutory Instrument drafted to amend the Animal Welfare Act 2006. To remind everyone there are five schedules covering: The Boarding of Cats & Dogs; Dog Breeding; Pet Vending; Hiring out of Horse; and Exhibiting Animals. The licensing of cat breeding will be operated under the Schedule 3: Pet Vending.
This guidance will be available to inform licensees of the requirements under each schedule and will also guide local authority Environmental Health Inspectors in interpreting and applying the requirements of the legislation when inspecting licensed premises. I have been a member of the working group developing the guidance for the Pet Vending schedule.
“The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) Regulations 2018” (www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2018/9780111165485) has now completed its journey through both the House of Commons and House of Lords without amendment. Lord Gardiner, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Biodiversity, confirmed to members of the Canine & Feline Sector Group on 1st May that licensing will be enacted from 1st October 2018. Between now and then, training will be organised and delivered to Environmental Health Inspectors in England. The legislation will not apply in Scotland, but the Welsh Assembly have developed legislation similar to that in England.
As I have reported before, the key factor in determining who is in scope to be licensed is whether the person is breeding cats with the intention of making a profit. This will be the crucial factor in establishing that a breeder is operating commercially ie. as a business. Any breeder who believes the licensing will apply to their circumstances should contact their local authority with a view to apply for a license from October this year.
My reading of the new legislation would indicate that the large majority of cat breeders registering with GCCF will be out of scope and will not require a licence. However, it is the responsibility of each breeder to check their own situation and to act accordingly. If you are breeding very regularly and in sufficient numbers to make a profit, you are likely to be considered to be a commercial pet vendor, in which case you will need to apply for a license.
I urge breeders to keep financial records so as to be able to demonstrate, when necessary, both to their local authority and to HMRC that they are not making an profit and do not require a pet vending license.
14th May 2018
Update on Licensing of Cat Breeders
I gave the following update to Council Delegates yesterday:
This issue has been under discussion for the past two years or so and I have previously issued notices giving information on the range of proposals that have been made, these have differed both in scope and potential impact on our hobby.
Over the past few months I am pleased to say that I have been able to gain some real clarity from DEFRA on how licensing will work and the criteria that will be applied.
This specific criteria applies only in England; the Welsh Assembly has drafted something very similar for Wales; the Scottish Parliament has no plans to introducing licensing at this time.
DEFRA intends to use Statutory Instruments to amend the current Animal Welfare Act 2006 – these were drafted in September and are currently titled “The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) Regulations 2018”. I have been given a copy by DEFRA.
There are five schedules covering: The Boarding of Cats & Dogs; Dog Breeding; Pet Vending; Hiring out of Horse; and Exhibiting Animals.
The licensing of cat breeding will be operated under the Pet Vending schedule, this schedule is written to cover all establishments selling animals either to an intermediary or directly to the public, eg. pet shops, commercial breeding establishments.
As many of you know, I have been working through the Canine & Feline Sector Group to feed in views and seek both amendments and clarification of the Pet Vending schedule as it relates to cats, and to ensure the guidance drafted to assist inspectors in interpreting the schedule is fit for purpose. Since June I have been part of a working group which has now refined the guidance and our recommended changes have been accepted by DEFRA.
I have also been able to gain confirmation from DEFRA that the Exhibiting Animals schedule will not apply to cat shows.
So the current position is as follows:
· Since the licensing of cat breeders will be governed under the Pet Vending schedule, the key factor in determining who is in scope to be licensed is whether the person is breeding with the intention of making a profit. This will be the crucial factor in establishing that a breeder is operating commercially. There will be no maximum litter number per year or similar (as with dog breeding), what will be considered is how much money the breeder is receiving from kitten/cat sales and stud fees off-set by the cost of keeping and breeding said cats. Therefore both the number of kittens sold and price they are sold for are relevant.
· If there is any doubt about whether a breeder needs a licence then they will need to evidence whether or not they are making a profit (probably on an annual basis). It is therefore imperative that breeders keep accurate financial records in order to prove whether or not they are making a profit. All the obvious costs will be in scope – food, litter, vets bills, heat & light, advertising, showing, stud fees, etc.
· Each breeder will need to decide whether they need to apply for a licence from their local authority, depending upon whether they believe they are in scope, ie. making a profit from selling cats/kittens. If they believe they can demonstrate they are not making a profit they will not need to apply for a licence. Any breeder who is not licensed, but is considered by the LA to be licensable, will be required to prove why they do not need such a licence. There will be penalties applied to those people operating without a licence.
· DEFRA would like to place the legislation before Parliament next spring, but this may be put back depending on the weight of parliamentary business. The earliest the licensing regulations could come into effect is around July 2018, but it is likely that October 2018 is more realistic. There is likely to be something like an 18 month implementation period before local authorities will have Environmental Health Inspectors trained and everything in place (and a period of time for breeders to apply for a licence)
· It is my belief that the large majority of cat breeders registering with GCCF will be out of scope and will not require a licence. However, it is the responsibility of each breeder to check their own situation and to act accordingly.
I will issue a further update as and when I have more information to share, or if the situation outlined above changes in any meaningful way.
5th October 2017
Combined Show and BAC Review
Following the agreement at June Council by a majority vote to embrace the sectional changes within GCCF shows and an extensive overhaul of the Breed Advisory system alongside of a revised programme for Judge/steward training, the combined groups met recently to plan and implement the process of change.
It was the consensus of all, that the groups in their current format were no longer the best vehicles to undertake the next steps. After considerable discussion it was decided to split into three groups each with a specific focus of implementation to oversee however it is fully recognised that there will be areas of overlap and interdependency.
Show Structure Implementation
Chairman: Kate Kaye
Members: Heather McRae, Elaine Robinson ad Lisa Robinson-Talboys
October Council Statement – summary of completion of SRG work
Recognition that the addition of breeds currently not recognised by GCCF can still be embraced via procedures as set out in the rules.
General publicity to as wide an audience as possible
Invitation of feedback using means such as: SRG FB site, Email
Liaison with show managements
Liaison with GCCF Office
Chairman: John Hansson
Members: Jules Candler, Jen Lacey, Sally Rainbow-Ockwell
Contact with all BACs to give them the detail of their groups (where relevant) and make a check of the draft judge analysis
Data now available indicating which judges have not undertaken an engagement for five years, confirmation with BACs and discussion on options so that these can be highlighted for SMs
BACs to continue as a forum for discussion, and Judge Appointment Groups to cover group judging with BAC or Breed club representation.
‘Panel’ to determine outcome of split decisions
Seminars no longer mandatory as a separate event may be held at breed shows
Fee to JAGs covering several breeds to be £50 for appointment & promotion
An examination of BAC funds and consideration of financial viability
Time limit for BAC response to be the end of October, but not necessary to have a formal meeting unless already planned as discussion and feedback can be electronic.
Chairman: Peter Collin
Members: Val Anderson, Sue Dalton-Hobbs, Shelagh Heavens, Val Kilby, Helen Marriott- Power,
The Training Scheme for new judges
Tutorials and assessments
Transition and training within the new Grand groups
Although this move could be seen to increase both time and expense, it is envisaged that the majority of work/issues within these groups will be undertaken and resolved via email or facetime.
It was recognised that the implementation of the sectional changes is not dependant on the BAC amalgamation and Judge training aspects being finalised. An earlier move to the new structure with a limited crossover period was considered to be beneficial to exhibitors, show managers and especially judges who will get the opportunity to judge the revised groups breeds in side classes before they are asked to undertake the breed or grand classes.
The finalizing the “mechanics” of this change is underway so it is proposed that this aspect of change should start as soon as possible therefore the intention is to take a proposal to this effect to October council. We are looking towards February 2018 for the changes to be implemented. It is envisaged that there will be a short period wherein, due to some shows having already printed their schedules, that both the current and new Grand structure will be in “play” with the changeover fully completed by June 2018.