Animal licensing in Scotland changed on 1 September 2021
The licensable activities are:
- The breeding of dogs
- The breeding of cats
- The breeding of rabbits
- The sale of animals as pets in the course of a business
- The operation of animal welfare establishments
- The rehoming of animals
The breeding of dogs
Any person breeding 3 or more litters of puppies in any 12 month period is required to be licensed regardless of whether the breeder sells or otherwise supplies a puppy as a pet to another person
The breeding of cats
Any person breeding 3 or more litters of kittens in any 12 month period is required to be licensed regardless of whether the breeder sells or otherwise supplies a kitten as a pet to another person
The breeding of rabbits
Any person breeding 6 or more litters of kits in any 12 month period is required to be licensed regardless of whether the breeder sells or otherwise supplies a kit as a pet to another person
The sale of animals as pets in the course of a business
This activity captures the following conduct:
- Selling animals as pets in the course or a business
- Selling animals, with the expectation that they will be resold as pets, in the course of a business
- Keeping animals in the course of a business with a view to them being sold as pets
- Keeping animals in the course of a business with a view to them being resold as pets
The operation of Animal Welfare Establishments (AWE)
Under the Regulations, an operator of an AWE (such as an animal sanctuary or animal rehoming centre) will require a licence if a threshold number of animals are kept in the AWE for their care.
An AWE is a place in Scotland where -
- Animals that have been abandoned or otherwise separated from their keepers,
- Sick, injured or captured animals that were previously living in a wild state
are kept for their care.
Please get in touch with the Animal Welfare Team for more information
The rehoming of animals (other than operating an AWE)
Under the regulations this means any operator that supplies an animal as a pet to a person in Scotland is required, subject to some exceptions, to be licensed if the following conditions are met:
- The person being supplied physically receives the animal in Scotland, and
- The supply takes place during a 12 month period in which at least 4 other animals are supplied by the operator as pets to a person in Scotland
Rehoming will require a licence where 5 animals are supplied as pets in a single movement or where 5 animals are cumulatively supplied as pets over the course of a 12 month period.
This activity relates to both the rehoming of animals originating within and out with Scotland.
The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (Scotland) Regulations 2021 allow the Local Authority to issue licences with a duration of one, two or three years.
In determining the duration of a licence, the Local Authority must be satisfied that the period to be granted is appropriate on the basis of its assessment of the following:
- The risk of the applicant breaching the licence conditions (including any particular licence conditions to be attached to the licence by us in relation to that particular operator)
- The possible impact of any such breaches on the welfare of any animals
- Whether the applicant is already operating to higher standards of animal welfare than required by the licence conditions