Arun District Council’s Licensing Officers are raising awareness of their work as part of this year’s National Licensing Week, which runs from June 17-21.
In Arun, a small team of officers deal with licensing enquiries, process applications, enforce the law and deal with complaints from members of the public regarding licensed premises or activities.
As well as dealing with licensing matters for taxis, bars and restaurants and tattoo studios, amongst others the team also deal with the welfare of animals, after new legislation came in last year.
Sarah Meeten, Licensing Team Manager at Arun District Council, says:
“If you’re thinking of welcoming a puppy into your life, did you know that breeders may be required to hold a licence to sell to you? Purchasing from a licensed breeder ensures that specified standards are met and that you are protected from buying a puppy that may have been bred in poor conditions or suffering from disease.
“The council receives numerous complaints every year from members of the public who have purchased animals that are suffering from parvovirus, cherry eye or other nasty diseases. This can be distressing and costly to pet owners.
“Nearly 90% of farmed puppies are bought via the internet. It is recommended that you follow these tips from the RSPCA if searching for a puppy online https://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/dogs/puppy
“It is also recommended that you see the puppy with its mother before purchasing it. Be wary if someone selling a puppy asks to meet you at a location rather than inviting you to see it at home.
“New regulations came into force in England last year to strengthen animal welfare, including around selling puppies and providing boarding for cats and dogs.
“The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 has been in force since 1 October 2018, replacing the previous legislation by providing a single licensing regime for a number of animal licensing activities.
“The regulations ensure that people who undertake specified activities - selling animals as pets, providing or arranging for the provision of boarding for cats or dogs (including day care), hiring out horses, breeding dogs and keeping or training animals for exhibition - will need to be licensed unless they meet certain criteria.
“A new ‘star rating’ [out of five] has been introduced for dog breeders, pet shops and others to help people rate them on their animal welfare standards [with the exception of keeping or training animals for exhibition], which is operated by Arun District Council. To find out more please call Licensing Officer Alan Goodall on 01903 737687.
“Licence holders must display a copy of their licence and adhere to the conditions set down in the new regulations, which help consumers to make better informed decisions to further improve animal welfare and are supported by organisations such as the RSPCA.
“Officers from Arun District Council have been working with licence holders to ensure that the new standards are being upheld.”
Councillor Matt Stanley, Cabinet Member for Technical Services, said: “The new licencing regime has been in force since last September and allows our licensing team to ensure animals in all businesses are well cared for, as well as providing reassurance for pet owners.”
If a member of the public believes that a premises within the Arun district is unlicensed, or has concerns about a licensed premises, they can email Arun District Council for advice at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 01903 737755. Further information about the new regulations can be found at www.arun.gov.uk/animal-licensing