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When the Government introduces a new set of regulations, they are required to carry out an impact assessment to estimate the financial, environmental and social implications of the changes. The impact assessment for the new Animal Welfare Regulations can be found here. The new regulations are based upon the old 2006 Act of Parliament and are a modification of the original regulations rather than a new interpretation. This is relevant as it does not change the format of the regulations, only the detail of how the Act is applied. By broadening the scope of the regulations, more dog breeders will be required to be licensed, which is appropriate in many cases but inappropriate in others depending on your point of view.

Following the new Animal Welfare Regulations on October 1st 2018, there is a huge amount of confusion in the dog breeding community about how the new licensing regime will apply to different circumstances particularly in the case of small occasional breeders of less than three litters a year. Here are the issues:

Business Test

The first point of confusion is whether or not a small breeder would be deemed to be running a business. There is no clear definition in the animal welfare regulations and local authorities are arbitrarily applying a business test in some cases using the HMRC £1000 income limit. Even though this limit is not in any way related to animal welfare. Clearly local authorities need to establish a common business test definition otherwise the regulation would apply differently in different regions. The House of Lords also had trouble defining the business test so they decided to pass the buck to the local authorities.

As a community of animal lovers, here at YouDoPet we keep a keen eye on what is happening in the Animal Welfare world. The new legislation coming into force on Monday 1st October 2018 means anyone breeding puppies and selling them in England will probably need to be licensed to do so by their Local Authority. Many breeders are already licensed and meeting the standards set out by their Local Authority, but if you are not licensed and want to breed dogs in the future, even as a hobby, we recommend strongly that you follow the link below to the Animal Welfare Legislation page to research for yourself what you need to do next. If you intend to buy a puppy from next week, it is important you are aware of the rules too. The main changes are about important record keeping, but we have some good news for licensed breeders reading this article.

Firstly let’s look at 12 THINGS buyers and sellers need to be aware of from October 1st 2018:

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