Part III – Proposals For Consultation
The Scottish Government made a commitment in the Programme for Government 2017-18 to introduce legislation for the registration and licensing of animal sanctuaries and rehoming activities in Scotland, using the powers contained in the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006. Prior to presenting such legislation for approval by the Scottish Parliament, the Scottish Ministers are required, by law, to consult such persons they consider to represent relevant interests and any other persons they consider appropriate. This public consultation document forms part of that consultation process.
The Scottish Government is seeking views on proposals for animal sanctuaries and rehoming agencies to be required to hold a license or to be registered, depending on the size of the undertaking, to carry out those activities.
The Scottish Government proposes using thresholds for exemption, registration and licensing of persons and premises.
- Premises/persons keeping up to 5 rescued/adopted animals at a time and/or rehoming up to 5 animals per year, without receiving any associated payment/fee/commission for this service or being a registered charity will be exempt.
- Premises/persons keeping 6-10 rescued/adopted animals at a time and/or rehoming up to 6-10 animals per year, without receiving any associated payment/fee/commission for this service or being a registered charity must be registered to carry out these activities.
- Premises/persons keeping
- 11 or more rescued/adopted animals at a time and/or rehoming more than 11 animals per year;
- or receiving any associated payment/fee/commission;
- or being a registered charity
must be licensed by the local authority to do so.
Current animal welfare legislation, such as the Breeding of Dogs Act 1963, ensures that those who have been disqualified from other activities reliant on the provision of acceptable animal welfare can be neither registered or licensed to care for animals. The Scottish Government agrees with that principle and seeks views on what other requirements should be contained in a ‘fit and proper’ person test to allow those who may become registered or licensed to operate an animal sanctuary or rehoming centre.
The Scottish Government also considers that legislation should provide Scottish Ministers with powers to require compliance with guidance that they approve. The requirement to use such guidance can help ensure that the best possible animal welfare standards are consistenly used by all those involved in animal rescue.