Pets4Homes was involved in the animal welfare enquiry before the Animal Welfare Act of 2018 came into effect, and gave written and oral evidence during this enquiry.
We provide lots of advice and information to our users regarding the new licensing requirements. Here are some of the things we do and information we provide to advertisers who use our free service:
Displaying license numbers
We enable sellers to enter their license number and local authority name / local authority website on their account if they require a license and display these details on every advert they create. We also ask them to provide us with a copy of their license so we can confirm they are actually licensed.
Licensing Information Notice
On the account page when an advertiser is logged in, we display a licensing information notice message which they need to read and dismiss. The information in this notice is below:
From 1st October 2018, the Dog breeding licensing requirements in England changed. If you are a dog breeder and aren't currently licensed, we would advise contacting your local council to discuss.
If you have a dog breeding license, please update your account details to include the license details and email us a copy of your license." On every advert page on the website, as mentioned above we display whether or not the advertiser is licensed, and if they are licensed, we display their license number and local authority details.
We also display extra information regarding licensing requirements and advise any users to report issues to the advertisers local authority.
Users have the option to read our extra information on this notice as below:
"Dog Breeding License Requirements :
A local council issued dog breeding license is required for anyone who keeps a breeding establishment (Including private dwellings) for dogs which meets the following conditions:
- If in a 12 month period their dogs give birth to 3 litters or more, regardless of whether they are in the business of breeding and selling dogs.
- Anyone "in the business" of breeding and selling dogs for commercial gain needs to be licensed regardless of the number of litters they have in a 12 month period. *
* The decision as to whether you are classed as “in the business” of breeding and selling dogs for commercial gain is decided by your local council and the requirements vary between each local council authority.
You can use the Find Your Local Council website page to check what the requirements are within your local authority as well as the contact details needed to discuss anything further with them.
Pet Shop License Requirements
A pet shop license is required if you run a business selling pet animals. This includes all commercial selling of pet animals, including pet shops and businesses selling animals over the internet.
Third Party Sales
Please note that Pets4Homes do not allow anyone to advertise kittens or puppies under a pet shop license. All puppies and kittens advertised must have been bred by yourselves.
Keeping our users well informedIn the run up to the 1st of October we published several articles relating to the animal welfare changes and advertised them heavily across the website and social media. Some of these articles are shown below:
What licensed dog breeders must do to legally advertise their litters
What breeders need to do to be licensed under the upcoming changes to the animal welfare act
Buying a puppy from a licensed dog breeder
Identifying business users
We do actively monitor sellers' accounts and if we see that they are trying to advertise three or more litters of puppies in a 12-month period, we will close their account and ask them to contact their local authority.
Regarding the business test, as you will be aware, each local authorities interpretation of this is different, and we would advise you to contact any advertisers on our website in your area which you think need to be licensed.
If they do not respond to you, if you report the adverts directly to us (see how here), we can actively disable them and e-mail them to contact their local authority licensing department to discuss their licensing requirements. We do this with some other councils, and will only let the advertiser continue to use our free platform once we have received either their license details, or confirmation from their licensing officer that they do not need to be licensed.
Providing councils with data
We have the option on our "Contact us" page for "Data Protection Request (local authorities)" if a council wishes to request data on an advertiser, in which case we can provide a spreadsheet which contains the full advertising history of an advertiser for any investigations.
Setting an example in the industry
There are many other classifieds and platforms that allow pets to be advertised, that do not provide any information related to licensing or ask for license details. We think Pets4Homes is the most responsible platform for advertising pets and we are always happy to work with local authorities and have built good working relationships with many.
If you need further assistance
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