Hastings council to ensure better welfare for animals

Valerie Rees's inquest was held at Muriel Matters House, in Hastings
Valerie Rees's inquest was held at Muriel Matters House, in Hastings

Better welfare for animals was recommended to Hastings Borough Council by its cabinet on Monday evening (March 4).

In October 2018, the new Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 came into force. The regulations introduce new licensing categories such as doggy day care and the keeping or training of animals for exhibition, plus new conditions for animal boarders (home and commercial), dog breeders, riding stables and selling animals as pets.

The regulations have also introduced a new risk-based inspection system. Hastings Borough Council officers are required to carry out inspections of premises under the new regulations. Officers must have had at least one year’s experience operating the old animal licensing regime, in order to carry out the inspections and must undertake a new inspector’s course within two years.

Colin Fitzgerald, lead councillor for environmental services, said: “All existing licence holders and new applicants are currently undergoing comprehensive inspections.

“As a result of our new policy the council should be able to successfully defend any legal challenges to committee decisions about animal welfare licensing in the future, should it be necessary.

“We intend to maintain a firm stance on ensuring all animals being exhibited in the town are properly licensed under the new regulations, maintaining our position on banning all performing animals.”

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