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Animal Welfare Licences

Licence rating and guidance notes

Star Rating

Businesses will be awarded a star rating which will appear on their licence. 

The risk and standards are assessed during an inspection of the animal activities licensed under the Regulations.  This will determine the length of the licence and the star rating (with the exception of keeping or training animals for exhibition, where all licences are issued for 3 years).

Inspectors will use the following scoring matrix

 Scoring

 Matrix

 Welfare Standards

 Minor Failings

existing business that is  failing to meet minimum standards

 Minimum Standards

as laid down in the schedules* and guidance**

 Higher Standards

as laid down in the guidance**

 Risk

 Low Risk

 1 Star

 1 year licence

minimum 1 unannounced visit within 12 month period

 3 Star

 2 year licence

minimum 1 unannounced visit within 24 month period

 5 Star

 3 year licence

minimum 1 unannounced visit within 36 month period

 Higher Risk

 1 Star

 1 year licence

minimum 1 unannounced visit within 12 month period

 2 Star

 1 year licence

minimum 1 unannounced visit within 12 month period

 4 Star

 2 year licence

minimum 1 unannounced visit within 12 month period

 *Schedules

**Guidance – see links below

Meeting the higher standards

For each activity, a number of higher standards have been determined.  Meeting the higher standards is optional but this is the only way to gain a higher star rating.  The higher standards are classified as:-

  • required
  • optional

and are outlined in relevant guidance documents:

To distinguish between required standards from optional ones, the higher standards that are required appear in blue text and optional standards are in red text.  To qualify as meeting the higher standards, the business needs to achieve all of the required higher standards as well a minimum of 50% of the optional higher standards.

Appeals

If you do not feel that the star rating reflects the animal welfare standards and risk level of the business, please feel free to contact the inspecting officer for an informal discussion on how the decision was made. 

You can appeal against the decision by writing to the Lead Specialist – Community at the Council, but this must be done within 21 days (including weekends and bank holidays) following the issue of the licence.  The Council will inform you of the outcome of the appeal within 21 days. 

If you disagree with the outcome of the appeal, you can challenge this decision by means of judicial review.