The 2018 Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations govern the trading, breeding and boarding of cats or dogs, also the hiring of horses and the keeping or training of animals for exhibition. The Act confirms veterinarians as central to animal welfare and the control of infectious kennel diseases such as Parvovirus and Canine Distemper.
Animal Welfare Protection and Regulation in One Comprehensive Act
The new law, which came into force on 1 October 2018, places all the regulations governing animal breeding, selling and boarding in England into one comprehensive Act. The new Act reinforces the legal protection of commercially housed animals from the risk of suffering and disease. This protection is particularly relevant to kennels and commercial puppy breeding establishments.
Commercial Dog Husbandry Standards Raised and Modernised
Previously, the setting and enforcing of standards in dog breeding and boarding centres was spread over a number of animal welfare acts including the Pet Animals Act 1951, Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963, Breeding of Dogs Act 1973, Breeding of Dogs Act 1991, Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999 and latterly the 2006 Animal Welfare Act.
Registering and Licensing Dog Breeders and Sellers
Some of the Act’s most significant features related to health care and welfare standards in boarding kennels and dog breeding establishments. The housing of dogs and puppies under strict hygiene standards, and in accommodation that can be easily cleaned and thoroughly disinfected, is now mandatory in all commercial dog facilities.
Detailed record keeping is made mandatory and open to inspection. Records must include information on veterinary treatments, disease control, preventative healthcare and cleaning routines. The emphasis on health care and disease prevention confirms the central role of the veterinarian in the effective operation of the 2018 Act.
Online Advertising Standards and Puppy Health Aftersales Planning
The Act stipulates that breeding establishments must register their licenses with their veterinary surgeon and agree on an on-going health care plan to accompany all puppies sold. Online advertising of dogs for sale must include details of the seller’s licence number, country of origin and country of residence.
The 2018 Animal Activities Welfare Act creates a legal requirement for dog breeders, boarders, trainers and traders to protect their animals from suffering and disease.
By providing expert advice relating to hygiene and husbandry, together with early diagnosis of emerging threats, Vets play a central role in the prevention and containment of canine diseases including ‘social risk’ infections such as Parvovirus and Distemper.