The new “star rating” system for pet shops licensing came into effect from Monday 1st October 2018 under the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018, superceding all previous legislation. This new legislation was put in place to both provide more transparency in the pet industry, and improve animal welfare in England by putting in place more structure around the rules that need to be followed in selling all pets.
The system aims to help consumers to make better-informed decisions about the pets they buy and assists local authorities in regulating businesses that deal with animals, such as through more welfare inspections and shorter licences. The scores achieved are directly based on a combination of the business score for the current animal welfare standards, along with their level of risk (e.g. this is assessed by referring to the history of any previous licencing compliance).
Q1. When should businesses be rated?
Businesses should be rated following an inspection that takes place prior to grant/renewal of the licence or a requested re-inspection. Businesses may also be re-rated following an unannounced or additional inspection (e.g. following a complaint), if major issues are highlighted that require follow up action.
Q2. When should new businesses be rated?
New businesses should be rated following their initial inspection.
Q3. What information should the local authority provide with the star rating following the inspection at which a rating was determined?
The following information should be provided in writing:
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