Welsh Government Now Seeking Consultation on Introduction of Licensing Laws

Following suit from the Scottish governments consultation on the potential introduction of licensing of livery yards and other equestrian establishments earlier in 2023, the Welsh governments have now launched their own consultation into the possibility of introducing such licensing.

These proposals are designed to strengthen how animal activities are regulated in Wales, which will improve animal welfare. These proposals were published earlier in December with the consultation open until the beginning of March 2024. The “licensing of animal welfare establishments, activities and exhibits consultation” is the first phase of the development of a national model to improve welfare standards and the areas that are currently not licensed are being addressed within these consultations.

Before the consultation was launched, a targeted call for evidence was completed earlier in the year which involved local authorities and relevant sectors and agencies identifying perceived gaps in the existing legislation. As many will be aware, livery yards and a large proportion of equestrian establishments are not currently subject to any form of regulation or licensing.

The purpose of the consultation is to seek public opinion on the areas identified, as well as the opportunity to submit additional evidence supporting the proposals. This will help the government determine the priorities and to progress with the introduction of such legislation.

Areas included as part of the consultation which may affect the owners of equestrian establishments could be included under the sections mentioned of:

  • Livery Services
  • Animal encounters (such as pet therapy)
  • Pony parties
  • Animal Sanctuaries, Rehoming and Rescue Centres
  • Animal Trainers (including animal behaviourists)
  • Pet Grooming and Pet Sitters
  • Pet Care facilities (such as animal rehabilitation)

As with the earlier consultation in Scotland, these are all parts of a larger plan to introduce widespread and increased licensing of animal activities. It is therefore important for anybody involved in the industry- not just those in Wales- to look at the proposals in detail and give their feedback.

You can read the full consultation document, and give your responses here before 1st March 2024:

Consultation on the Licensing of animal welfare establishments, activities and exhibits (Wales)

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