Rochford District Council has received a spike in licensing applications for dog breeders and home boarding of dogs in the last year.
The increase in boarding appears to be connected to the rising popularity of London Southend Airport, as dog owners search for suitable premises to board their dogs in the surrounding area while they take a flight. As a result, there were 36 licences granted for home boarders this year compared to 13 the previous year.
In the lead up to the Christmas holidays, the authority is advising dog owners to ensure that they only use licensed home boarders, a full list of which can be found at: www.rochford.gov.uk/animalreg
The introduction of the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 has also placed tougher restrictions on these types of activities and requires more rigorous inspections, which has contributed to the rise in licence applications. Consequently, there were eight applications granted to dog breeders in the Rochford District this year, compared to just one in the previous year.
A licence is now required for any premise that has a business of selling puppies. All licensed premises are inspected by a Council Licensing Officer, and in the case of dog breeders, dangerous wild animals and equestrian centres a vet inspection is also required and they are then risk and star rated. The new legislation requires the Council’s Licensing Officers to undertake a specialist training course and complete examinations.
The authority advises that anyone purchasing from a breeder checks the licence number, to ensure they have the necessary licence in place. Again, you can check details at: www.rochford.gov.uk/animalreg
Rochford District Council has also granted licences for five equestrian centres, two for the exhibition of animals, one for dangerous wild animal (for the keeping venomous snakes), three for pet shops and nine for kennels and catteries in the past year.
Deputy leader of the council, Cllr Cheryl Roe, said: “The Rochford District is home to many animal lovers, and I’m sure they will welcome the fact that we are rigorously inspecting all premises which undertake dog breeding or home boarding.
“There has been a significant increase in these types of licence applications in the past year, due in part to new legislation, but the rising success of London Southend Airport also appears to have been a factor as it has created an increased demand for home boarding in the area.
“We have an incredibly strong Licensing Team at Rochford District Council and they have risen to this challenge, ensuring we continue to maintain a high standard across all of our licensing operations.”
Enquiries can be made at: [email protected]