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UK law

This is a discussion on UK law within the Laws/Legality and Ethics forums, part of the Herpetological Science & Politics category; Can someone clarify a couple of things for me? The law in the UK says you can sell the offspring ...

Laws/Legality and Ethics Discussion of the laws affecting herpetology around the world. Species legalities in different jurisdictions, import/export of animals, the legalities of species collection and the ethical considerations of all of the above.

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Old 8th September 2014   #1 (permalink)
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Default UK law

Can someone clarify a couple of things for me?

The law in the UK says you can sell the offspring from your pets without a pet shop license.

The law also says you can sell an animal which you have kept as a pet without a license.

But if you buy eggs or juveniles from someone else and raise them in order to sell, then strictly speaking you would need a pet shop license.

Do I have this right?

And what is the legal definition of a 'pet'?



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Old 8th September 2014   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: UK law

Contact trading standards



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Old 8th September 2014   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: UK law

I did - they referred me to the legislation (pet animals act) on the .gov.uk website, and the local council for a pet shop license application.

As far as my interpretation goes (something I do professionally in another specialism) you don't need a license to:
sell offspring that your pets have produced,
sell 'surplus' offspring if you acquired eggs/juvies in order to find a specific breeding animal (e.g. buy eggs in the hope that you'll get albino larvae and then sell off the wildtypes, or keep a female and sell the males etc)

But if you buy/acquire eggs or juvies with the sole purpose of raising them to sell you do.

There is no definition of 'pet' attached to the legislation, but I'm assuming that the OED of 'an animal kept for companionship or pleasure' applies.

I just wondered if anyone had a different interpretation or any experience in this area.



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Old 8th September 2014   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: UK law

As I previously posted, contact trading standards, you don't want to rely on best guesses by people in this forum.



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Old 9th September 2014   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: UK law

Contact a trading standards officer who isn't a divy..... These guys are responsible for enforcing trading laws, they need to know how the law works, if they don't they can refer to their legal department, don't be fobbed off my lazy civil servants.



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Old 12th September 2014   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: UK law

AJ Try contacting Chris Newman of the Federation of British herpetologists he may be on this forum, he will point you in the right direction, I would agree with your thinking, but the law doesn't always follow the straight line.



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Old 3rd February 2015   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: UK law

It would be good to know the right answer to this
I contacted the licence dept at my town hall in manchester and they insist that if I sell eggs or juv/adults I need a licence.
I explained to them that my adults are pets and if they lay eggs as part of natures mating why do I need a licence but they insist that if I let them mate and lay eggs then its classed as breeding commercially and need a licence.
I then asked them what happens if my tropical fish lay eggs and i sell them, as you cannot stop them breeding they said the same thing a licence is required.
there does seem a fine line between pet and commercial.



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Old 4th February 2015   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: UK law

You do not need a pet shop licence to sell animals you have bred your self, even if you do so commercially. You need a pet shop licence to sell animals you haven't bred. Many councils misinterpret the law and try to fine people. I run a small amphibian supply business, I sell animals I breed myself and don't have a pet shop licence though I have in the past.

https://www.gov.uk/pet-shop-licence

"However, you don’t need a licence to sell:
pedigree animals that you’ve bred
animals that are offspring of your own pet"

The actual act covering this, check out 7)1)a

"a person shall not be deemed to keep a pet shop by reason only of his keeping or selling pedigree animals bred by him, or the offspring of an animal kept by him as a pet "
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Geo6/14-15/35
If you have any probs with those council clowns direct them to this act and tell them to get stuffed.



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Old 5th February 2015   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: UK law

Here is my communication with the council

Me:

I own 4 axolotls, 2 male and 2 female and once a year let them breed and lay eggs and I usually keep 100 eggs and hatch/rear them before i sell them around 6 months old. As I am a private individual doing this in my home do i need a licence to sell them?

Them:
As you are purposely breeding to sell, then you will require a Pet Shop Licence. It can be applied for on our website, www.manchester.gov.uk and costs 112.00 for a licence which runs from the 1st Jan to the 31st Dec each year. I have attached the licence application also, in case you have any issues with our on-line system. (See attached file: Pet shop licence application form.doc)

Me:
they are not purpose breeding, but they naturally lay eggs and instead of destroying all the eggs i keep some and rear them then sell them.

Them:
As mentioned in your original email you advised that you "let them breed and lay eggs" therefore a licence would be required as detailed below.



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Old 5th February 2015   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: UK law

further to my other post above
this is what council say


Under the Pet Animals Act 1951 a licence is required to carry on at premises of any nature (including a private dwelling) of a business of selling animals as pets. An exception is made if a person is keeping or selling pedigree animals bred by him, or the offspring of an animal kept by him as a pet. Your initial email stated that you allow the animals to breed and lay eggs and usually keep 100 eggs and hatch/rear them before selling them at around 6 months old. This implies that you are selling the animals as a business, rather than just looking to find homes for the offspring of animals that have incidentally bred, in which case a licence is required.



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Old 5th February 2015   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: UK law

I came across this;
https://www.gov.uk/pet-shop-licence



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Old 5th February 2015   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: UK law

Quote:
Originally Posted by bellyache View Post
further to my other post above
this is what council say


Under the Pet Animals Act 1951 a licence is required to carry on at premises of any nature (including a private dwelling) of a business of selling animals as pets. An exception is made if a person is keeping or selling pedigree animals bred by him, or the offspring of an animal kept by him as a pet. Your initial email stated that you allow the animals to breed and lay eggs and usually keep 100 eggs and hatch/rear them before selling them at around 6 months old. This implies that you are selling the animals as a business, rather than just looking to find homes for the offspring of animals that have incidentally bred, in which case a licence is required.
This is an example of how council clowns misinterpret the law. Whether or not you purposefully breeding them or not is irrelevant, you do not need a petshop licence simply because you are selling animals, you can run a business breeding and selling your own animals without a pet shop licence7)1)a

"a person shall not be deemed to keep a pet shop by reason only of his keeping or selling pedigree animals bred by him, or the offspring of an animal kept by him as a pet "

Are you actually talking to trading standards at the council ? Or is it some jumped up, know nothing, council Muppet misinterpreting what is simple legislation ? Do not let these guys bully you, they have no case and will lose if they try to take you to court. If they turn up at your door to fine you tell them to sod off, if its trading standards give them all the info about what your doing. Raising 100 axolotls a year is hardly a business anyway, if you show how much effort is involved, what the expenses are and what the return is they will see this. Remember the tax man will be interested in your earnings so make sure you can offset them against costs of raising the larvae and keeping the adults.



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Old 5th February 2015   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: UK law

It may be advisable to contact this council numpty and ask which part of the act he is trying to enforce states that

"As you are purposely breeding to sell, then you will require a Pet Shop Licence. "

You need to resolve this matter before it escalates, you won't lose a court case but it will be inconvenient to get prosecuted.



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Old 5th February 2015   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: UK law

Latest email from council licence premises dept today

Your original email stated that once a year you let the animals breed and lay eggs and that you keep 100 eggs and hatch/rear them before selling them at around 6 months old. You also asked the specific question, 'As I am a private individual doing this in my home do I need a licence to sell them?' Given the information you have provided the Council is of the view that you do need a licence to sell the animals under the Pet Animals Act 1951.
I have contacted trading stadards to ask them to define the legislation to the council and get a sensible answer so will hopefully get a reply tomorrow.



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Old 6th February 2015   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: UK law

I got a reply from trading standards

I have read the response from the Council and they are responding to the information provided to them. It appears that you are breeding the the axololts and keep 100 eggs and then sell them on. The information provided to them implies you are selling them once they have hatched and has been interpreted as you are selling them in the course of a business.
Unfortunately we cannot provide you with any other help or assistance as the Premises Licensing at the Council have the final decision in this matter and they have said you require a Pet Shop License to sell your Axolotls.



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Old 11th February 2015   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: UK law

Here is a reply I got from the neighbouring Council - Salford

I am writing further to your recent enquiry that has been passed to me from our Trading Standards team. I work in Environmental Health and we enforce the Pet Animals Act 1951 which governs the licensing of pet shops. Domestic premises can fall within the scope of the Act but you are correct in the exemptions that apply and if you are keeping the axolotls as pets, from what you describe, breed them as a hobby and not a business, then you would not require to be licensed as a pet shop. Determining whether your animals are 'pets' is open to interpretation and to assist me in making this decision, to negate the need for me to visit your home I would appreciate it if you could send me a photograph of the room in which the axolotls are housed. Once I have seen this I may be in a better position to make this assessment.



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Old 11th February 2015   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: UK law

That's actually quite a sensible way to evaluate the situation. The bad news is that the type of room most serious newt hobbyists strive to create for their collection will look exactly like a business to the council.



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Old 11th February 2015   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: UK law

These fools are STILL misinterpreting the act

"a person shall not be deemed to keep a pet shop by reason only of his keeping or selling pedigree animals bred by him, or the offspring of an animal kept by him as a pet "

Specifically

"a person shall not be deemed to keep a pet shop by reason only of his keeping or selling pedigree animals bred by him"

The act is pretty clear, the council have no jurisdiction over you. If you provide a break down of time and cost of raising 100 axolotls the council will clearly see your not running a business and they can put their petty, lazy , stupid beurocratic minds at rest.



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Old 12th February 2015   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: UK law

The important part is "kept by him as a pet". This is the area open to interpretation. When does a pet stop being a pet? Clearly a tank of axolotls kept in a living room would be deemed a pet. Scale that up to a shed full of tanks, rearing tubs etc and you'll struggle to convince people they are just animals kept for companionship or pleasure, which is essentially what a pet is.



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Old 12th February 2015   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: UK law

I can see your point Mark but you don't actually need a pet shop licence to run a commercial breeding business. I legally run a small amphibian supply business called "Amphibiworld" , i havent got a pet shop licence and was advised by my local trading standards ( who are in charge of licencing in my area) that this is within the law. Trading standards agreed that the op didn't need a licence, its the council misinterpreting the act which is the problem. This kind of situation happens periodically and the councils generally back off prior to legal action, though they seem quite happy to dish out fines. My advice to the op is stop selling axolotls till the matter is resolved and the council either determine a pet shop licence is not required or they enforce the act correctly, if they fail to do either I personally would start selling again and let them try to take it to court.



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