Section 1: Introduction
This guidance applies in Scotland only. It is issued by the Scottish Ministers under section 38 of the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006. The purpose of this guidance is to help applicants for or holders of a pet sellers licence understand the requirements of the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (Scotland) Regulations 2021 (hereinafter referred to as "the Regulations"). You can find the Regulations here: The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (Scotland) Regulations 2021 (legislation.gov.uk).
This guidance is advisory only. If there are conflicts between the content of this guidance and the provisions of the Regulations or any other legislation, the statutory provisions should take priority. The interpretation of legislation is ultimately a matter for the courts.
The Regulations came into force on 1 September 2021. They replace previous legislation covering pet sales and dog breeding and introduced new licensing requirements for cat and rabbit breeders, animal welfare establishments (such as animal sanctuaries and rehoming centres) and other pet rehoming activities, subject to operators meeting the licensing criteria for each activity.