The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (Scotland) Regulations 2021: guidance for pet sellers
This guidance applies in Scotland only, and is issued by the Scottish Ministers to assist applicants for or holders of a pet sellers licence to understand the requirements of the new Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (Scotland) Regulations 2021.
Section 5: Offences and penalties
The Regulations include the following offence provisions:
- The Regulations specify a number of general (welfare and animal husbandry) conditions that, regardless of which of the licensable activities is being carried out, apply to all licences issued by a licensing authority (the "general licence conditions"). The regulations also set out conditions that are specific to pet selling licences. Subject to the exceptions detailed below, licence holders will commit a criminal offence if they fail to comply with the general or relevant specific licence conditions.
- Licence holders will not commit a criminal offence if they fail to comply with an additional licence condition attached to the licence by the licensing authority under regulation 6(5) of the Regulations. Whilst failing to comply with such a condition would not constitute a criminal offence, it would represent a breach of the licence and accordingly might result in suspension, variation or revocation of the licence.
- It is a criminal offence to undertake a licensable activity without an appropriate licence from the licensing authority.
- It is a criminal offence to provide to an inspector information required by or under the Regulations which the person knows, or ought reasonably to have known, is to a material extent false or misleading.
- It is a criminal offence to fail to comply with any reasonable request from an inspector to facilitate the identification and examination of an animal and the taking of samples (including restraint of any animal where requested by an inspector).
- It is an criminal offence to intentionally obstruct any inspector appointed to enforce the regulations in the exercise of any powers conferred on them.
- It is a criminal offence for the purpose of obtaining or holding a licence—
- to make a statement required by or under the Regulations to a licensing authority (or someone acting on its behalf) which the person knows, or ought reasonably to have known, is to a material extent false or misleading, or
- recklessly to make a statement required by or under the Regulations to the licensing authority (or somebody acting on its behalf) which is to a material extent false or misleading.
A person who breaches a licence condition (where this is a criminal offence) is liable, on summary conviction only, to a fine not exceeding £5,000.
A person who commits any other criminal offence under the Regulations is liable to a fine not exceeding £40,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months (or both).
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