Registration and licensing of animal sanctuaries and rehoming activities in Scotland: consultation

This consultation covers proposals for a modern system of registration and licensing of animal sanctuaries and rehoming activities.

Part I – About This Consultation

Topic of this consultation

This consultation is seeking views on proposals to introduce regulations for registration or licensing of animal sanctuaries and rehoming activities in Scotland.

Scope of this consultation

This consultation covers the proposals for a modern system of registration and licensing of animal sanctuaries and rehoming activities, allowing for independent accreditation of applicants to reduce the burden on local authorities. This includes all rehoming activities in Scotland, including charities and agencies rehoming animals from abroad.

The consultation considers how thresholds for registration and licensing may be determined depending on the size of the undertaking and how this may work for larger organisations with multiple premises.

Geographical extent

Animal welfare is a devolved matter and this consultation applies to the proposed introduction of regulations on animal sanctuaries and rehoming activities in Scotland only. The appropriate administration should be approached for further information in other parts of the UK.


Anyone may reply to this consultation. The Scottish Government would particularly like to hear from: animal sanctuaries, rehoming centres, animal welfare organisations, local authorities, veterinary professionals and academics.

Body responsible for this consultation

The Scottish Government’s Animal Welfare Team is responsible for this consultation.


This consultation starts on 11 December 2017.

This consultation closes on 4 March 2018.

This constitutes a full consultation period of 12 weeks.

How to make an enquiry

If you have any queries about this consultation please contact the Scottish Government Animal Welfare Team (0300 244 5062) or by e-mail at

The Scottish Government consultation process

Consultation is an essential part of the policy-making process. It gives us the opportunity to consider your opinion and expertise on a proposed area of work.

You can find all our consultations online: Each consultation details the issues under consideration, as well as a way for you to give us your views, either online, by email or by post.

Consultations may involve seeking views in a number of different ways, such as public meetings, focus groups, or other online methods such as Dialogue (

Responses will be analysed and used as part of the decision making process, along with a range of other available information and evidence. We will publish a report of this analysis for every consultation. Depending on the nature of the consultation exercise the responses received may:

  • indicate the need for policy development or review
  • inform the development of a particular policy
  • help decisions to be made between alternative policy proposals
  • be used to finalise legislation before it is implemented

While details of particular circumstances described in a response to a consultation exercise may usefully inform the policy process, consultation exercises cannot address individual concerns and comments, which should be directed to the relevant public body.

Responding to this consultation paper

We are inviting responses to this consultation by 4 March 2018.

Please respond to this consultation using the Scottish Government’s consultation platform, Citizen Space. You view and respond to this consultation online at You can save and return to your responses while the consultation is still open. Please ensure that consultation responses are submitted before the closing date of 4 March 2018.

If you are unable to respond online, please send your response with a completed Respondent Information Form (see “Handling your Response” below) to:

Sanctuary Licensing Consultation
Scottish Government Animal Welfare Team
P Spur
Saughton House
Broomhouse Drive
EH11 3XD

Handling your response

If you respond using Citizen Space ( ), you will be directed to the Respondent Information Form. Please indicate how you wish your response to be handled and, in particular, whether you are happy for your response to published.

If you are unable to respond via Citizen Space, please complete and return the Respondent Information Form attached included in this document. If you ask for your response not to be published, we will regard it as confidential, and we will treat it accordingly.

All respondents should be aware that the Scottish Government is subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and would therefore have to consider any request made to it under the Act for information relating to responses made to this consultation exercise.

Next steps in the process

Where respondents have given permission for their response to be made public, and after we have checked that they contain no potentially defamatory material, responses will be made available to the public at If you use Citizen Space to respond, you will receive a copy of your response via email.

Following the closing date, all responses will be analysed and considered along with any other available evidence to help us. Responses will be published where we have been given permission to do so.

Comments and complaints

If you have any comments about how this consultation exercise has been conducted, please send them to


Back to top