The Animals Activities Licensing regime for Wales came into force on September 2021. From that date any business in Wales commercially trading live animals needs a licence from their local authority issued under the new regulations.

Retailers and wholesalers who sell fish will need to familiarise themselves with what to expect when they are next inspected because it is more complicated than the previous pet shop inspection and licensing regime.

You can read the Guidance here that relates to selling animals as pets which outlines what your business must demonstrate during an inspection. The parts most relevant to our sector are:

  • Part A – General Conditions
  • Part B – Specific Conditions: Selling animals as pets
  • Part K – Reptiles and Amphibians (if you sell these)
  • Part L – Fish
  • Guidance for inspectors on businesses consolidating imports of fish (if you are a consolidator – this is in Part L at the end)
  • Higher Standards (if you wish to pursue these)

The guidance sets out the minimum standards you need to reach to get the annual licence. There are also a number of higher standards you can go for which will help you get a 5-star licence. Unlike in England, getting these higher standards and higher star rating does not lengthen your licence period.

Your local authority may also have a new form to fill in for your inspection. Always ask your local authority for its form.

It’s likely you will need to produce a number of written procedures and start using weekly written recording sheets if you do not already do this, as part of the licensing process. We have produced advice for OATA members, as well as templates you might find useful. OATA member businesses can log into the Members’ Area here and look for the section on Animal Activity Licensing in Wales and find templates to use there.