To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Local Authority Enforcement Project in Wales, what similar support he is making available to local authorities for collaboration on animal welfare enforcement across the UK.
12 March 2021
The Welsh Government has kept us informed of its Local Authority Enforcement Project and we are looking into whether any lessons can be learnt to inform better training of local authority inspectors in England.
Meanwhile, Defra has published statutory guidance notes for local authorities to support the enforcement of the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) Regulations 2018 (the 2018 Regulations) which govern activities such as dog breeding and pet sales.
The 2018 Regulations require that all local authority inspectors must be suitably qualified and the procedural guidance notes define how inspectors can meet this criterion. Such criteria includes any person holding a Level 3 certificate or equivalent granted by a body, recognised and regulated by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation which oversees the training and assessment of persons in inspecting and licensing animal activities businesses, confirming the passing of an independent examination.
We also helped facilitate the establishment of the Local Government Animal Welfare Group (LGAWG) and its website which provides information for local authority teams as well as other animal welfare enforcers such as the police and the RSPCA. This Group seeks to raise the profile of animal welfare enforcement as well as sharing best practice and providing advice for those working with animals. Supported by Defra, the Local Government Association and the Animal Health & Welfare Board England, the LGAWG provides up to date information and news.