Animal rescue groups will pay hundreds of dollars for a business license in East Lothian from next week
Animal rescue groups will have to pay nearly £ 200 for a business license in East Lothian from next week.
The local authority has agreed to charge animal welfare groups and relocation organizations £ 180 to register for a license from September 1, with a renewal fee of £ 191.
This will mean a 50% increase in renewal fees already imposed on dog and cat breeders in December of last year when councilors approved an annual fee of £ 126.
The new licenses will also extend to rabbit breeders in the county.
East Lothian council said the new charges will bring the county into line with animal welfare legislation that has been extended to cover rescue groups.
It replaces the Dog Breeding Act and licenses for pet stores with those that already require a license and also face the new charges.
In December last year, the council firm agreed to introduce a fee of £ 126 for breeders of young cats and dogs.
The increase in the renewal fee, which is now being extended to cover additional groups, is based, according to council officials, on “a methodology and hourly load rates for agents.”
In a report to advisers, officials said the fees were based on the time it took to process requests.
The council said it had agreed to exempt groups that registered as charities from fees.
A spokesperson said: “The scope of national animal licensing legislation has been extended to include additional categories of herders as well as relocation and welfare organizations.
“As the licensing authority for East Lothian, we are required to implement this new regime in the county.
“As the policy clearly states, we have chosen to exempt registered charities from the fees and we encourage any organization that falls into this category to ensure that they benefit from the exemption.”
The new fees were not announced or publicly consulted before being introduced, as the council said they were not necessary as they were part of national policy.
Information on the new fees and requirements will be available on the council’s website.