Animal Trading and Breeding

Animal Trading and Breeding

Introduction




To safeguard animal welfare and animal and public health, the Public Health (Animals and Birds) (Trading and Breeding) Regulations (Cap. 139B) regulate the activities of Animal Traders, Dog Breeders, and anyone who sells or offers to sell a dog.
A person who sells, or offers to sell, animals or birds, other than those kept by the person as a pet or the offspring thereof, requires an Animal Trader Licence.

A person who sells a dog requires a licence or permit whether or not it is kept by that person as a pet. There are three types of licence and one type of permit applicable for selling a dog:
  1. Animal Trader Licence (ATL) – for selling (but not breeding) dogs from permitted sources from a licensed premises. An ATL is also applicable for persons selling other types of animals or birds which are not kept by them as a pet. The types of animals or birds permitted to be traded will be specified on the licence.
  2. Dog Breeder Licence (Category A) (DBLA) – for a person keeping up to 4 female dogs for breeding purpose and selling those dogs or their offspring from a licensed premises (which should be the licensee’s normal place of residence).
  3. Dog Breeder Licence (Category B) (DBLB) – for a person keeping more than 4 female dogs for breeding purpose and selling those dogs or their offspring from a licensed premises.
  4. One-off permit – for a person selling a dog kept by them as a pet. Dog owners must have had the dog licensed under their names for a minimum of four months. And only 2 permits will be issued to the same person in a 4-year period.

The penalty for trading animals without the proper licence or permit is $100,000 and the penalty for contravening a condition of a licence or permit issued under the regulations is $50,000.


Please also note that:

  • it is prohibited to sell a dog to a person under 16 years of age;
  • the definition of “sale” includes any transfer of an animal in return for consideration. ‘Consideration’ includes agreeing to enter into a separate transaction (for example, buying pet accessories or pet food) in return for the animal;
  • Persons conducting genuine rehoming activities for animal welfare purposes on a non-profit-making basis may apply for an exemption from holding an ATL.

If you are thinking about getting a pet, consider adoption first – you can save the life of a homeless animal! If you have decided to buy a dog, click here for more information. For information about buying other types of pet, click here.

FAQs

A1
Yes, if you are transferring ownership of the dog in exchange for a consideration (monetary or otherwise) you need a licence or permit. For the sale of a dog kept as a pet, a one-off permit is suitable. For further details about the one-off permit click here.
A2
No, if the transfer of ownership is not in exchange for money or other consideration this does not count as selling and thus no permit is required. Please remember to notify AFCD of change of ownership. For further details about transferring ownership click here.
A3
Yes, but licensees and permit holders must include their licence or permit number on the advertisement. If an individual dog is advertised the advert must also include the microchip number of that dog. Please bear in mind that although licensed traders and breeders are allowed to advertise dogs for sale on the internet (or other media) the dog must be physically kept at the licensed premises and not taken for display elsewhere. Therefore, if you buy a dog from a licensed trader or breeder you should visit the licensed premises to inspect the dog.
A4
If you believe that the advert relates to a dog for sale locally in Hong Kong, you can report the advert to AFCD via 1823 or other channels. Officers will investigate and see if there is any evidence of an offence under Cap. 139B. Some adverts might relate to dogs for sale outside Hong Kong and sometimes they are internet scams. Please exercise caution when dealing with unknown persons on the internet. 
A5
Animals other than dogs can still be sold without a licence if they are kept by the seller as a pet, therefore there are no regulations on advertising animals other than dogs at the moment. However, AFCD may still investigate if it is suspected that the advertisement is placed by an unlicensed animal trader (i.e. a person selling animals which are not kept by him as a pet or the offspring thereof).
A6
Before buying, think about adopting a homeless dog first. You can save a life! Click here for more information.
If you have decided to buy a dog, you should only buy from a licensed animal trader, licensed dog breeder or the holder of a one-off permit. Do not buy from suspicious or unknown sources as the conditions of the dogs are not monitored and there is an increased risk of diseases including Rabies. See our “Information about Buying a Dog”.

There are more FAQs on the pages for each category of licence and permit.

Information about the Animal Trader Licence (ATL)

An “Animal Trader” is a person or who sells, or offers to sell, animals or birds except those kept by that person as a pet, or the offspring thereof. Under the regulations, a person who sells a dog needs a licence or permit whether or not it is kept as a pet - please see the separate page “ATL Dog Traders” for further information.

Selling means any exchange or transfer of an animal in return for a consideration - typically the consideration will be monetary, but any type of consideration is included. For example, requiring the buyer to purchase accessories or pet food in return for exchange or transfer of the animal also counts as selling.

If you are planning to engage in activities as an Animal Trader, you must obtain an ATL from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD), otherwise you commit an offence and are liable to a fine of up to $100,000 upon conviction under the regulations.

Types of animals or birds allowed to be sold by a licensed animal trader:

Cats, chinchillas, dogs (see the separate page), domestic rabbits, domestic rats, gerbils, guinea pigs, hamsters, lizards#, mice, snakes#, turtles and tortoises#, all birds except chickens, ducks, geese, pigeons and turkeys.

# The species permitted to be sold are restricted.

An animal trader has a duty to ensure the good welfare of the animals under his or her care. Licence conditions and a Code of Standards apply to all licensees and must be observed at all times. Failure to observe the licence conditions or Code of Standards is liable to a fine of up to $50,000 upon conviction under the regulations.

Under the regulations, an ATL will only be issued or renewed to a person who is considered “suitable”. A conviction for animal cruelty or serious breach of licence conditions may render a person unsuitable to hold a licence.

What is in the Code of Standards?

The Code of Standards sets out detailed requirements for the licensed premises and care of the animals, to ensure the good welfare of the animals.

In brief, the Code of Standards sets out requirements for:

  • space requirements for the animals;
  • standards of the premises and enclosures;
  • protection of the animals from adverse conditions;
  • lighting and ventilation;
  • hygiene and cleaning;
  • nutrition and animal health;
  • control of pests; and
  • record keeping.

What is listed in the licence conditions?

The licence conditions vary depending on the species of animals or birds the licensee is allowed to sell. Here are some examples:

  • licensees must not sell animals suspected to have disease;
  • cats for sale must be vaccinated by a registered veterinary surgeon;
  • unweaned animals must not be sold;
  • all physical display of animals offered for sale must be restricted to the licensed premises;
  • precautions shall be taken to prevent the escape of animals;
  • dangerous reptiles such as venomous snakes must not be sold.

This webpage is a summary and the details given are not exhaustive. You should refer to the relevant documents for the detailed conditions which are legally binding on licensees.

How to apply for a Licence

Get the application form, the Code of Standards and licence conditions through the following channels:

  • download from AFCD’s website; or
  • visit AFCD’s office.
    (Address: 5/F, Cheung Sha Wan Government Offices, 303 Cheung Sha Wan Road, Kowloon)

Submit the completed application form to AFCD through the following channels:

  • fax to 2311 3731; or
  • mail to AFCD; or
  • submit to AFCD’s office in person.

Please enclose the following when you submit the application form:

  • Sketch of the proposed business premises
  • Photocopy of the applicant’s Hong Kong Identity Card

An officer of AFCD will process your application in 10 days and make arrangements to inspect your premises.

Important points to note

It is the licensee’s responsibility to ensure that the licensed premises meets the requirements (including statutory requirements) of other government departments and all statutory instruments (such as the Deed of Mutual Covenant) relating to the premises.

You must not conduct activity as an animal trader until after the issue of the licence.

After being granted the licence, you must not make any material alterations or modification to the primary enclosures, housing facilities or outdoor areas (if any) except with the permission of AFCD.

The licence is valid for 1 year from the date it is granted. You may receive notification from AFCD to renew the licence about 2 months before the expiry date. You must arrange renewal of the licence accordingly.

From 20 March 2017 the licence fee is $3,780 for the first grant of the licence and $2,970 for renewal.


Enquiries:

Telephone: 1823
Fax: 2311 3731
Address: 5/F, Cheung Sha Wan Government Offices, 303 Cheung Sha Wan Road, Kowloon

FAQs

  1. Is there a minimum age for a person to be issued an ATL?
    A person must be at least 18 years of age to apply for an ATL.

  2. How will AFCD decide if an applicant for a licence is ‘suitable’ to hold a licence?
    The legislation states that an applicant for a licence must satisfy AFCD that he or she is suitable to be a licence holder. AFCD may take into account any relevant considerations when deciding if a person is suitable to hold a licence. In particular, we will look at whether an applicant has any previous convictions for animal cruelty and whether he or she has breached any conditions of a previous licence or if a previous licence was cancelled. All licensees must continue to be suitable persons to hold the licence throughout the licence validity period, otherwise the licence may be cancelled.

Animal Trader Licence (ATL) for Dog Traders

The Animal Trader Licence (“ATL”) is suitable for a person selling (but not breeding) dogs from specified sources from a licensed premises. (For more information about an ATL for selling other animals or birds click here).

Licensees are required to comply with a set of Licence Conditions and a Code of Practice. It is mandatory to comply with these documents, and failure to do so can result in a fine of up to $50,000 and the licence may be cancelled.

Application Process

An application can be submitted by filling in an application form and sending it, along with the required supporting documents, to AFCD. The application form can be downloaded from here. Please read the “Notes to Applicants” carefully. You should also read the Code of Practice and Licence Conditions, to make sure you will be able to comply with them if the licence is issued.

After receiving your application, an officer of AFCD will contact you within 10 working days to arrange an initial inspection of the premises. During the inspection, the officer will assess whether the premises complies with the Regulations and the Code of Practice. We may also ask you to submit further supporting documents if necessary. Please note that it is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the proposed dog keeping and selling activity complies with all of the legal instruments relating to the premises (e.g. the land lease, tenancy agreement, Deed of Mutual Covenant and any others).

If the premises is not up to the required standard, the inspecting officer will advise you on what you need to do.

If the application is approved, you will be notified in writing and you will need to pay the licence fee and collect the licence at AFCD headquarters.

The Code of Practice (CoP)

The CoP sets out detailed requirements for the licensed premises and care of the dogs to ensure good welfare. The licensee has a ‘duty of care’ to care for the dogs and ensure their good welfare at all times.

In brief, the CoP details the following:

  • training requirements for licensees and staff;
  • the space requirements for each dog and the standards of the premises;
  • exercise requirements;
  • lighting, ventilation and hygiene;
  • feeding, grooming and preventive care (including vaccinations);
  • all dogs must receive appropriate treatment from a registered veterinary surgeon when necessary.

All applicants must read the CoP in detail as compliance is a legal requirement once the licence is issued. Some aspects of the CoP are highlighted here for further explanation.

Space Requirements

The length of enclosures in which the dogs are kept must be at least three times the length of the dog and the width must be at least two times the length of the dog. (The length of the dog is measured from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail.) If more than one dog is kept in the enclosure (up to a maximum of four) the minimum space required is increased by 25% for each additional dog. 

Training requirements for the licensees

All licensees of ATL (dog traders) and their staff are required to undertake a training course which covers various aspects of dog keeping. The structured training course may be offered by any external education institutions. AFCD has devised a basic course syllabus which will set out the core subjects for the training. Licensees are free to choose any course provider as long as the course has been recognised by AFCD.

All licensees and their staff will be expected to complete a core syllabus to ensure basic competencies. Licensees and supervisory staff will be required to complete some additional training for a higher level of competency.

There will be a test in Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) format at the end of the course. The course provider is required to check the identity of the attendees of the course and will issue a certificate of successful completion of the course.

Licensees will be given 12 months after the date of issuance of the licence in which to complete the course. The course may also be taken prior to application (subject to availability) but the grant of licence is subject to the normal procedure and is not automatic. The training is compulsory and any licensee who does not attend training within the specified timeframe will be considered to have breached the CoP. They may be liable to prosecution and the licence may not be renewed.

The following training bodies provide courses which have been recognised by AFCD. Please contact them for further details and enrollment: List of Course Providers

The Licence Conditions

In summary, the licence conditions attached to the ATL (dog traders) cover the following aspects:

  • Regular inspections will be conducted to all licensed premises – the licensee must allow authorised officers access to inspect the premises and relevant records;
  • Good records must be kept, and the documents to be given to the buyer are specified;
  • All dogs for sale must be microchipped, have at least 2 vaccinations given by a registered veterinary surgeon and be at least 10 weeks old;
  • All physical display of dogs offered for sale must be restricted to the licensed premises – the dogs shall not be taken out of the premises to show to buyers;
  • There are restrictions on the source of dogs permitted to be sold (see below);
  • The licence number (and the microchip number if individual dogs are advertised) must be displayed in adverts or any form of promotion for selling dogs (including on the internet and social media);
  • A licensee who fails to observe licence conditions is liable to a penalty of $50,000.

These are not exhaustive – please refer to the actual Licence Conditions for the detailed requirements.

Source of Dogs permitted to be sold by Licensed Animal Traders:

(i) Legally imported:
Accompanied by a valid import permit/special permit (Yellow Duplicate) issued by AFCD, together with the original of a valid health certificate issued by the veterinary authority of the exporting place;

(ii) Offspring legally bred by a licensed dog breeder:
Accompanied by a Dog Breeder’s Declaration (Yellow Duplicate) bearing AFCD’s endorsement;

(iii) Acquired from a permittee of a One-off Permit:
Accompanied by the Yellow Duplicate of the One-off Permit; OR

(iv) Acquired from a licensed animal trader:
The dogs must originally be from one of the sources listed in (i) to (iii) above, accompanied by respective proof of legal source.

Record Keeping

The licensee is required to keep a Sales Register of all dogs for sale on the premises. [Annex SR]

Licence fee and validity period

The licence fee is $3,780 for the first grant of the licence and $2,970 for renewal. The licence is valid for 12 months.

Important points to note

You must not carry on business as an animal trader until after a licence is issued.

After grant of a licence you must not make any material alterations or modification to the primary enclosures, housing facilities or outdoor areas (if any) except with the permission of AFCD.

You may receive notification from AFCD to renew the licence about 2 months before the expiry date. You must arrange renewal of the licence accordingly.

FAQs

A1
A person must be at least 18 years of age to apply for an ATL.
A2
The legislation states that an applicant for a licence must satisfy AFCD that he or she is suitable to be a licence holder. AFCD may take into account any relevant considerations when deciding if a person is suitable to hold a licence. In particular, we will look at whether an applicant has any previous convictions for animal cruelty and whether he or she has breached any conditions of a previous licence or if a previous licence was cancelled. All licensees must continue to be suitable persons to hold the licence throughout the licence validity period, otherwise the licence may be cancelled.

Application

Procedure

How to apply for an ATL

1. Get the application form, the Code of Standards and the additional conditions through the following channels:

  • download from here; or
  • call 1823 to get them through fax; or
  • visit AFCD’s office.

(Address: 5/F, Cheung Sha Wan Government Offices, 303 Cheung Sha Wan Road, Kowloon)

Animal Tader Licence Application Form

trader_arrow

2. Submit the completed application form to AFCD through the following channels:

  • fax to 2311 3731; or
  • mail to AFCD; or
  • submit to AFCD’s office in person.

Please enclose the following when you submit the application form:

  • a copy of the sketch plan of the proposed trading premises; and
  • a copy of the applicant’s business registration certificate.

trader_arrow

3. An officer of AFCD will process your application in 10 days and make arrangements to inspect your premises.

trader_arrow

4. When the requirements are fully met with, and the premises and facilities thereof are considered up to the licensable standard, AFCD will approve your application. After you pay the required licence fee, AFCD will issue the licence. There is no refund for all licence fee paid.

Fees

From 20 March 2017 the licence fee is $3,780 for the first grant of the licence and $2,970 for renewal.

Points For Attention

Points for attention for applicant

You have the responsibility to ensure that the applied premises meet the requirements of other government departments and related organisations, e.g. the requirements of Lands Department, Environmental Protection Department and Town Planning Board Secretariat, etc.

You must only begin running your animal trading business after the ATL is granted. You must also observe the Code of Standards, additional conditions and other related conditions at all times.

Additional Conditions

Some of the additional conditions attached to the licence

(Applicable to traders authorised to sell food reptiles)

  • The types of reptiles the licensee can sell include lizards, snakes and turtles.
  • Except for Cobra, Hamadryad or King Cobra, Banded Krait, Many-banded Krait and Sea Snakes, no species of venomous snakes may be kept on the licensed premises without the prior written approval of the Director of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation.
  • Selling of live venomous snakes to a person under 18 years old is prohibited.
  • All reptiles kept on the premises for sale must be properly contained at all times to prevent their escape.
  • The licensee must ensure that appropriate antivenin is available either on the premises or at the nearest Government casualty hospital before taking in any venomous snakes into the premises.
  • Any person handling the reptiles or their excreta must wear gloves that can be easily sanitised; these gloves must be cleaned and disinfected thoroughly or dispose of properly after use.
Monitor Lizard
Cobra
Softshell Turtle
Sea Snake
King Cobra
Banded Krait

Validity Period

The licence is valid for one year beginning on the date it is granted.

Renewal

The licensee will receive a licence renewal notification issued and posted by AFCD at least two months before the licence’s expiry date.

Complete and sign the reply slip section of the notification and post or fax it to AFCD, AFCD will then arrange for the renewal procedures.

Alterations

Alterations after grant of licence are prohibited.

Unless with permission in writing from the Director of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation, the licensee should not make any material alteration or modification to the primary enclosures, housing facilities or outdoor areas after the licence is granted.

Penalty

From 20 March 2017, any person carrying on business as an animal trader without a licence shall be liable to a maximum fine of HK$100,000.

Contact Us

Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department
Animal Management (Operations) Division

: 5/F, Cheung Sha Wan Government Offices, 303 Cheung Sha Wan Road, Kowloon.
: 2311 3731
: 1823

Code Of Standards

Excerpt from the Code of Standards that you should observe:

Legislation

Ordinance related to Animal Traders

The Public Health (Animals and Birds) (Trading and Breeding) Regulations, Cap. 139B, regulates Animal Traders who sell, or offer to sell, animals or birds.

If you carry on a business as an Animal Trader, you must apply for an ATL from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) before business begins.

You can find the details of the above regulations here.

Related Ordinances the applicant should take note of

You should ensure that requirements under other Ordinances, such as the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance, Cap. 132, the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Ordinance, Cap. 169, the Wild Animals Protection Ordinance, Cap. 170, and the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance, Cap. 586, are also complied with.

The Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance, Cap. 586, lists out the requirements for trade in endangered species. It also contains the list of controlled species, the licence fees schedule and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) guidelines that are applicable to Hong Kong.

This Ordinance requires a licence to be issued in advance by AFCD for the import, introduction from sea, export, re-export or possession of specimens of a scheduled species, whether alive, dead, parts or derivatives, therefore, if the food reptiles you intend to sell belong to the controlled species under this Ordinance, you must apply for a licence from AFCD beforehand. Please visit here for more information about this Ordinance.

Any person contravening the licensing requirements of this Ordinance will be prosecuted and is liable to a maximum fine of HK$5,000,000 and imprisonment for 2 years on conviction.

Application

Procedure

How to apply for an ATL

1. Get the application form, the Code of Standards and the additional conditions through the following channels:

  • download from here; or
  • call 1823 to get them through fax; or
  • visit AFCD’s office.

(Address: 5/F, Cheung Sha Wan Government Offices, 303 Cheung Sha Wan Road, Kowloon)

Animal Trader Licence Application Form

trader_arrow

2. Submit the completed application form to AFCD through the following channels:

  • fax to 2311 3731; or
  • mail to AFCD; or
  • submit to AFCD’s office in person.

Please enclose the following when you submit the application form:

  • a copy of the sketch plan of the proposed trading premises; and
  • a copy of the applicant’s business registration certificate.

trader_arrow

3. An officer of AFCD will process your application in 10 days and make arrangements to inspect your premises.

trader_arrow

4. When the requirements are fully met with, and the premises and facilities thereof are considered up to the licensable standard, AFCD will approve your application. After you pay the required licence fee, AFCD will issue the licence. There is no refund for all licence fee paid.

Fees

From 20 March 2017 the licence fee is $3,780 for the first grant of the licence and $2,970 for renewal.

Points For Attention

Points for attention for applicant

You have the responsibility to ensure that the applied premises meet the requirements of other government departments and related organisations, e.g. the requirements of Lands Department, Environmental Protection Department and Town Planning Board Secretariat, etc.

You must only begin running your animal trading business after the ATL is granted. You must also observe the Code of Standards, additional conditions and other related conditions at all times.

Additional Conditions

Some of the additional conditions attached to the licence

(Applicable to traders authorised to sell food birds)

  • Food Bird Traders are permitted to trade in the following species of birds: Domestic Chukar, Domestic Pheasant, Domestic Guinea Fowl but NOT poultry such as chickens, turkeys, ducks, pigeons and geese.
  • All birds for sale must be free from clinical signs of disease and tested with negative results for H5 avian influenza.
  • The cage for holding birds must NOT be overcrowded.
  • Cages must be designed so that droppings or debris do not fall onto birds.
  • Only one species of bird may be kept in one cage. Mixing of different species of birds in one cage is not permitted.
Domestic Chukar
Domestic Pheasant
Domestic Guinea Fowl

Validity Period

The licence is valid for one year beginning on the date it is granted.

Renewal

The licensee will receive a licence renewal notification issued and posted by AFCD at least two months before the licence’s expiry date.

Complete and sign the reply slip section of the notification and post or fax it to AFCD, AFCD will then arrange for the renewal procedures.

Alterations

Alterations after grant of licence are prohibited.

Unless with permission in writing from the Director of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation, the licensee should not make any material alteration or modification to the primary enclosures, housing facilities or outdoor areas after the licence is granted.

Penalty

From 20 March 2017, any person carrying on business as an animal trader without a licence shall be liable to a maximum fine of HK$100,000.

Contact Us

Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department
Animal Management (Operations) Division

: 5/F, Cheung Sha Wan Government Offices, 303 Cheung Sha Wan Road, Kowloon.
: 2311 3731
: 1823

Code Of Standards

Excerpt from the Code of Standards that you should observe:

  1. Any pen, cage, compartment, hutch or structure used to restrict animals or birds shall: -
    • be maintained in good repair;
    • be kept dry and clean;
    • allow animals to have convenient access to food and water; and
    • allow animals to move about freely and to stand, sit or lie comfortably.
  2. Any room, building, premises or other places shall: -
    • be maintained in good repair;
    • contain adequate supplies of drinkable water and suitable drainage for the escape of excess water;
    • have sufficient space for the storage of fresh food and bedding;
    • have sufficient fresh air ventilation;
    • have ample lighting of good quality.
  3. Standards of hygiene
    • the primary enclosures, housing facilities and outdoor areas shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition and supply of disinfectants shall be available;
    • the food served to the animals shall be adequate, free from contamination, wholesome and nutritious;
    • the water supplied to the animals shall be drinkable and uncontaminated;
    • all excreta and other waste matter shall be removed not less than once a day;
    • a programme for the control and destruction of pests shall be maintained.

Legislation

Ordinance related to Animal Traders

The Public Health (Animals and Birds) (Trading and Breeding) Regulations, Cap. 139B, regulates Animal Traders who sell, or offer to sell, animals or birds.

If you carry on a business as an Animal Trader, you must apply for an ATL from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) before business begins.

You can find the details of the above regulations here.

Related Ordinances the applicant should take note of

You should ensure that requirements under other Ordinances, such as the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance, Cap. 132, the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Ordinance, Cap. 169, The Wild Animals Protection Ordinance, Cap. 170, and the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance, Cap. 586, are also complied with.

DBLA

The Dog Breeder Licence (Category A) (“DBLA”) is for a person keeping up to 4 female dogs for breeding purpose and selling those dogs or their offspring from a licensed premises. It is informally known as the “Home Breeder” licence because it is intended for persons who live with their breeding dogs in the same premises. The licence permits the sale of ‘enrolled’ female breeding dogs, their offspring, and formerly enrolled female dogs.

Licensees are required to comply with a set of Licence Conditions and a Code of Practice. It is mandatory to comply with these documents, and failure to do so can result in a fine of up to $50,000 and the licence may be cancelled.

Application Process

An application can be submitted by filling in an application form and sending it, along with the required supporting documents, to AFCD. The application form can be downloaded from here. Please read the “Notes to Applicants” carefully. You should also read the Code of Practice and Licence Conditions, to make sure you will be able to comply with them if the licence is issued.

After receiving your application, an officer of AFCD will contact you within 10 working days to arrange an initial inspection of the premises. During the inspection, the officer will assess whether the premises complies with the Regulations and the Code of Practice. We may also ask you to submit further supporting documents if necessary. Please note that it is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the proposed dog keeping and selling activity complies with all of the legal instruments relating to the premises (e.g. the land lease, tenancy agreement, Deed of Mutual Covenant and any others).

If the premises is not up to the required standard, the inspecting officer will advise you on what you need to do.

If the application is approved, you will be notified in writing and you will need to pay the licence fee and collect the licence at AFCD headquarters.

The Code of Practice (CoP)

The CoP sets out detailed requirements for the licensed premises and care of the dogs to ensure good welfare. The licensee has a ‘duty of care’ to care for the dogs and ensure their good welfare at all times.

In brief, the CoP details the following:

  • training requirements for licensees;
  • the space requirements for each dog and the standards of the premises;
  • exercise requirements;
  • lighting, ventilation and hygiene;
  • feeding, grooming and preventive care;
  • behavioural enrichment and socialisation;
  • for breeding dogs, the minimum and maximum age of breeding and the maximum frequency and number of litters allowed;
  • all dogs must receive appropriate treatment from a registered veterinary surgeon when necessary.

All applicants must read the CoP in detail as compliance is a legal requirement once the licence is issued. Some aspects of the CoP are highlighted here for further explanation.

Space Requirements

The total number of dogs which can be kept on the licensed premises is determined by the size of the dogs and the size of the premises. See section 5 of the CoP for definitions and more details. For example, one medium sized dog (40-60cm high at the shoulder (withers)) needs 180 square feet (sq. ft.) of space. Therefore a 700sq. ft. flat (saleable area or internal floor area) can keep up to 3 medium sized dogs in total. A small dog (less than 40cm high at the shoulder (withers)) requires 100 sq. ft. of space, so the same premises could accommodate 7 such dogs in total. Offspring of an enrolled adult female dog are not counted for the purpose of total number of dogs until they reach 5 months of age.

For some premises, the saleable area is readily available (e.g. in developer’s literature). For other premises, inspecting officers may need to take measurements on site to determine the internal floor area.

In keeping with the residential nature of DBLA, it is expected that dogs will not be confined to cages most of the time. However in some circumstances it may be necessary to isolate individual dogs to protect them from interference by other dogs, for example, during oestrus, whelping, nursing a litter, illness, or on veterinary advice. In such circumstances, the minimum size of any enclosure is as specified in section 5 of the CoP (unless otherwise advised by a registered veterinary surgeon).

Training requirements for the licensees

All licensees of DBLA are required to undertake a training course which covers various aspects of dog keeping. The structured training course may be offered by any external education institutions. AFCD has devised a basic course syllabus which will set out the core subjects for the training. Licensees are free to choose any course provider as long as the course has been recognised by AFCD.

There will be a test in Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) format at the end of the course. The course provider is required to check the identity of the attendees of the course and will issue a certificate of successful completion of the course.

New licensees will be given 12 months after the date of issuance of the licence in which to complete the course. The course may also be taken prior to application (subject to availability) but the grant of licence is subject to the normal procedure and is not automatic. The training is compulsory and any licensee who does not attend training within the specified timeframe will be considered to have breached the CoP. They may be liable to prosecution and the licence may not be renewed.

The following training bodies provide courses which have been recognised by AFCD. Please contact them for further details and enrollment: List of Course Providers

The Licence Conditions

In summary, the licence conditions attached to DBLA cover the following aspects:

  • Regular inspections will be conducted to all licensed premises – the licensee must allow authorised officers access to inspect the premises and relevant records;
  • Good records must be kept, and the documents to be given to the buyer are specified;
  • The female breeding dogs must be enrolled (registered) with AFCD and there are restrictions on changing the breeding dogs;
  • Licensed Dog Breeders must make a declaration about the parentage of the puppies they intend to sell and must present the puppies, together with their mother, to AFCD officers for witnessing of the declaration. AFCD may take samples for DNA testing to verify the parentage of the puppies;
  • All dogs for sale must be microchipped, have at least 2 vaccinations given by a registered veterinary surgeon and be at least 10 weeks old;
  • All physical display of dogs offered for sale must be restricted to the licensed premises;
  • There are restrictions on the source of dogs permitted to be sold;
  • The licence number (and the microchip number if individual dogs are advertised) must be displayed in adverts or any form of promotion for selling dogs (including on the internet and social media);
  • A licensee who fails to observe licence conditions is liable to a penalty of $50,000.

These are not exhaustive – please refer to the actual Licence Conditions for the detailed requirements.

Requirement to ‘Enroll’ female dogs for breeding purpose

It is a licence condition that female dogs for breeding purpose must be enrolled with AFCD prior to giving birth. Any litters born to dogs which are not enrolled are not permitted to be sold under the DBLA. Any dogs to be enrolled must belong to the licensee and must have a dog licence (under Rabies Regulations) in the name of the licensee for at least 4 consecutive months prior to enrollment.

You can download the form to enroll a female dog here. The application can be submitted by post or in person. After the application is processed, AFCD will notify you of the result in writing with an updated inventory of enrolled female breeding dogs.

Enrolled dogs can only be removed from the inventory for one of the following reasons:

  • Retirement – if they have reached 5 years old or had 4 litters (this is less than the maximum age and number of litters permitted in the CoP so as to encourage ‘early retirement’). Dogs removed from the inventory for this reason cannot be bred from again.
  • For reasons other than retirement – only 1 dog can be removed from the inventory under this category in each 12-month licence period.

These restrictions prevent unscrupulous breeders from frequently swapping breeding dogs to circumvent the limitations of the licence.

The ‘Breeder’s Declaration’

To comply with the licence conditions, the licensee must make a declaration regarding the parentage of the offspring before they can be sold. The licensee must declare that the puppy intended to be sold has come from a specific enrolled female breeding dog.

To make the declaration, the licensee must physically present the puppy along with its mother to AFCD officers. The officer will check the microchip number of the breeding dog and the puppy and its vaccination certificates. The licensee will make the declaration in the presence of the officer and the declaration will then be endorsed by AFCD.

AFCD may also take cheek swabs from the mother and puppy to verify the relationship using DNA ‘fingerprinting’.

This service is available at this AFCD centre by appointment only:

Address and opening time of the AFCD centre that offers declaration service

Please call 2614 3455 or 2614 3477 from 9:00am - 12:30pm and from 1:30pm - 5:30pm to make an appointment. You can also download the appointment form here and fax or email it to make an appointment. We regret that it is not possible to offer walk-in appointments.

The declaration can be done at any time after the puppies have had a microchip implanted and have received their first vaccination.

Record Keeping

The licensee is required to keep:

Licence fee and validity period

The licence fee is $1,350 for the first grant of the licence and $805 for renewal. The licence is valid for 12 months.

Important points to note

You must not sell or offer to sell any dogs until after a licence is issued.

After grant of a licence you must not make any material alterations or modification to the primary enclosures, housing facilities or outdoor areas (if any) except with the permission of AFCD.

You may receive notification from AFCD to renew the licence about 2 months before the expiry date. You must arrange renewal of the licence accordingly.

 

FAQs

A1
A person must be at least 18 years of age to apply for an DBLA.
A2
No. A DBLA can only be issued to an individual.
A3
The legislation states that an applicant for a licence must satisfy AFCD that he or she is suitable to be a licence holder. AFCD may take into account any relevant considerations when deciding if a person is suitable to hold a licence. In particular, we will look at whether an applicant has any previous convictions for animal cruelty and whether he or she has breached any conditions of a previous licence or if a previous licence was cancelled. All licensees must continue to be suitable persons to hold the licence throughout the licence validity period, otherwise the licence may be cancelled.
A4
Sires do not need to be registered with AFCD, but details of the sire should be included on the mating information in Annex III. If the sire is kept on the licensed premises, his details should also be entered into the register of dogs kept on the premises. The total number of dogs kept on the premises should not exceed the requirements in the CoP at any time. There are also age limits in the CoP for sires used for breeding purposes.
A5
If the male dog is an offspring of an enrolled female dog (who was enrolled at the time of giving birth to that dog) and you have made a Breeder’s Declaration which has been endorsed by AFCD (see above), you can sell the dog under the terms of DBLA. Otherwise, you can apply for a one-off permit for selling a dog.
A6
Offspring of enrolled female breeding dogs, enrolled female breeding dogs and any formerly enrolled female breeding dogs. Offspring of enrolled dogs must be presented to AFCD and the breeder must complete a declaration to be endorsed by AFCD before they are permitted to be sold.
A7
No. In keeping with the “home breeder” nature of this type of breeder licence, an individual may only hold one DBLA.
A8
DNA is inherited from both parents and is unique to each individual. By taking a DNA profile from the puppy and its mother, the maternal relationship can be checked. This is an additional measure to ensure the source of the puppy is from a registered female breeding dog. 

DBLB

Dog Breeder Licence (Category B) (“DBLB”) is for a person keeping more than 4 female dogs for breeding purpose and selling those dogs or their offspring, as well as dogs from other specified sources, from a licensed premises.

Licensees are required to comply with a set of Licence Conditions and a Code of Practice. It is mandatory to comply with these documents, and failure to do so can result in a fine of up to $50,000 and the licence may be cancelled.

Application Process

An application can be submitted by filling in an application form and sending it, along with the required supporting documents, to AFCD. The application form can be downloaded from here. Please read the “Notes to Applicants” carefully. You should also read the Code of Practice and Licence Conditions, to make sure you will be able to comply with them if the licence is issued.

After receiving your application, an officer of AFCD will contact you within 10 working days to arrange an initial inspection of the premises. During the inspection, the officer will assess whether the premises complies with the Regulations and the Code of Practice. We may also ask you to submit further supporting documents if necessary. Please note that it is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the proposed dog keeping and selling activity complies with all of the legal instruments relating to the premises (e.g. the land lease, tenancy agreement, Deed of Mutual Covenant and any others).

If the premises is not up to the required standard, the inspecting officer will advise you on what you need to do.

If the application is approved, you will be notified in writing and you will need to pay the licence fee and collect the licence at AFCD headquarters.

The Code of Practice (CoP)

The CoP sets out detailed requirements for the licensed premises and care of the dogs to ensure good welfare. The licensee has a ‘duty of care’ to care for the dogs and ensure their good welfare at all times.

In brief, the CoP details the following:

  • training requirements for licensees and staff;
  • the space requirements for each dog and the standards of the premises;
  • exercise requirements;
  • lighting, ventilation and hygiene;
  • feeding, grooming and preventive care;
  • behavioural enrichment and socialisation;
  • for breeding dogs, the minimum and maximum age of breeding and the maximum frequency and number of litters allowed;
  • all dogs must receive appropriate treatment from a registered veterinary surgeon when necessary.

All applicants must read the CoP in detail as compliance is a legal requirement once the licence is issued. Some aspects of the CoP are highlighted here for further explanation.

Space Requirements and Number of Dogs

The number of breeding dogs which can be kept on the licensed premises is determined by the size of the dogs and the number and size of the enclosures available for keeping the dogs. See section 5 of the CoP for definitions and more details. It is also dependent on the exercise area available, manpower for looking after the dogs and other relevant factors.

Training requirements for the licensees

All licensees of DBLB and their staff are required to undertake a training course which covers various aspects of dog keeping and breeding. The structured training course may be offered by any external education institutions. AFCD has devised a basic course syllabus which will set out the core subjects for the training. Licensees are free to choose any course provider as long as the course has been recognised by AFCD.

All licensees and their staff will be expected to complete a core syllabus to ensure basic competencies. Licensees and supervisory staff will be required to complete some additional training for a higher level of competency, including topics related to breeding.

There will be a test in Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) format at the end of the course. The course provider is required to check the identity of the attendees of the course and will issue a certificate of successful completion of the course.

Licensees will be given 12 months after the date of issuance of the licence in which to complete the course. The course may also be taken prior to application (subject to availability) but the grant of licence is subject to the normal procedure and is not automatic. The training is compulsory and any licensee who does not attend training within the specified timeframe will be considered to have breached the CoP. They may be liable to prosecution and the licence may not be renewed.

The following training bodies provide courses which have been recognised by AFCD. Please contact them for further details and enrollment: List of Course Providers

The Licence Conditions

In summary, the licence conditions attached to DBLB cover the following aspects:

  • Regular inspections will be conducted to all licensed premises – the licensee must allow authorised officers access to inspect the premises and relevant records;
  • Good records must be kept, and the documents to be given to the buyer are specified;
  • The female breeding dogs must be enrolled (registered) with AFCD and there are restrictions on changing the breeding dogs;
  • Licensed Dog Breeders must make a declaration about the parentage of the puppies they intend to sell and must present the puppies, together with their mother, to AFCD officers for witnessing of the declaration. AFCD may take samples for DNA testing to verify the parentage of the puppies;
  • All dogs for sale must be microchipped, have at least 2 vaccinations given by a registered veterinary surgeon and be at least 10 weeks old;
  • All physical display of dogs offered for sale must be restricted to the licensed premises;
  • There are restrictions on the source of dogs permitted to be sold;
  • The licence number (and the microchip number if individual dogs are advertised) must be displayed in adverts or any form of promotion for selling dogs (including on the internet and social media);
  • A licensee who fails to observe licence conditions is liable to a penalty of $50,000.

These are not exhaustive – please refer to the actual Licence Conditions for the detailed requirements.

Requirement to ‘Enroll’ female dogs for breeding purpose

It is a licence condition that female dogs for breeding purpose must be enrolled with AFCD prior to giving birth. Any litters born to dogs which are not enrolled are not permitted to be sold under the DBLB. Any dogs to be enrolled must belong to the licensee and must have a dog licence (under Rabies Regulations) in the name of the licensee for at least 4 consecutive months prior to enrollment.

You can download the form to enroll a female dog here. The application can be submitted by post or in person. After the application is processed, AFCD will notify you of the result in writing with an updated inventory of enrolled female breeding dogs.

Enrolled dogs can only be removed from the inventory for one of the following reasons:

  • Retirement – if they have reached 5 years old or had 4 litters (this is less than the maximum age and number of litters permitted in the CoP so as to encourage ‘early retirement’). Dogs removed from the inventory for this reason cannot be bred from again.
  • For reasons other than retirement – No more than 10% of the total number of enrolled female dogs (rounded up to the nearest whole number) may be removed from the inventory under this category in each 12-month licence period.

These restrictions prevent unscrupulous breeders from frequently swapping breeding dogs to circumvent the limitations of the licence.

The ‘Breeder’s Declaration’

To comply with the licence conditions, the licensee must make a declaration regarding the parentage of the offspring before they can be sold. The licensee must declare that the puppy intended to be sold has come from a specific enrolled female breeding dog.

To make the declaration, the licensee must physically present the puppy along with its mother to AFCD officers. The officer will check the microchip number of the breeding dog and the puppy and its vaccination certificates. The licensee will make the declaration in the presence of the officer and the declaration will then be endorsed by AFCD.

AFCD may also take cheek swabs from the mother and puppy to verify the relationship using DNA ‘fingerprinting’.

This service is available at this AFCD centre by appointment only:

Address and opening time of the AFCD centre that offers declaration service

Please call 2614 3455 or 2614 3477 from 9:00am - 12:30pm and from 1:30pm - 5:30pm to make an appointment. You can also download the appointment form here and fax or email it to make an appointment. We regret that it is not possible to offer walk-in appointments.

The declaration can be done at any time after the puppies have had a microchip implanted and have received their first vaccination.

Record Keeping

The licensee is required to keep:

Licence fee and validity period

The licence fee is $4,700 for the first grant of the licence and $3,510 for renewal. The licence is valid for 12 months.

Important points to note

You must not sell or offer to sell any dogs until after a licence is issued.

After grant of a licence you must not make any material alterations or modification to the primary enclosures, housing facilities or outdoor areas (if any) except with the permission of AFCD.

You may receive notification from AFCD to renew the licence about 2 months before the expiry date. You must arrange renewal of the licence accordingly.

 

FAQs

A1
A person must be at least 18 years of age to apply for an DBLB.
A2
The legislation states that an applicant for a licence must satisfy AFCD that he or she is suitable to be a licence holder. AFCD may take into account any relevant considerations when deciding if a person is suitable to hold a licence. In particular, we will look at whether an applicant has any previous convictions for animal cruelty and whether he or she has breached any conditions of a previous licence or if a previous licence was cancelled. All licensees must continue to be suitable persons to hold the licence throughout the licence validity period, otherwise the licence may be cancelled.
A3
Sires do not need to be registered with AFCD, but details of the sire should be included on the mating information in Annex III. If the sire is kept on the licensed premises, his details should also be entered into the register of dogs kept on the premises. The total number of dogs kept on the premises should not exceed the requirements in the CoP at any time. There are also age limits in the CoP for sires used for breeding purposes.
A4
Licensed dog breeders (category B) are permitted to sell their enrolled (registered) female breeding dogs and their offspring. In addition they are permitted to sell dogs that are legally imported, from another licensed dog breeder (category A or B), from a licensed animal trader or from the holder of a one-off permit.
A5
DNA is inherited from both parents and is unique to each individual. By taking a DNA profile from the puppy and its mother, the maternal relationship can be checked. This is an additional measure to ensure the source of the puppy is from a registered female breeding dog. 

One-off permit

The one-off permit issued under the Public Health (Animals and Birds)(Trading and Breeding) Regulations (Cap. 139B) is for a person selling an individual dog that is kept by that person as a pet. AFCD encourages responsible pet ownership and anyone who is thinking about getting a dog should carefully consider whether they are prepared to look after it for its whole life. However there may be genuine circumstances (e.g. moving abroad, moving into a smaller flat, family changes, etc.) in which it is necessary for a person to find a new home for their dog. The one-off permit provides a legal means for a person to sell their own pet dog, but certain restrictions are introduced to emphasise the occasional, non-commercial nature of such transactions.

Before a person can be issued a one-off permit to sell a dog, they must possess a dog licence and must be the licensed keeper of that dog for at least four consecutive months prior to application for the permit. The dog to be sold must also be up to date with its other vaccinations with a vaccination certificate issued by a registered veterinary surgeon.

You can download the application form here, and the permit conditions here. Please read carefully the “Notes to Applicant” on the application form. Your application can be submitted by post or in person – please refer to the application form for supporting documents to be provided and the methods of application.

The fee for issuing the one-off permit is $225 and it is valid for 6 months. After you have sold the dog, you must complete and sign both copies of the permit and give the yellow duplicate of the permit to the dog buyer together with the original vaccination certificate. You must return the original copy (white) to AFCD together with the dog licence within 5 days of the transaction. After you have signed the yellow duplicate and given it to the buyer, it will be used to officially transfer the dog licence to the new owner.

Other important points for the permit holder to note:

  • You can be issued a maximum of 2 permits in a 4-year period. The start of the 4-year period is calculated from the date of issue of the first permit;
  • An unused permit can be surrendered to AFCD and the quota will be reinstated (but you have to return the unused original permit and yellow duplicate to AFCD). The permit fee cannot be refunded;
  • You must scan the microchip of the dog in the presence of the buyer during the transaction to ensure it matches the number on the documents (one-off permit, dog licence and vaccination certificate);
  • You must not sell a dog to a person under the age of 16 years. If you are not sure if the buyer is at least 16 years old you may ask to see documentary proof of age. If the buyer refuses to provide proof of age, you are entitled to refuse to sell the dog to them;
  • If you advertise the sale of the dog in any way (including on the internet and social media) you must include the permit number and the dog’s microchip number in the advertisement;
  • The permit does not allow the holder to trade any other dogs apart from the individual dog specified on the permit;
  • Please read and follow the “Permit Conditions” carefully. A permit holder who contravenes the conditions is liable to a fine of $50,000.

 

FAQs

A1
Yes, provided that you return the unused original permit and yellow duplicate to AFCD. The permit fee cannot be refunded.
A3
No. The one-off permit cannot be renewed or extended. However, you can apply for a new permit (normal permit fee applies), and provided that the old permit is returned (along with the yellow duplicate) in unused condition, the quota used by the old permit may be reinstated.
A4
The buyer should be given the yellow duplicate of the permit as proof of the transaction. Then, the buyer should contact AFCD to transfer the licence. The easiest way to do this is by visiting one of AFCD’s Animal Management Centres taking the yellow duplicate of the permit with you. Remember that it is an offence to keep a dog over the age of 5 months except under and in accordance with a dog licence.
A5
The microchip scanner may be provided by the buyer, seller, or by arrangement with another person possessing such scanner (e.g. a veterinary clinic). Optionally, the transaction could be conducted at one of AFCD’s Animal Management Centres where microchip scanning, transfer of the licence and handing-in of the used permit can be done all at the same time for convenience. For locations and opening hours please visit: http://www.pets.gov.hk/english/proper_care_of_pets/dogs/dog_licence.html#tab_03
A6
The Regulations do not specify a minimum age for a dog to be sold under a one-off permit. However, since the dog must be licensed (under Rabies Regulations) for at least four months, and the minimum age at which licensing can be done is three months old, it follows that any dog which is the subject of a one-off permit must be at least seven months old at the time of application for the permit
A7
A person must be at least 18 years of age before a one-off permit can be issued to them.

Exemption from holding an ATL

As part of the legislative amendments to Cap 139B in 2017 the definition of ‘selling’ was expanded. In the past, AFCD came across cases where the seller of an animal offered to give away an animal for ‘free’, on the condition that the buyer agreed to purchase pet accessories or pet food etc., often at an inflated price to cover the cost of the animal.

In order to close this loophole, the definition of sale in Cap 139B now covers these sorts of transactions, and any transfer of an animal in exchange for a consideration (which includes agreeing to buy pet accessories or food etc.) is counted as a sale.

As a consequence of this, persons (including individuals and Animal Welfare Organisations (AWOs)) conducting rehoming activities and charging an adoption or rehoming fee as a condition of transfer of the animal will be considered as selling. It is not the Government’s intention to restrict or regulate genuine rehoming activities on a non-profit-making basis and therefore individuals and organisations may submit an application for exemption from the requirement to obtain an Animal Trader Licence (ATL), subject to meeting certain criteria.
 

The criteria on which the exemption for AWOs will be based are:

  • The AWO must be a legal entity in the form of a Registered Society, Registered Company, or Registered Trust and conducting genuine rehoming activities for animal welfare purposes on a non-profit-making basis. The protection and promotion of animal welfare must be amongst the core activities and services of the organisation.
  • The AWO must be a charitable institution or trust of a public character which is exempt from tax under Section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance (Cap. 112).
  • The AWO must engage the services of a Registered Veterinary Surgeon who acts as an adviser on animal health and welfare.

AWOs which meet the criteria may send the relevant documents to AFCD to apply for the exemption. An exemption will be granted subject to certain conditions, and an exemption may be revoked if the conditions are breached or if the organisation no longer meets the criteria upon which the exemption was granted.

Download the application form for exemption (AWOs) here

Download the general conditions of exemption for an organisation here

Documents to be sent to AFCD along with the application form:

  • copy of governing instrument of AWO (e.g. certificate of incorporation, certificate of registration as a Society);
  • letter of confirmation of charitable status from Inland Revenue Department;
  • constitution, memorandum of association or articles of association;
  • letter from a registered veterinary surgeon confirming the arrangement as advisor to the AWO, and confirming he/she has visited the AWO’s facilities (if any) - download the template here; and
  • most recent set of accounts.

You can find out more about how to obtain charitable status or becoming a Registered Society or Company here.

Links to Societies Registration, Companies registration, Inland Revenue Department charitable status

The criteria on which exemption for individuals will be based are:

  • the activities of the individual (source of animals, types and number of animals rehomed) and the fee charged is consistent with genuine rehoming for animal welfare purposes on a non-profit-making basis;
  • the rehoming fee charged by the person is reasonable and based on recovery of costs involved in rehoming animals; and
  • the individual must make a declaration that they are conducting genuine rehoming for animal welfare purposes on a non-profit-making basis.

Individuals may send the relevant documents to AFCD to apply for the exemption. An exemption will be granted subject to certain conditions, and an exemption may be revoked if the conditions are breached or if the individual no longer meets the criteria upon which the exemption was granted.

Download the application form for exemption (individuals) here

Download the general conditions of exemption for an individual here

Documents to be sent to AFCD along with the application form:

  • HKID copy (unless applying in person);
  • proof of address; and
  • history of adoption activities for the 12 months prior to application which includes number, type and breed of animals adopted/rehomed, source of animals, medical costs incurred and adoption/rehoming fee charged.

Relevant Legislation:
Regulation 5A of the Public Health (Animals and Birds) (Trading and Breeding) Regulations, Cap. 139B.

 

FAQs

A1
If there is no consideration (e.g. adoption or rehoming fee) involved in the transfer of ownership of the animal, it is not counted as selling and therefore no licence or exemption is required.
A2
If the donation is voluntarily given it should not count as a consideration, however if the transfer of ownership of an animal is conditional upon the adopter making a donation to the organisation, then it may count as selling.
A3
First, you can ask to see their “Letter of Exemption”. Second, AFCD has published a list of exempted organisations on here and exempted individuals here, but it is not a complete list as the information is only published with consent. Third, you can contact AFCD to check if a specific individual or AWO has an exemption.
A4
If you are charging a rehoming fee or other consideration in return for transfer of an animal, it is counted as selling. Unless the animals (other than dogs) that you are selling are kept by you as a pet, or the offspring thereof, you must either obtain an animal trader licence or an exemption.
A5
No, in recognition of the charitable status of the exempted organisations and the benefit to animal welfare and the community, there is no charge to apply for or be granted an exemption.
A6
An exemption is granted for a fixed period, after which the exemption must be renewed. The period for which an exemption is granted may vary depending on the circumstances of exempted persons and information provided during the application, but will normally be three years.
A7
Most of AFCD’s existing rehome partners already meet the exemption criteria and should be able to apply for the exemption. In addition to the exemption, AFCD’s rehoming partners also need to comply with extra conditions which include requirements on screening adopters for suitability, conducting follow-up after adoption, having a membership scheme, neutering, and following AFCD’s other guidelines and procedures on rehoming.
A8
Some AWOs have shelters for temporary care of animals prior to rehoming, whilst some use foster carers to look after animals temporarily. Cap. 139B is not intended to regulate AWOs thus the exemption criteria do not cover physical facilities of AWOs. However, one of the exemption criteria is that the AWO must engage a veterinary surgeon to give advice on animal health and welfare which should include periodic visits to the facilities (if any).
A9
The assessment criteria mentioned above provide a basis for ensuring that the person (individual or organisation) applying for exemption is conducting genuine rehoming activities on a non-profit-making basis. In addition, the conditions of exemption require all exemptees to keep good records of animals adopted/rehomed including the rehoming fee charged and the costs incurred by them. AFCD would conduct a check on these records when the exemption is renewed or at any other time when necessary. Failure to adhere to the conditions of exemption may lead to revocation of the exemption.