CHANGES are being proposed to the animal licensing system in Poole following the introduction of new animal welfare regulations aimed at tightening rules around the puppy trade.

Brought in at the end of September, the new rules include increases to the requirements on people selling, boarding and breeding animals.

Under the changes, puppies must be shown alongside their mothers before being sold and licensed sellers will be banned from selling puppies and kittens under the age of eight weeks.

Poole council officers will now be responsible for carrying out inspections of companies and individuals involved in the animal trade, requiring the introduction of new fees.

Local authorities are not allowed to profit from licensing services but can charge people to cover the cost of carrying out the work.

At its meeting on Tuesday (November 13), Poole council will consider whether to bring in the new charges.

In a report to the council, Cllr Louis Russell, the chairman of its licensing committee, said: “The new legislation will establish an animal licensing system that is up-to-date with modern practices and modern animal welfare standards.”