Right of Appeal
An applicant aggrieved by the refusal of the Council to grant an animal licence may appeal to a Magistrates Court. An appeal procedure is in place for businesses to dispute the star rating given in respect of their business.
The appeal procedure is relevant where the business wishes to dispute the star rating given as not reflecting the animal welfare standards and risk level of their business at the time of the inspection. This should not be used if the business has made improvements to their business and wishes to be reassessed – in this case, they should apply for re-inspection.
How can a business appeal their star rating?
If a business wishes to appeal the star rating given by the ‘inspecting officer’ (i.e. the officer undertaking the inspection) on behalf of the local authority, the appeal should be made in writing (including by email) to the local authority.
A business disputing a rating should be encouraged to discuss this informally first with the ‘inspecting officer’ so that there is an opportunity to help explain to the business how the rating was worked out, as this may help resolve the matter without the business having to lodge an appeal. Any such discussions do not form part of the formal appeal process and do not change the deadline within which an appeal must be lodged. This should be made clear to the business so that they may lodge an appeal, and may subsequently withdraw it, if they wish.
Businesses have 21 days (including weekends and bank holidays) following the issue of their licence in which to appeal the star rating.
If the business disagrees with the outcome of the appeal, they can challenge the local authority’s decision by means of judicial review. The business also has recourse to the local authority complaints procedure (including taking the matter to the Local Government Ombudsman where appropriate) if they consider that a council service has not been properly delivered.