Changes to licences involving animals

On 1st October 2018, the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 comes into force. This will significantly change the way certain activities involving animals are licensed and regulated.

 These new regulations impose conditions businesses must comply with and they will affect anyone carrying out the following activities:

  • selling pets - including most suppliers and wholesalers
  • boarding dogs and cats - including dog day care
  • breeding dogs
  • hiring out horses
  • exhibiting animals

Most people carrying out these activities will need a licence from their local council.

How do I apply?

If you already have a licence, you don't have to do anything until your existing licence expires.

If you are a new applicant, the law will come into force on 1st October 2018.

The only exception to this is if you are already registered with us under the Performing Animals (Regulation) Act 1925, in which case you must apply for a licence by 1st April 2019.

We are currently finalising the fees and the application process for these licences and will publish both in this section of this website as soon as we can. Meanwhile, please email if you need further information.

Guidance issued by central government

We are required to carry out an inspection of premises where licensable activities take place before a licence is granted. Each condition must be complied with by the licence holder according to the law - we cannot use 'discretion' when issuing a licence or inspecting a premises.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has published guidance on licensable activities. You can view these documents below.