The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 took effect on 1 October 2018.

The regulations were made by the Secretary of State under section 13 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and introduced a new licensing regime for anyone carrying out one or more of the following ‘licensable activities’:

  • Selling animals as pets
  • Providing or arranging for the provision of boarding for cats or dogs
  • Hiring out horses
  • Breeding dogs
  • Keeping or training animals for exhibition

The regulations repealed and replaced the previous licensing regimes that were in place under the following pieces of legislation:

  • Pet Animals Act 1951
  • Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963
  • Riding Establishments Acts 1964 & 1970
  • Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 & Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999
  • Performing Animals (Regulation) Act 1925

Anyone carrying on any of the above licensable activities in the council’s area requires a licence from the council to do so.

Existing licences will remain valid until it is due to expire.

Performing Animal Regulations will only continue for 6 months after 1 October 2018. After this, you will need to apply for a licence under the new regulations.

The Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has published procedural guidance for local authorities, with guidance notes on the conditions that will apply to licences issued to authorise the different licensable activities. The procedural guidance and other guidance notes can be downloaded below.

The guidance notes also provide guidance on whether an individual requires a licence or not, which will depend on individual circumstances.

You can view the full legislation on the link below:

The procedural guidance and guidance notes for each of the activities can be downloaded below.

The Application Forms and Fees

Depending on the licensable activities you apply for a licence for, a vet may be required to inspect your premises.

The costs of any required vet inspection are NOT covered by the application or licence fees and must be paid for by the applicant separately.

If your application requires us to appoint a vet, you will be given details on how to make payment as part of the application process in respect of the vet inspection and production of their report.

Please note, if multiple activities are being applied for, an application fee for each licensable activity is applicable.

Please send to:

Community Protection
Central Police Station
Byron House
Maid Marian Way

Star Rating Scheme

The Procedural Guidance describes the risk-based system that must be used when issuing licences under the Regulations with the exception of 'Keeping or Training Animals for Exhibition' where all licences are issued for 3 years.

Use of this system determines both the length of the licence and the star rating that will be awarded. Local authorities in England are expected to follow it in full.

Further guidance on the star rating scheme is available in the guidance notes.

Tacit Consent

Does not apply as it is in the public interest that we must process your application before it can be granted.

Contact Us

Community Protection
Central Police Station
Byron House
Maid Marian Way

Tel: 0115 915 6571

Is there anything wrong with this page?