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Animal and pet licensing

Animal Welfare Licensing

Animal Welfare Regulations 2018​​​

The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 come into effect on the 1st October 2018.  The effect of the new regulations is to replace some existing licensing regimes and to put in place a new licensing regime to control 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

If you have a licence under the old legislation it will continue to be valid until it is due to expire.  You will then need to apply for a licence under the new regulations.

If you have a registrations under the Performing Animals (Regulation) Act 1925, it shall continue in force until the 31st March 2019.  You will then need to apply for a licence under the new regulations.​

Guidance from DEFRA​

The Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has now produced procedural guidance for local authorities in relation to the new regulations, along 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:

Application Forms


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Last updated Tuesday, 30th April 2019

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