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

Government changes are being made to improve the effectiveness of existing regulations and to simplify the application and inspection process for businesses as well as maintaining and improving existing animal welfare standards.

The animal based activities requiring a licence under this new legislation include:

  • Selling animals as pets (or with a view to their being later resold as pets) in the course of a business including keeping animals in the course of a business with a view to their being so sold or resold.
  • Providing or arranging for the provision of accommodation for other people’s cats or dogs in the course of a business on any premises where the provision of that accommodation is a purpose of the business.
  • Hiring out horses in the course of a business for either riding, instruction in riding, or both.
  • Breeding three or more litters of puppies in any 12-month period; or breeding dogs and advertising a business of selling dogs.
  • Keeping or training animals for exhibition in the course of a business for educational or entertainment purposes, either to any audience attending in person, or by the recording of visual images of them by any form of technology, or both.

The Animal Welfare Regulations 2018 implement a single Establishment Licence which covers the five activities, as detailed above.

Animal Licences

Animal boarding

Dog breeding

Hiring of horses

An Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) records check certificate is required for employers/employees and any volunteers over the age of 16, every 3 years. Further details are available on our how to make a DBS application.

Performing animals

 Sale of animals as pets

Guidance Notes

General conditions and relevant specific conditions can be found in the guidance issued by Government below:

Licensing Fees

Animal licensing fees and charges

This new Regulation replaces the requirement in England, to be registered under the Performing Animals (Regulation) Act 1925 or to obtain a licence under the Pet Animals Act 1951; the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963; the Riding Establishments Act 1964 or the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973.

Please note, existing licences that are issued up to the 30 September 2018, will continue until their stated expiry dates and will then be renewed under the new regulations.

If you have any questions or require further information please contact