Licensing of Activities Involving Animals

The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018

The following activities are licensable under the regulations:

  • selling animals as pets
  • providing or arranging for the provision of boarding for cats or dogs
  • hiring out of horses
  • breeding dogs
  • keeping or training animals for exhibition

The regulations came into effect on 1 October 2018 and replaced the licensing and registration regimes in place under the following legislation:

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

Guidance from DEFRA

The Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has published 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 from the bottom of this page; it is within this guidance that the inspection and risk rating criteria are set.

Document - %202%20Guidance%20notes%20for%20Breeding%20Dogs%202018.pdf

Document - %203%20Guidance%20notes%20for%20Boarding%20Dogs%20in%20Kennels%202018.pdf

Document - %204%20Guidance%20notes%20for%20Home%20Boarding%20Dogs%202018.pdf

Document - %205%20Guidance%20notes%20for%20Dog%20Day%20Care%202018.pdf

Document - %206%20Guidance%20notes%20for%20Boarding%20Cats%202018.pdf

Document - %207%20Guidance%20notes%20for%20Selling%20Animals%20as%20Pets%202018.pdf

Document - %208%20Guidance%20notes%20for%20Exhibition%20of%20Animals%202018.pdf

Document - %209%20Guidance%20notes%20for%20Hiring%20out%20Horses%202018.pdf

Document - %2010%20Procedural%20Guidance%20for%20Animal%20Activity%20Licensing%202018.pdf

If you currently hold a licence under one of the above pieces of legislation it will continue to be valid until it is due to expire. In most cases this will be 31 December 2018.

If you think you will fall under any the new requirements, please register your interest with the Licensing team by emailing

Contact: the Licensing team

Last updated on 01/11/2018