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

In 2018 new regulations were adopted by Parliament that replace the majority of the animal welfare legislation administered by Local Authorities.

The new legislation is very different in the way in which the activity we licence is legislated. It allows for the licensing of the following activities:

  • Selling animals as pets (pet shops)
  • Providing boarding for cats or dogs (Dog Kennels and Catteries)
  • Home dog boarding
  • Dog day care
  • Hiring out horses (to include pony trekking, riding instruction where a mount is provided and donkey or pony rides)
  • Breeding dogs (to include where 3 or more litters are bred in 12 months or a business selling dogs is advertised)
  • Keeping or training animals for exhibition

Licences issued include General National Conditions together with National Specific Conditions which will apply to each type of activity.

You can view the new legislation at where you will be able to view both sets of conditions which are included in the regulations.

Any licences granted under the old legislation that existed on 1 October 2018 will remain in force until they expire.

The new licences will also be subject to satisfactory inspections of premises with riding inspections carried out by approved vets.

The inspector is required as part of the inspection to determine a “Star Rating” for each licence which will determine the duration of the licence and frequency of inspections. The star rating will form part of the licence which must be publicly displayed.

Guidance documents

If you are operating a business which would require a licence as a consequence of the new Regulation, please take the time to examine both the general and activity specific conditions that will apply and read the activity specific guidance document at DEFRA Guidance.

The guidance documents answer questions regarding the conditions.

Last reviewed: April 11, 2023 by Sophie

Next review due: October 11, 2023

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