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Animal Welfare Regulations

The Government has recently published the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018. These regulations replace a number of existing licensing regimes 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

The regulations came into effect on 1st October 2018 and introduced a new licensing regime to replace the licensing and registration regimes currently in place under the following legislation:

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

If you have a licence under one of the above pieces of legislation that is in force on 1st October 2018, 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.

Guidance from DEFRA

The Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has now 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 accessed on the website.

Application forms 

Icon for word Breeding of dogs [75.33KB]
Icon for word Hiring out of horses [75.71KB]
Icon for word Home boarding  [46.5KB]
Icon for word Keeping or training animals for exhibition [74.84KB]
Icon for word Selling animals as pets [76.42KB]
Icon for word Dog day care [73.35KB]
Icon for word Boarding kennel [80.9KB]


Pet shop licence£265
Pet shop licence renewal£208
Animal boarding establishment licence£269
Animal boarding establishment licence renewal£190
Host licence£73
Host licence renewal£73
Dog breeders licence£265
Dog breeders licence renewal£190
Riding establishment licence£265
Riding establishment licence renewal£228
Performing animals licence£245
Performing animals licence renewal£208
Performing animals copy of licence£15

Any additional work for variations of the above will be charged at the hourly rate of £36.

* Please note that these fees do not include any costs associated with inspections by a veterinarian. Veterinarian fees will be payable for the first inspection for a dog breeding licence and annual riding establishment inspections. The Local Authority reserves the right to request the attendance of a veterinarian, the cost of which will be paid by the applicant.

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