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Contact Details: Animals

Animal Establishment Licensing – Change is Coming!


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

The Government has recently published the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 under section 13 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.  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

The regulations come into effect on 1st October 2018 and will introduce 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 & 1970
•    Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 & 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 downloaded below: 

Guidance notes for conditions for breeding dogs

Guidance notes for conditions for providing boarding in kennels for dogs

Guidance notes for conditions for providing home boarding for dogs

Guidance notes for conditions for providing day care for dogs

Guidance notes for conditions for providing boarding for cats

Guidance notes for conditions for selling animals as pets

Guidance notes for conditions for keeping or training animals for exhibition

Guidance notes for conditions for hiring out horses