Changes to the animal licensing laws
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 changes have been made to ensure a higher standard of animal welfare when operating a business.
The new regulations will replace some existing licensing rules and put in place new licensing rules to control the following activities:
- selling animals as pets
- providing or arranging for the provision of boarding for cats or dogs (including home boarding and day care)
- hiring out horses
- breeding of dogs
- keeping or training animals for exhibition.
Each activity will be subject to conditions that will ensure welfare standards are met.
Businesses operating under current licences will be able to continue to do so until their licence expires, except for Performing Animal Registrations, who can continue until 31 March 2019, after which time a new licence must be obtained.
The Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has published guidance notes on the conditions that will apply to each activity that can be authorised under the new rules. These can be viewed below:
- breeding dogs [PDF, 0.8MB]
- boarding dogs in kennels [PDF, 0.6MB]
- home boarding dogs [PDF, 0.6MB]
- dog day care [PDF, 0.6MB]
- boarding cats [PDF, 1MB]
- selling animals as pets [PDF, 1.5MB]
- exhibition of animals [PDF, 0.6MB]
- hiring of horses [PDF, 0.6MB]
This page will be updated with further information regarding the application process and fees when it becomes available.