Animal Welfare Licensing

The Government has now published updated legislation for animal businesses and confirmed that these changes will take effect from 1 October 2018. Changes to the law will affect:

  • animal boarding businesses (including home boarders and day carers)
  • dog breeders
  • pet shops
  • riding establishments

These will now be covered under a single type of licence from that date. It will be known as an 'animal activity licence', with new nationally-set licence conditions for businesses providing animal-related services.

We cannot change these conditions as they are already set in the legislation. Businesses operating with these activities will need to comply with the new conditions, and will be assessed before the licence is granted to make sure they can meet them.

Those businesses operating under current licences will be able to continue to do so until the expiry date of their licence. All applications to renew licences will be under the new legislation. 

The regulations 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 1 October 2018, it will continue to be valid until it is due to expire. You will need apply for a licence under the new regulations before your existing licence expires.

The following licences are unaffected: