Animal welfare licensing

New regulations came into force on 1 October 2018, replacing some existing licensing requirements and introducing a new set of rules:

The rules are fully explained in the Guidance produced by the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to control the following licensable activities:

This guidance has been updated and came into force from 1 February 2022.

Animal welfare star ratings

The animal welfare star rating scheme has been developed under the new regulations and is based on the animal welfare standards found at the time of the inspection and the compliance history of the business.

After each planned inspection a rating from 1 to 5 is awarded. More information is available here:

What happens if I am unhappy with my star rating?

1. You can request a re-rating inspection

You can request a re-rating inspection at any time, providing you are confident that you have met the relevant standards required. The officer will re-assess the star rating based on the level of compliance that is found at the time of the re-rating inspection. You should be aware that your rating could go up, down or remain the same. 

Complete the re-rating request form and return it to

2. You can appeal against your star rating

You can appeal If you think that the star rating is unfair and you believe the rating does not reflect the standards at the time of the inspection. 

Complete the star rating appeal form and return it to

What happens if I do not get the score I want at a re-rating inspection?

The star rating remains in place. However, you can apply for a re-rating inspection again.

Further information

Our Animal Welfare Licensing enforcement policy details how we take enforcement action:

You can find more information including Frequently Asked Questions here:

Contact our Environmental Health Team:

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