Animal welfare licensing – change is coming

Animal welfare 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 1 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 1 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.

What you need to do

The Department for Food, Environmental and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has issued guidance which you will need to comply with by 31 December 2018.

You can find this guidance here.

Further information

In the meantime we have prepared the attached “Frequently Asked Questions” document, which we hope you will find useful.