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

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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
  • Dog day care
  • Hiring out horses
  • Breeding dogs
  • Keeping or training animals for exhibition.

The regulations came into effect on 1 October 2018 and replaced the following licensing and registration legislation:

  • Pet Animals Act 1951
  • Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963
  • Riding Establishments Acts 1964 and 1970
  • Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 and Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999
  • Performing Animals (Regulation) Act 1925.

If you have a licence under one of these pieces of legislation that was 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.

Please read the procedure guidance

The Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) have produced some guidance notes for each activity. We advise that you read these carefully as they contain important information. 


Please complete the application form and send it to us along with all the required documentation to:

Licensing Team
Central Depot
Moat Lane
B91 2LW