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Animal welfare licensing guidance notes

If you undertake the following activities, you are required to be licensed under The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018:

  • Selling animals as pets
  • Providing or arranging for the provision of boarding for cats or dogs (including day care)
  • Hiring out horses
  • Breeding dogs
  • Keeping or training animals for exhibition

A ratings system will also be introduced whereby licence holders will be given a rating based on specified criteria. Zoos and Dangerous and Wild Animals will continue to be licensed under existing legislation.

Apply for or renew an animal welfare licence

The way to apply or renew and pay for your licence is online:

Apply online - start now

Guidance notes

You can find legislation guidance notes for the following licences on the Canine and Feline Sector Group website:

  • Conditions for selling animals as pets
  • Conditions for providing boarding for cats
  • Conditions for providing boarding in kennels for dogs
  • Conditions for breeding dogs
  • Conditions for providing day care for dogs
  • Conditions for providing home boarding for dogs
  • Conditions for keeping or training animals for exhibition
  • Conditions for hiring out horses


Licence duration and standards

Under the new regulations, a licence will last for either 1, 2 or 3 years. Prior to the issue of a licence we will undertake an inspection of your premises. During the inspection we will consider two main aspects:

Firstly the welfare standards observed, which are based upon assessment of a range of criteria, including records, staffing, the environment, diet, and the protection of the animals from pain and suffering. The inspection findings will determine whether there are 'minor failings', 'minimum standards' or 'higher standards' have been met.

Secondly, the risk, which is largely based on the history of compliance of the business, and also upon the licence holder's appreciation of hazards and risks. The overall risk will be determined as being either 'low' or 'higher'.

The inspection findings will be fed into the following scoring matrix which determines both the licence duration, and a star rating which will be given to a business.

Scoring matrix
RiskWelfare Standards
 Minor FailingsMinimum StandardsHigher Standards
Low Risk1 Star
(1 year licence)
3 Star
(2 year licence)
5 Star
(3 year licence)
Higher Risk1 Star
(1 year licence)
2 Star
(1 year licence)
4 Star
(2 year licence)

The standards relate to:

  • Safety
  • Security
  • Infectious disease control
  • The suitability of the licence holder

The aim is to:

  • Ensure the welfare of animals
  • Prevent the spread of disease
  • Ensure the safety of the public visiting these premises

Periodic inspections are carried out to confirm standards are maintained. We will also investigate all complaints.

Licence conditions

The conditions which will be attached to licences are in Schedules 3 to 7 of the regulations and will depend on the licensable activities.

Riding Establishments will still be required to have all horses used under the act annually inspected by a local authority veterinary surgeon.


Lewes District and Eastbourne Borough Councils have set the following fees that will be charged for licences issued under The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018

License Fees
Main ActivityPart A (Application Fee)Part B (for granted licences)Total Fees DueVet fees in addition to licence feesAdditional ActivitiesRescoreAppeal
Dog Day Care£183.75£78.75


Selling Animals as Pets£192.85£98.00£290.85No£106.05£117.60£82.95
Breeding Dogs£192.00£98.85£290.85Yes (1st Inspection only)£117.60£129.15£95.55
Provision of Boarding for cats (Cattery)£183.75£78.75£262.50No£68.78£105.00£69.83
Provision of Boarding for dogs (Kennel boarding)£183.75£78.75£262.50No£68.78£105.00£69.83
Provision of Boarding for dogs (Home boarding)£183.75£78.75£262.50No£68.78£105.00£69.83
Horses (up to 10)£183.75£78.75£262.50Yes 1st Inspection and Annual visits£124.43£136.50£101.33
Horses (Between 11 and 20)£258.00£109.50£367.50Yes 1st Inspection and Annual visits£142.80£154.35£119.70
Horses (More than 20)£367.00£116.00£483.00Yes 1st Inspection and Annual visits£291.90£303.45£268.80
Keeping or training animals for exhibition£125.00£44.05£169.05No£53.55n/an/a