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New animal licensing regulations from 1 October 2018

On 1 October 2018 The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 came into force. These regulations replace a number of pieces of previous legislation repealed at the end of 2018. They provide a new single licensing regime for a number of animal licensing activities.

Those undertaking the following activities will need to be licensed under the new regime:

  • 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

Licences held under the previous system relating to pet shops, animal boarding establishments, riding establishments or dog breeding will continue in force for the rest of their term. Licence holders will then need to make an application for a licence under the new regime and comply with the new requirements.

The new regulations set nationally applicable conditions that licence holders must comply with. A ratings system will be introduced whereby licence holders will be given a rating dependant on specified criteria. Current licence holders are advised to consider the conditions contained within the new regulations which will need to be complied with.

The regulations can be found here: 

The new animal licensing guidelines are available here:

Fees and a policy will be determined by the authority. Zoos and dangerous and wild animals will continue to be licensed under existing legislation.