Performing animal licence

Changes to the Animal Licensing Laws

The Government has published updated legislation, The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations under Section 13 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

Download a performing animal application form


On 1st October 2018 new regulations came into force that will replace existing legislation.

Under the new laws a number of animal related activities will all be covered under a single type of licence, known as an Animal Activity Licence, rather than under separate Licences. The legislation is accompanied by new nationally set licence conditions which are contained in Schedules 3 to 7 of the regulations. We cannot change these conditions as they are already set in the legislation.

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

  • Selling animals as pets
  • Providing (or arranging to provide) accommodation for other people’s cats or dogs
    o Boarding for cats
    o Boarding in kennels for dogs
    o Home boarding for dogs
    o Day care for dogs.
  • Hiring out horses (for riding and/or instruction in riding)
  • Breeding dogs
  • Keeping or training animals for exhibition

Further information:

Eligibility Criteria

An applicant must not be disqualified or had a licence revoked as per Schedule 8 of the Regulations. 

Application Process

Businesses operating any of the above activities will need to comply with the new conditions, and will be inspected before the licence is granted to make sure they can meet them.
We aim to issue a decision within 10 weeks of receiving the application. This may take longer if further information is required from the applicant or if it proves difficult to arrange an inspection.

Inspections

All premises will be inspected before the licence is granted. The premises itself will also be assessed so we can be sure the licence holder can meet the new laws relating to the physical environment in which the animals will be kept

Staff should have a specialist knowledge in the species they are caring for and a clear understanding of its needs and welfare - i.e. mental and physical health, feeding, and knowledge of environmental enrichment. They should also have an understanding of risks involved in caring for the animal, including an extensive risk assessment and written policies and procedures that are reviewed regularly. There should be training procedures in place to make sure staff know what is expected of them, and clear evidence of good supervision of staff. These documents should be available for the Inspector to examine.