Animal Establishment Licensing

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

The government has published the above regulations under Section 13 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006. 

On 1 October 2018 the above regulations came into force. They updated and made changes to the previous animal licensing regime improving animal welfare standards and are compatible with the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

The effect of the regulations was 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
  • Dog boarding in kennels
  • Dog home boarding
  • Dog day care
  • Cat boarding
  • Dog breeding
  • Keeping or training animals for exhibition
  • Hiring out horses

The following animal licences are largely unaffected by the new regulations:

  • Dangerous Wild Animals licences¬†
  • Zoo licences

The following conditions apply to all licences:

  • a set of general conditions and
  • a set of specific conditions that will apply to the specific animal activity

It is necessary to comply with both sets of conditions.

Defra has produced guidance documents to help current and prospective licence holders understand what will be required of them under the new regulations. Please refer to the guidance documents below for more information.

Please read the regulations and the procedural guidance on GOV.UK

Guidance Notes

In addition to the guidance from Defra, we have produced guidance notes.


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We do not have published lists of Animal Activity Licences at this time.