Animal welfare licensing

If you have a business that involves animals, you may need a licence.

Our licences are designed to promote and ensure the welfare of animals offered for sale or otherwise used in commercial enterprises.

The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 introduces an updated licensing system in England for five activities involving animals: selling animals as pets, providing for or arranging for the provision of boarding for cats or dogs, hiring out horses, dog breeding and keeping or training animals for exhibition. This licensing system will be enforced by local authorities, to ensure, at least minimum standards are maintained as required by the new legislation.

Existing license holders and anyone planning to apply for a licence should read the Regulations and guidance notes to fully understand your obligations and duties under the new Regulations and the licenses granted under these Regulations.

pdf icon The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 Procedural guidance notes for local authorities [686kb]

pdf icon The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 [209kb]

Defra guidance: 

Applications can be downloaded below. 

If you have any questions in the meantime please contact a member of the licensing team on 01476 406080.