Animal activity licence

On 1st October 2018, the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 (external link) came into force. This legislation has significantly changed the way certain activities involving animals are licensed and regulated. The legislation defines the following as licensable activities:

Any person or business operating any of the above activities will need to apply for a licence, and will need to comply with the new legislation and the conditions set by this legislation. We are required to carry out an inspection of all premises where licensable activities take place before an application can be determined. A ratings system has also been introduced where you will be given a rating dependant on a specified criteria.

Zoos and Dangerous and Wild Animals will continue to be licensed under the existing legislation.

Existing Licence Holders

Licences held under the current system for pet shops, animal boarding establishments, riding establishments or dog breeding will continue until the expiry date shown on the licence.

Prior to the expiry date of this licence, existing licence holders need to make an application for a licence under the new regulations and comply with the new requirements.

Registrations held under the current system for performing animals will continue in force until 1st April 2019. Prior to this date, existing registration holders will need to make an application for a licence under the new regulations and comply with the new requirements.

If you are the holder of an existing licence or registration you are advised to familiarise yourself with the new licence conditions, to ensure you are able to comply with these, making an application for a new licence.

Guidance and Conditions

The general conditions set by the legislation are as follows:

Public register

We maintain a public register of all the businesses which hold an animal activity licence, a copy of which is available below. This will be updated on a regular basis.


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