Draft Animal Licensing Policy consultation

The consultation on our draft Animal Licensing Policy is now closed.


The Animal Welfare Act 2006 introduced a new licensing power, which enabled nationally set regulations to be made for any animal-related activities specified in those regulations.

As a result, The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 were published.

The regulations will change the way animal-related businesses are inspected and licensed. They came into force on 1 October 2018.

New regulations

The new regulations define the animal-based activities that need licences as:

  • selling animals as pets (or with a view to their being later resold as pets) in the course of a business, including keeping animals in the course of a business with a view to their being so sold or resold

  • providing or arranging for the provision of accommodation for other people's cats or dogs in the course of a business on any premises where the provision of that accommodation is a purpose of the business

  • hiring out horses in the course of a business for either riding, instruction in riding, or both

  • breeding three or more litters of puppies in any 12-month period; or breeding dogs and advertising a business of selling dogs

  • keeping or training animals for exhibition in the course of a business for educational or entertainment purposes, either to any audience attending in person, or by the recording of visual images of them by any form of technology.

Draft Animal Licensing Policy

As a result of these changes, and to make sure that animal welfare standards are maintained and only suitable persons hold a licence, we have drafted a new icon Animal Licensing Policy [319.69KB] . The draft policy asks applicants to prove that they have:

  • the right to work in the UK

  • no relevant convictions

  • not been disqualified from holding a licence

  • the knowledge, experience, compliance history and ability to comply with licence conditions and safeguard the welfare of animals in their care

  • made suitable management and training arrangements to safeguard and protect any staff and/or members of the public who may be affected by the licence activity

  • obtained planning permission for their proposed activity.


The consultation is now closed.