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Animal establishment licensing

The Government has recently published the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 under section 13 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

The effect of the new regulations is to replace some existing licensing regimes and to put in place a new licensing regime to control the following licensable activities:

  • breeding dogs
  • hiring out horses
  • keeping or training animals for exhibition
  • providing or arranging for the provision of boarding for cats or dogs
  • selling animals as pets

The regulations came into effect on 1 October 2018, introducing a new licensing regime to replace the licensing and registration regimes currently in place under the following legislation:

If you have a licence under one of the above pieces of legislation that was in force on 1st October 2018, it will continue to be valid until it is due to expire. You will then need to apply for a licence under the new regulations.

The new welfare laws will mean that more people who run animal businesses will have to register with their local council.

Dog day boarders, keepers of exhibition animals and dog breeders must contact Hillingdon Council ahead of Government legislation which has become law since the 1 October 2018. These groups will be covered by the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 [208KB] and anyone who does not register could be guilty of an offence.

Anyone who operates a business looking after dogs which is away from the dog and owners homes during the day will need a licence. People who keep exhibition animals in the course of their business for educational or entertainment purposes will also need to register - this includes businesses such as falconry displays, dove releases, animal encounter experiences, or pat-a-pony days.  

Guidance notes

The Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has now published procedural guidance for local authorities in relation to the new regulations, along with guidance notes on the conditions that will apply to licences issued to authorise the different licensable activities. Guidance notes updated 1 December 2018.


Licence type Application fee1 year licence payable on grant2 year licence payable on grant3 year licence payable on grant
Breeding, Boarding and Pet Shops      £185                           £150                           £225                           £300
Hiring out horses    £222.50                           £215                           £295                           £375
Exhibiting/Performing Animals    £162.50                            N/A                            N/A                           £110

How to apply

The applicant will need to fill out the section 1 standard applicant profile and section 10 declaration (both of these are mandatory) and then fill out the animal activity type form specific to what they do. 

Please download the appropriate forms and send them to our Licensing team.

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Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 10 Dec 2018 at 08:31