Many activities involving animals need a licence to ensure the welfare of the animals.
On 1 October 2018, The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 came into force, introducing significant changes to protect animal welfare and improving conditions for animals in England.
A licence is required in order to carry on specific activities involving animals for profit or for a fee. These include:
- Provision of Boarding for Dogs in Kennels
- Provision of Boarding for Cats in a Cattery
- Provision of Home Boarding for Dogs
- Provision of Day Care for Dogs
- Breeding of Dogs
- Hiring out of Horses or Donkeys etc. for Riding
- Keeping or Training Animals for Exhibition.
- Selling Animals as Pets
Defra has provided statutory guidance for inspectors in the Procedural Guidance Notes for Local Authorities which include an explanation of how the new risk rating scheme will work.
Defra has also published a set of Statutory Guidance Notes (found below) for the activities with new conditions. There is guidance on how to comply with general and specific conditions that apply to all licences and animal activity. In order to be issued with a licence it is necessary to comply with both sets of conditions.
Each activity will be inspected in accordance with the guidance and risk rated with between 1 and 5 stars being awarded. These risk ratings are included in the licence document which has to be displayed at the premises and Defra have encouraged councils to post the risk rating of the licences issued in the borough on their website.
A full list of guidance notes can be found on the GOV.UK website.
Defra Codes of Practice
- Defra Code of Practice for the Welfare of Cats
- Defra Code of Practice for the Welfare of Dogs
- Defra Code of Practice for the Welfare of Horses, Ponies, Donkeys and Their Hybrids
There are no changes to the licensing of Dangerous Wild Animals or Zoos.
Concerns about Animal Welfare
If you are concerned about the way one of the above animal activities is being carried out you should report this by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that if the matter is about the animal welfare of other animals i.e. not a licensable activity then you should report your concerns to:
- the Police
- on either 999 if the incident is happening at the time or
- 101 if it is not and
- the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999