Animal licensing

The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 took effect on 1 October 2018.

Further information

The regulations were made by the Secretary of State under section 13 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and introduced a new licensing regime for anyone carrying out one or more of the following ‘licensable activities’:

  • Selling animals as pets
  • Providing or arranging for the provision of boarding for cats or dogs
  • Hiring out horses
  • Breeding dogs
  • Keeping or training animals for exhibition.

The regulations repealed and replaced the previous licensing regimes that were in place under the following pieces of legislation:

  • Pet Animals Act 1951
  • Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963
  • Riding Establishments Acts 1964 & 1970
  • Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 & Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999
  • Performing Animals (Regulation) Act 1925.

Anyone carrying on any of the above licensable activities in the council’s area requires a licence from the council to do so.

Will my current licence still be valid from 1 October 2018?

Existing licenses will remain valid until it is due to expire. However, Performing Animal Regulations will only continue for 6 months after 1 October 2018. After this, you will need to apply for a licence under the new regulations.

If your current licence expired before 1 October 2018, then you must apply using the existing forms and if granted, will last until the expiry.

Guidance

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 licenses issued to authorise the different licensable activities. The procedural guidance and other guidance notes can be downloaded below.

The guidance notes for each licensable activity also provide guidance on whether an individual requires a licence or not, which will depend on their individual circumstances.

You can view the full legislation on the link below:

The procedural guidance and guidance notes for each of the activities can be downloaded below.

Apply by post

You can download the application form below.

The application form should be completed and returned with the relevant fee and documents referred to on the form to:

Fees

You can view the fees that apply by downloading the document below:

Depending on which licensable activities you are applying for, we may be required to appoint a vet to inspect the premises. The costs of any required vet inspection are NOT covered by the application or licence fees and must be paid for by the applicant separately. If your application requires us to appoint a vet, you will be invoiced by Leicester City Council to recover the costs they incur in relation to the vet’s inspection and the production of their report.

If multiple activities are being applied for, an application fee for each is applicable.

Fees may be amended upon review.

Star rating scheme

The Procedural Guidance describes the risk-based system that must be used when issuing licences under the Regulations with the exception of 'Keeping or Training Animals for Exhibition' where all licences are issued for three years.

Use of this system determines both the length of the licence and the star rating that will be awarded. Local authorities in England are expected to follow it in full.

Further guidance on the star rating scheme is available on the guidance notes.

Will tacit consent apply?

No. It is in the public interest that we must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from us within a reasonable period, please get in touch using the details above.

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