Animal Welfare Licensing

The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 came into force on 1 October 2018.

The intention of this legislation is to promote the welfare of animals via licensing and applies to:

  • The provision for or arranging for the provision of boarding for cats or dogs;
  • Dog breeding;
  • The hiring out of horses;
  • The day care of dogs;
  • Any persons selling animals as pets; and,
  • The keeping or training of animals for exhibition.

Businesses are able to have a number of separate licensing activities on the one licence rather than having to apply for different licences for different activities.

The licensing regime requires that all applicants meet the same, up-to-date, minimum welfare standards for animals across the country. Businesses have to meet these minimum standards in order to hold and retain a licence.

The regime also incorporates “earned recognition” into the animal licensing system and we are able to issue licences of 1, 2 or 3 years duration, with longer licences going to high performing, low risk businesses.

Businesses will be “star rated” from between 1 to 5 stars. A 1 star rating means a 1 year licence with a 5 star rating meaning a 3 year licence.

Licences can be issued at any point in the year rather than as previously where the majority of licences expired on 31 December regardless of when issued.

National conditions will be applied to all licences issued. There will be general conditions which will be applicable for every licence and specific conditions which will be tailored to each individual licensable activity. These can be viewed and downloaded below. The Department for Environmental Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) have also issued Guidance Notes on how these conditions can be met and whilst these Notes have been provided to assist inspectors they will also be useful for business owners and are also available below.

DEFRA have also has issued “Procedural Guidance Notes” which we must follow; and again these can also be used by those who currently have a licence or wish to apply for one. A copy of this document can also be downloaded below.


Any individual, who will be designated as the operator of the business, can apply for a licence providing they

  1. can  demonstrate  that they  are  a  fit  and  proper  person  to  carry  out  the  licensable  activity and meet the licence conditions; and
  2. are not disqualified from holding a licence in accordance with Section 11 and Schedule 8 of the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018.

These activities are defined as 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 by:

  1. providing boarding for cats;
  2. providing boarding in kennels for dogs; or,
  3. providing home boarding for dogs.

The circumstances which a local authority must take into account in determining whether an activity is being carried on in the course of a business include, for example, whether the operator:

  1. makes any sale by, or otherwise carries on, the activity with a view to making a profit, or
  2. earns any commission or fee from the activity.

This activity is defined as either or both of the following:

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

The circumstances which a local authority must take into account in determining whether an activity is being carried on in the course of a business include, for example, whether the operator:

  1. makes any sale by, or otherwise carries on, the activity with a view to making a profit, or
  2. earns any commission or fee from the activity.


This activity is defined as the hiring out horses in the course of a business for either or both of the following purposes:

  1. riding;
  2. instruction in riding.

The circumstances which a local authority must take into account in determining whether an activity is being carried on in the course of a business include, for example, whether the operator:

  1. makes any sale by, or otherwise carries on, the activity with a view to making a profit, or
  2. earns any commission or fee from the activity.

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 by providing day care for dogs.

The circumstances which a local authority must take into account in determining whether an activity is being carried on in the course of a business for the purposes of this Schedule include, for example, whether the operator:

  1. makes any sale by, or otherwise carries on, the activity with a view to making a profit, or
  2. earns any commission or fee from the activity.

This activity is defined as the selling of 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.

The circumstances which a local authority must take into account in determining whether an activity is being carried on in the course of a business include, for example, whether the operator:

  1. makes any sale by, or otherwise carries on, the activity with a view to making a profit, or
  2. earns any commission or fee from the activity.

This activity is defined as the keeping or training of animals for exhibition in the course of a business for educational or entertainment purposes:

  1. to any audience attending in person, or
  2. by the recording of visual images of them by any form of technology that enables the display of such images.

The circumstances which a local authority must take into account in determining whether an activity is being carried on in the course of a business include, for example, whether the operator:

  1. makes any sale by, or otherwise carries on, the activity with a view to making a profit, or
  2. earns any commission or fee from the activity.

We would aim to issue a decision on an application within 10 weeks of receiving it. It is possible however that the process may take longer, for example if further information is required from the applicant or if it proves difficult to make the arrangements for the inspection.

Operators  will  be  risk  rated  against  a  standard  14  point  criteria  checklist  which considers  a  number  of  factors  relating  to  compliance  history,  complaints,  welfare  standards and management standards. This scoring system will determine if they are rated as either low (a score of 17 or less) or high (a score of 18 or more).

New  businesses  which  do  not  have  compliance  history  with a  Local  Authority  or  UKAS accredited scheme will be rated as high risk.

Licences for the keeping or training animals for exhibition are not risk rated.

If businesses are not happy with their rating they will be able to either:

  1. Appeal it (the appeal has to be determined either by the head of the department that issued the licence within the local authority, or by a designated deputy, or by the equivalent in another authority. No officer involved in the production of the rating, or in the inspection on which the rating is based can consider the appeal); or,
  2. Apply for a re-inspection in order to improve it (this will be subject to a further fee).

In the first instance though we would recommend that businesses contact the inspecting officer first in order that they can help them to understand how the rating was worked out and what is required to uprate it.

We will  consider  the  report  from  the  inspector  and  any  comments  made  by  the applicant when deciding whether or not to issue a licence.

We must  refuse  to  issue  a  licence  if  we  consider  that  the  applicant  cannot  meet  the licence conditions, the granting of a licence will have a negative impact on animal welfare or if the  level  of  accommodation,  staffing  or  management  is  inadequate  for  the  well-being  of animals. A licence cannot be issued to an operator who is disqualified.

The applicant will have the right of appeal to a First-tier Tribunal within 28 days of the decision notice.

Yes. A copy of the licence must be clearly and prominently displayed on any premises on which the licensable activity is carried on.

Licence Type

Fee

Re-inspection

Variation

Keeping of animals for exhibition

£240.00

£240.00

£130.00

Pet shops

£240.00

£240.00

£130.00

Breeding of Dogs

£240.00*

£240.00*

£130.00*

Animal Boarding & Day care Establishments

 

 

 

0-4 animals

£225.00

£225.00

£120.00

5-50 animals

£255.00

£255.00

£140.00

Riding Establishments

£275.00*

£275.00*

£155.00*

 

*Plus veterinary inspection fees

Payment is by cheque or postal order only, made payable to Sefton MBC.

 

Boarding Animals And Dog Day Care Application Form (word 170KB)
Breeding Of Dogs Application Form (word 180KB)
Exhibition Of Animals Application Form (word 196KB)
Hiring Out Horses Application Form (word 209KB)
Selling Animals As Pets Application Form (word 218KB)

 

General Conditions For All Licences (pdf 76KB)
Animal Exhibition Specific Conditions (pdf 63KB)
Boarding Cats Specific Conditions (pdf 65KB)
Boarding In Kennels For Dogs Specific Conditions (pdf 64KB)
Dog Breeding Specific Conditions (pdf 73KB)
Dogs Day Care Specific Conditions (pdf 62KB)
Home Boarding For Dogs Specific Conditions (pdf 64KB)
Horses Specific Conditions (pdf 63KB)
Pets Specific Conditions (pdf 64KB)

 

Procedural Guidance For Local Authorities (pdf 685KB)
Dog Breeding Guidance Version 1.2 (pdf 648KB)
Hiring Out Horses Version 1.2 (pdf 497KB)
Providing Boarding For Cats Guidance Version 1.2 (pdf 1.22MB)
Providing Boarding For Dogs Guidance Version 1.2 (pdf 457KB)
Providing Day Care For Dogs Guidance 1.2 (pdf 462KB)
Providing Home Boarding For Dogs Guidance 1.2 (pdf 599KB)
Selling Animals As Pets Version 1.2 (pdf 993KB)

 

 


Last Updated on 06 August 2019