The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 took effect on 1 October 2018. 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The regulations repealed and replaced the previous licensing regimes that were in place under the following pieces of legislation: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.
The Department of Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has 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.
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.
The procedural guidance and other guidance notes can be downloaded from the Worcestershire Regulatory Services website:
Animal Activity Licences at Worcestershire Regulatory Services
Or directly from the DEFRA website:
Animal activities licensing: guidance for local authorities
Apply by post
Download and complete the application form. You can use a pdf PDF format (253 KB) or document Word format (229 KB) .
The application form should be completed and returned with the relevant fee and documents referred to on the form to:
Licensing (Malvern Hills), Wyre Forest House, Fine Point Way, Finepoint Way, Kidderminster, Worcestershire, DY11 7WF
Refer to the pdf Animal Welfare Fee Table and Guidance Notes (249 KB) for fees that need be paid when applying for a licence.
Information on different ways to pay the fees can be found on the Licensing Fees and Charges page.
Depending on which licensable activities you are applying for a licence 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 Worcestershire Regulatory Services to recover the costs they incur in relation to the vet’s inspection and the production of their report.
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 3 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 pdf animal welfare star rating scheme. (613 KB)
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.
Dangerous Wild Animals and Zoos
The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 do not affect the licensing of those who keep dangerous wild animals or operate zoos. These continue to be licensed under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 and the Zoo Licensing Act 1981
Download more information on obtaining a licence to keep dangerous wild animals or operate a zoo.