What animal activities require an animal licence?
New government regulations came into force on 1 October 2018, which apply to the following animal activities:
- Pet shops;
- Selling animals as pets;
- Animal boarding establishments;
- Commercial boarding kennels;
- Home dog boarding;
- Dog day care/creche;
- Dog breeding establishments;
- Riding establishments;
- Hiring out horses;
- Keepers and trainers of performing animals; and
- Exhibition of animals.
What happens next?
The terms of existing licences will stay unchanged until their term runs out. New or renewed licences after 1 October 2018 will have to be made under the new regulations.
We are currently reviewing the new legislation and guidance. Once this is done, licence conditions, our fees and procedures will be changed accordingly.
We will be contacting anyone with an animal licence to discuss what the next steps are. Until then, please review the guidance below to see how these changes may affect you.
Dangerous Wild Animals and Zoos licences remain largely unaffected by the regulations.
Anyone wishing to apply for a new animal licence should contact us before making an application. You must then:
- Read the further information;
- Ensure that your operation is fully compliant with the general and specific conditions for each activity you wish to undertake;
- Complete the animal activity licence application form [pdf] 417KB;
- Complete the Licensed Animal Establishment Response Plan [pdf] 33KB;
- Ensure you have copies of all supporting documents;
- Pay the appropriate fee.
Request a rescore
Business operators have a right to request a revisit for the purposes of rerating if they have taken action to rectify the non-compliances identified at the time of inspection.
To make a request for a revisit, please complete the request a rescore form [pdf] 140KB and email it back to us. Remember to read the notes for businesses carefully before submitting the form.
What can the business operator do if they do not agree with the rating given?
Business operators have a right to appeal the rating given following their inspection if they do not agree that it reflects the welfare and risk level of their business, and the management controls found at the time of the inspection.
To make an appeal, please complete the animal licensing appeal form [pdf] 49KB and email it back to us. Remember to read the notes for businesses carefully before submitting the form.
- Animal licensing guidance notes and frequently asked questions
- The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) 2018
- DEFRA guidance
Reporting poor care of animals
We are responsible for any welfare issues that arise in premises which we licence. Please contact us if you suspect that animal welfare needs are not being met in a premises that we licence. For all other enquiries reporting the welfare of animals please call the RSPCA's 24-hour national cruelty and advice line on 0300 1234 999.
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
By post: Environmental Health, Ashford Borough Council, Tannery Lane, Ashford, Kent, TN23 1PL