Licensing of animal-related activities
On 1st October 2018, The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 came into force and introduced changes to the laws relating to animal activity licensing.
You will need a licence if you want to:
- sell animals as pets;
- provide for or arrange for the provision of boarding of cats or dogs (including boarding in kennels or catteries, home boarding for dogs and dog day care);
- hire out horses (not restricted to riding lessons);
- keep or train animals for exhibition (including performance) – this activity in the Derbyshire Dales was previously regulated by Derbyshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service; and
- breed dogs (3 litters a year or more – or if the business threshold test is met, this may be fewer litters).
Click here to view the Regulations [PDF 207 KB].
If you are not sure whether you require a licence or whether the business threshold is met, you will to supply as much information and evidence as possible so that we can assess your operation and advise accordingly.
NOTE: In the Government’s 2016 Budget a new allowance was announced of £1,000 for trading income from April 2017. Anyone whose trading income falls below this level would not normally be considered to be trading as a business.
The first 30 minutes of advice we provide will be free of charge - see Application Fees below.
A Single Licence
One of more of these activities at the same premises will be authorised by a single licence, known as an Animal Activity Licence. These licences will be issued subject to new nationally-set licence conditions. Any business wanting to operate one of these animal-related activities will have to be assessed before the licence is granted to make sure they can comply with the requirements.
A star-rating system for licensed premises has been introduced, and a rating of 1 to 5 will be awarded. The rating will dictate the period for which the licence is granted, which will be 1, 2 or 3 years.
The minimum duration of a licence will be 1 year, but where higher standards are achieved a 2 or 3 year licence will be granted. Where higher standards are met this will result in fewer renewals and the premises being inspected less frequently. All new premises will be granted a 1 year licence initially.
More information about the rating system is contained in the Guidance Notes documents detailed below.
Guidance Notes have been produced by DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), to assist licensing authorities, existing licence holders and would-be applicants to understand these new licensing requirements. Each guidance document details the nationally-set conditions/standards for an activity which will need to be complied with before a licence is granted or renewed.
The Guidance Notes in respect of each activity can viewed by clicking on the links below:
The Guidance Notes first published and made available here at the beginning of October 2018 were revised and re-published on 5th December 2018 by DEFRA. (The Procedural Guidance for Licensing Authorities and the Guidance for Keeping Animals for Exhibition were unchanged).
The above links to the Guidance Notes are the latest versions. A changelog detailing how these differ from version 1 published in October 2018 can be viewed here [PDF 223 KB].
Application Forms for New/Renewal of Licences
The fees for Animal Activity Licences were reviewed and approved in November 2018 and came into effect on 1st January 2019.
Application fee for new licence £310
Fee for grant of licence, including compliance and enforcement £75 **
**(If for any reason a licence is not granted the second fee of £75 will not be charged)
Application fee for renewal of licence £310
Fee for grant of renewal, including compliance and enforcement £75 **
Variation of licence – administration £25
Variation of licence – administration and inspection £125
Re-rating inspection £100
Appeal inspection £100
Advice from Licensing Team - first 30 minutes – Free of Charge
Advice from Licensing Team – more than 30 minutes £50 fee to include meeting and written advice
Advisory site visit £100
New applications may be subject to an inspection by a vet appointed by the District Council, and in some circumstances a Vet may be required to inspect your premises before your renewal application can be determined. In either case you will be invoiced separately for the total costs of any Vet inspection(s) plus VAT. All inspections by a Vet will be arranged by the District Council, and the inspection report will be provided direct to the Council. A copy of the inspection report will be made available to the applicant/licence-holder.
The licensing of Zoos and the Keeping of Dangerous Wild Animals are not included or directly affected by the Regulations.
Am I eligible?
Schedule 8 of the Regulations provides details of persons who may not apply for a licence.
- Animal Welfare Act 2006
- The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 [PDF 208 KB] [PDF 207 KB]
How will my application be evaluated?
Once your application form and fee(s) have been received and verified as complete, an inspection of your premises will be arranged. The inspection will be carried out by a member of the District Council's Environmental Health Team (and, in some cases, a vet) to ensure your premises comply with the nationally-set standards and condiitons detailed in the regulations and explained in more detail in the Guidance Note documents provided by DEFRA.
What if I don't hear back within the specified time?
It is in the public interest that we must process your application before it can be granted. For new applications and renewals, if you have not heard from us within 28 days please contact the Licensing Team.
What happens if my application is refused?
Please contact us in the first instance.
We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first point of contact should be made with the business proprietor by you - preferably in the form of a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, please contact the Council's Licensing Team for assistance.
Details of premises currently licensed for the above activities are shown in the following documents:
Register of Premises Licensed/Registered to Exhibit Animals - tbc.