The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 come into force today

The myriad of licensing systems that local authorities use to regulate businesses which deal with animals, or animal activities, have been in place for over 50 years. This has led to outdated regulations meaning some businesses require several licences and others, such as home boarding and dog day care businesses, were not always covered.  APGAW members had pushed Government to update legislation and make it fit for purpose around the sale, breeding and use of companion animals.  The regulations introduce a new system for local authorities ensuring all businesses working with animals are covered and driving up animal welfare standards. A key part of these new licences will be a new “star rating” (out of five) for dog breeders, pet shops and other licensed activities involving animals. This rates these businesses, on welfare and other grounds, and helps buyers use the best breeders as well as local authorities to more heavily regulate the poorer rated (such as through more welfare inspections, increased costs and shorter licences).

The five areas of licensed activities with animals by businesses are:

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

APGAW members are delighted to see these changes and believe other activities could also be considered in future including dog walkers and groomers, livery yards and trainers and behaviourists.