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Animal Welfare Licences

The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018

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The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2019

New legislation was introduced in April 2020 to tackle the low-welfare, high volume supply of puppies and kittens, by banning their commercial third-party sale in England.

'Lucy's Law' means that anyone wanting to get a new puppy or kitten in England must now buy direct from a breeder, or consider adopting from a rescue centre instead. Licensed dog breeders are required to show puppies interacting with their mothers in their place of birth. If a business sells puppies or kittens without a licence, they could receive an unlimited fine or be sent to prison for up to six months.

The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018

These regulations provide a single licensing regime for a number of animal activities.

The following activities need to be licensed:

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

The Regulations set nationally applicable conditions that licence holders must comply with. A ratings system has been introduced whereby licence holders will be given a rating dependant on specified criteria.

The Regulations and further guidance can be found in the downloads section on this page.

An application form can be downloaded here Icon for pdf Application Form [314.24KB]

Or you can Apply Online Here

The fees for animal licences can be viewed here Icon for pdf Table of Fees 2020-21 [13.66KB]

A list of existing animal activity licences can be viewed on our  Public Register page

If you have a licence for "hiring of horses" and wish to change the schedule of animals please complete this form Icon for pdf Application to vary schedule [165.65KB]

Dangerous Wild Animal and Zoo Licensing

You can view the current schedule of Dangerous Wild Animals as classified by DEFRA here Icon for pdf DWA Schedule [65.42KB]

An application form for a licence to keep Dangerous Wild Animals can be downloaded from here Icon for pdf DWA Application Form [227.7KB]

If you wish to apply for a Zoo Licence please contact the Licensing Team to discuss your proposals. Before starting up a new zoo you must give the local authority at least two months written notice before applying for a licence.


Contact Details for Licensing Team


Telephone: 01237 428700

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