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Animal welfare licences

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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 here Animal Activities Licensing Guidance

An application form can be downloaded here  Application Form (PDF) [288KB]

The fees for animal licences can be viewed here  Table of Fees 2022-23 (PDF) [16KB]

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  Application to vary schedule (PDF) [165KB]

Contact us

If you have any queries, or require help with your application, please contact the Licensing Team.

  • email: licensing@torridge.gov.uk
  • phone: 01237 428700
  • post: Licensing Team, Torridge District Council, Riverbank House, Bideford EX39 2QG

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