The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 (external link) has changed the way certain activities involving animals is licensed and regulated.
Please note: Due to COVID-19 we have reviewed our processes to ensure we can comply with our legal responsibilities to safely inspect premises and be able to determine applications. We will now be doing this in a two-stage process, which will initially involve a remote assessment, followed by a site inspection. It is hoped that by completing most of the assessment remotely via phone, that the time spent on site to carry out the physical inspection will be considerably less.
- Remote Assessments – These will usually take place within 4 weeks of an application (subject to receipt of all relevant documentation)
- Site Inspection – These will usually take place within 8 weeks of an application.
Which activities need a licence?
Any person or business operating the following activities will need to apply for a licence:
Zoos and Dangerous wild animals will continue to be licensed under the existing legislation.
Anyone carrying out the activities above without the relevant licence could be prosecuted and face imprisonment of up to 6 months, receive a fine or both.
Please note: The licences are non-transferrable should the premises / business be sold or taken over by another operator. If the licence holder dies, the personal representative of the licence holder can take on the licence provided that they inform the local authority within 28 days of the death that they are now the operators.
Existing licence holders
Licences held under the current system will continue until the expiry date shown on the licence.
Before the expiry date of your licence, you will need to make an application for a licence under the new regulations.
You are advised to familiarise yourself with the new licence conditions to ensure you are able to comply with these before making a new application.
The general conditions set by the legislation are as follows:
We maintain a public register of all the businesses which hold an animal activity licence, a copy of which is available below. This will be updated on a regular basis.