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Animal Activity Licence

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

The above regulations came into force on 1 October 2018 and have changed the law governing Animal Licensing.

The new legislation applies to dog breeders and anyone in the business of selling animals as pets, providing animal boarding (this includes catteries, kennels, home boarders and doggy day care providers), hiring out horses for riding and or instruction and keeping or training animals for exhibition.

A licence under this regulation will be known as an ‘Animal Activity Licence’ and to be granted a licence you will be assessed to ensure that you meet the requirements of new national conditions which are:

  • a set of general conditions that apply to all licences and
  • a set of specific conditions for each animal activity

The full conditions may be found in the regulations:

Defra has also produced guidance documents to help current or prospective licence holders understand what will be required of them. Please refer to the latest guidance documents below for more information on the changes.   

You are advised that on application you will be expected to declare that you are familiar with both the conditions and the guidance relevant to the activities you wish to be licensed for.

Further documents you may find useful:

There are no changes to  Dangerous Wild Animal Licensing or Zoo Licensing .

Once a fully complete application and fee has been received a Licensing Officer will be in touch to arrange your inspection(s).

Does tacit consent apply if I do not hear anything within 28 days?

No. It is in the public interest that we must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from us within a reasonable period, please contact us.


Failed Application Redress

Please contact us in the first instance as we may be able to give you some advice.



Any operator who is aggrieved by a decision by a local authority:

(a) to refuse to grant or renew a licence, or

(b) to revoke or vary a licence,

may appeal to the First-tier Tribunal.


The period within which an operator may bring such an appeal is 28 days beginning with the day following the date of the decision.


Consumer Complaint

If you think we have done something wrong please tell us as soon as possible as we may be able to sort it out straight away.

If you are still not satisfied with the service provided by officers you should complain to the relevant council via their website. Please give all the details of your complaint and say what you have done to try to get it put right. Your council will then let you know what action is being taken.



If you are still not happy after using your council’s complaints procedure, you can complain to the Local government Ombudsman. A free booklet is available from all council offices.


Address: CLAU is based at East Northamptonshire Council
Cedar Drive, Thrapston, Northamptonshire NN14 4LZ

Telephone: 01832 742102