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Could your performing animal be affected by changes to animal licensing laws?

Published Thursday, 24 January 2019

There have been changes in legislation which affect animal licensing laws and impact how people keep and train animals for exhibitions.

If you take reptiles into schools, or your dog does tricks at fairs– these changes may affect you.

District and borough councils are now responsible for licensing anyone who keeps or trains animals for exhibitions for educational and entertainment purposes in the course of business, and residents are being urged to ensure that they hold the relevant licence.

Leader of East Northamptonshire Council, Cllr Steven North, said: “The recent changes to animal licensing help to better protect animals and we are committed to ensuring that our residents comply with these changes. I would encourage anyone who might be affected to contact our team who will be able to offer advice and guidance.”

Registrations under the Performing Animals Act 1925, currently held with Northamptonshire County Council, will expire on 31 March 2019. Those who carry out this activity without a licence may face prosecution. Penalties vary; the most serious offences could incur a fine of up to £20,000 and/or 51 weeks imprisonment.

Please contact East Northamptonshire Council’s Health Protection team on: 01832 742000 who will be able to provide guidance and advice. For more information about animal licensing, visit