Animal welfare licences

There are new regulations in place for the following animal licences:

  • Animal Boarding Establishment Licence (under the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963)
  • Dog Breeding Licence (under the Breeding of Dogs Acts 1973 & 1991; Breeding & Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999)
  • Riding Establishment Licence (under the Riding Establishments Acts 1964 & 1970)
  • Pet Shop Licence (under the Pet Animals Act 1951)

We are now also responsible for people keeping or training animals for exhibition. This was previously managed by Lancashire County Council.

Applications

If you want to do any of the following, you will need to apply for a licence:

  • have a business selling animals as pets
  • have a business providing or arranging accommodation for cats or dogs including:
    • boarding for cats
    • boarding in kennels for dogs
    • home boarding for dogs
    • day care for dogs
  • have a business hiring out horses
  • breed 3 or more litters of puppies in a 12-month period; and/or breed dogs and advertise a business selling dogs
  • have a business keeping or training animals for exhibition, for educational or entertainment purposes

Existing licence holders

If you already have a licence, it will remain valid until it expires. Once it has expired, you need to apply under the new Regulations for any of the activities listed.

Licences that are not affected

  • Zoo Licences (under the Zoo Licensing Act 1981)
  • Dangerous Wild Animal Licences (under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976)

Main changes

  • Rather than having separate licences for each activity, you will have one licence covering all activities
  • There will be a Risk and Standard Assessment. This will help decide how long your licence is for (1, 2 or 3 years). It will also give a star rating out of 5
  • All premises are inspected before a licence is issued. The length and star rating of the licence will depend on the inspection, and how well the premises meets the criteria
  • For the first time, boarding licences will include day care for dogs
  • Licensees have to meet set criteria to be given a licence. Read the animal welfare licence set criteria here

Inspections

All premises have to be inspected before we grant a licence. The inspector will want to make sure you have:

  • Knowledge of the animal/species you  are caring for and a clear understanding of needs and welfare
  • Records that contain all the information required by the conditions that apply to your particular activities
  • An understanding of risks involved in caring for the animal, including a risk assessment and written policies and procedures that are reviewed regularly. These documents should be available for the Inspector to examine
  • Training procedures in place so that staff know what is expected of them, and evidence of good staff supervision

We will assess the premises itself to make sure you can meet the new laws relating to the environment the animals are kept in.

Based on the information, we will assess the risk rating and award stars. If you are not satisfied with the decision, you can make improvements to address highlighted issues, and ask to be rescored.

Cost

Listed below are the fees for each activity:

 

Application Fee (£)

1 Year Grant Fee (£)

2 Year Grant Fee (£)

3 Year Grant Fee (£)

1

Hiring out horses – 0-5 animals

275

186

303

420

2

Hiring out horses – 6-15 animals

275

186

303

420

3

Hiring out horses – 16-30 animals

275

186

303

420

4

Breeding dogs

275

147

147

147

5

Keeping/ training animals for exhibition

131

147

147

147

6

Selling animals as pets

136

109

109

109

7

Home boarding for dogs

155

147

147

147

8

Boarding cats or dogs

155

147

147

147

9

Day care for dogs

155

147

147

147

10

Activities 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 plus breeding dogs

276

147

147

147

11

Activities 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 plus 1, 2 or 3 will be charged at the rate for 1, 2 or3 plus the rate of the individual activity.

12

Appeals

266

13

Rescoring request

106 (plus any Vets fees necessary)

 

Vets charges per visit (for any licence involving hiring out horses or breeding dogs).

250

The fees are split in two. The first charge is the cost of applying for the licence. If the licence is refused, there are no further charges. If the licence is granted, then there are more costs for monitoring, enforcement, Government returns and re-inspections based on the length of the licence issued. As an example, a three-year licence for hiring out 0-5 horses would cost £275 initially (including processing, Vets visit, the Inspector’s report and the cost of issuing the licence). Once the licence is approved, there would be a further cost of £420.

Offences

If you carry out any of these activities without a licence, you are committing an offence under section 13(6) of the Animal Welfare Act 2006. You could be sent to prison for up to six months, and/or fined. We can prosecute you for any offence under the Act.

Who can not apply?

You can not apply for a licence if you have had a licence taken away under any of the following regulations:

  • Regulation 15 of the new Regulations
  • Regulation 17 of the Animal Welfare (Breeding of Dogs) (Wales) Regulations 2014
  • Regulation 13 of the Welfare of Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses (England) Regulations 2012
  • Regulation 12 of the Welfare of Racing Greyhounds Regulations 2010

You can not apply for a licence if you have been disqualified under any of the following regulations:

  • Section 33 of the Welfare of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 2011
  • Section 34 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006
  • Section 40(1) and (2) of the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006
  • Section 4(1) of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991
  • Article 33A of the Dogs (Northern Ireland) Order 1983
  • Section 6(2) of the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 - keeping a dangerous wild animal
  • Section 3(3) of the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 - keeping a breeding establishment for dogs
  • Section 4(3) of the Riding Establishments Act 1964 - keeping a riding establishment
  • Section 3(3) of the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963 - keeping a boarding establishment for animals
  • Section 5(3) of the Pet Animals Act 1951  - keeping a pet shop
  • Section 1(1) of the Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1954 - having custody of an animal
  • Section 4(2) of the Performing Animals (Regulation) Act 1925
  • Section 3 of the Protection of Animals Act 1911 -  ownership of an animal