New animal welfare regulations come into force on 1 October 2018, affecting businesses and individuals who:

  • board animals
  • breed dogs
  • hire out horses
  • offer day care facilities for dogs
  • sell animals as pets
  • keep or train animals for exhibition 

If you have a current animal licence on 1 October 2018, the licence remains valid until it expires. You'll then need to apply for a licence under the new regulations.

The table below lists the licensable activities covered by the new regulations, together with links to download guides to the new regulations published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

You can also download Defra's guide for local authorities to enforce the new animal welfare regulations.

Licensable activity New regulations replace the following acts Defra guidance notes
Providing or arranging for the provision of boarding for cats and dogs Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963
Breeding dogs Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 and Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999
Selling animals as pets Pet Animals Act 1951
Hiring out horses Riding Establishments Acts 1964 and 1970
Keeping or training animals for exhibition Performing Animals (Regulation) Act 1925