Changes to animal licensing legislation

Animal welfare regulations 2018

The licensing legislation for businesses involving dog breeding, dog and cat boarding (including home boarding), dog day care, selling pet animals and exhibiting animals changed on 1 October 2018 when the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 ( was implemented. This also involved a change in the names of the licensable activities.

The licensable activities are now known as:

  • Selling animals as pets
  • Providing boarding for cats
  • Providing boarding for dogs
  • Arranging for the provision of boarding for cats
  • Arranging for the provision of boarding for dogs
  • Hiring out horses
  • Breeding dogs
  • Keeping or training animals for exhibition 

Please note that the exhibiting animals registrations were previously regulated by Leicestershire County Council under the Performing Animals (Regulation) Act 1925 but are now licensed as keeping or training animals for exhibition by Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council under the new legislation.

Licence conditions

A licence will only be issued if compliance with the statutory general conditions and the statutory conditions for that licence type (known as the minimum standards) is proved at time of inspection. A licence will not be issued unless all minimum standards are met.

More information: Animal activities licensing: statutory guidance for local authorities (GOV.UK)

During inspection, it will be assessed if the higher standards (which are detailed in the guidance and are colour coded) are being achieved. This will affect the star rating of the licence. To meet the higher standards the operator must achieve all blue standards and 50% of the red standards.

Following inspection, the licence will be ranked low or high risk.

The risk assessment and the level of compliance with the minimum and higher standards will then be used to determine the star rating of the licence.

The star rating will determine if a one, two or three year licence is granted.

Multiple activities

For those applicants who carry on more than one licensable activity, they will be charged the full licence application fee for the highest application fee activity that they carry on. They will then be charged £47.58 for each other licensable activity carried on.

If you have any questions about the legislation, contact Environmental Health: Environmental Health contact form

Last updated:‎ ‎31/‎03‎/‎2023‎ ‎14:13