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New rules for animal licensing from October 2018

On 1 October 2018, the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 came into force. These regulations replace pieces of existing legislation, set to be repealed at the end of 2018. They will provide a new single licensing regime for a number of animal licensing activities. 

Those undertaking the following activities will need to be licensed under the new regime:

  • selling animals as pets
  • providing or arranging for the provision of boarding for cats or dogs (including day care)
  • hiring out horses
  • breeding dogs
  • keeping or training animals for exhibition

If you already hold an animal boarding, home boarding, pet shop, dog breeding or riding establishment licence with us then you can carry on trading until your current licence expires. Further information will be sent to you later in the year.

The new regulations will set nationally applicable conditions that licence holders must comply with. A ratings system will be introduced whereby licence holders will be given a rating dependant on specified criteria. Current licence holders are advised to review their compliance with the new conditions. 

Guidance documents

There are different guidance notes depending on the type of licence you are applying for, please ensure you select the correct one from the list:

Boarding cats (PDF, 1MB)

Boarding dogs (PDF, 458KB)

Breeding dogs (PDF, 648KB)

Dog day care (PDF, 448KB)

Exhibition (PDF, 650KB)

Home boarding dogs (PDF, 598KB)

Selling animals as pets (PDF, 992KB)

Procedural guidance (PDF, 718KB)

Fees will be determined by the authority. 

Zoos and Dangerous and Wild Animals will continue to be licensed under existing legislation. 

Further information will be placed on this page when available.

How to apply

Please download the appropriate application form and return it to Licensing Team, Westminster City Council, 64 Victoria Street, SW1E 6QP.

Animal boarding (DOC, 84KB)

Breeding and sale of dogs (DOC, 89KB)

Hiring out horses (DOC, 111KB)

Keeping or training animals for exhibition (DOC, 101KB)

Pet vending (DOC, 109KB)

Standard introduction section (DOC, 56KB)

Declaration section (DOC, 44KB)

Last updated: 13 January 2021