Animal welfare licensing
Who needs a licence
People who run animal businesses will have to register for a licence with their local council.
You must contact Barnet Council if you are a:
- dog day boarder
- keeper of exhibition, entertainment or educational animals including: falconry displays, dove releases, animal encounter experiences, or pat-a-pony days
- dog breeder
- kennel/cattery operator
- pet seller
- horse riding establishment
These groups will be covered by the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018.
Anyone who belongs to one of these groups and does not register, could be guilty of an offence.
Why you need a licence
The government published the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 under section 13 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006
The effect of these regulations is to replace some existing licensing regimes and to put in place a new licensing regime to control the following licensable activities:
- breeding dogs
- hiring out horses
- keeping or training animals for exhibition
- providing or arranging for the provision of boarding for cats or dogs
- selling animals as pets
The licensing of Dangerous Wild Animals and Zoos remain unchanged.
Licensing and registration rules
The regulations that came into effect on 1 October 2018, introduce a new licensing regime to replace the licensing and registration regimes in place under the following legislation:
- Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963
- Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 and Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999
- Performing Animals (Regulation) Act 1925
- Pet Animals Act 1951
- Riding Establishments Act 1964 and 1970
Licences held before 1 October 2018
If you have a licence under one of the above pieces of legislation that was in force on 1 October 2018, it will continue to be valid until it is due to expire. You will then need to apply for a licence under the new regulations.
How much it costs
Applications must be accompanied by the appropriate application and inspection fee.
Details of all fees associated with these applications can be found in the Animal Licence Fees and Charges schedule 2023 (PDF 79.8KB).
The application and inspection fees are payable once the application has been received and allocated to an officer. A member of the Licensing Team will contact you to take the payments. Please ensure that you provide a suitable contact number on the application form.
The annual fee is due prior to licence issue and then annually for the duration of the licence. The Licensing officer will contact you to take payment of the fee once the inspection report has been processed. Further annual fees will be invoiced to the licence holder's registered address.
How to get a licence
To apply for a licence, you will need to complete sections 1 and 7 and then any of the other relevant section(s) dependent on the activity you are applying to be licensed for:
- Section 1: Standard Introductory (PDF 19.9KB)
- Section 2: Pet Vending (PDF 26.6KB)
- Section 3: Breeding and sale of dogs (PDF 25.1KB)
- Section 4: Animal boarding (PDF 24.7KB)
- Section 5: Riding establishment (hiring out Horses) (PDF 29.2KB)
- Section 6: Performing animals (PDF 27.4KB)
- Section 7: Declaration (PDF 17.4KB)
Please download and complete the appropriate forms and send them to email@example.com or post the application to:
2 Bristol Avenue
Guidance notes and code of practice
The Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has published guidance for local authorities on the new regulations, along with guidance notes on the conditions that will apply to licences issued to authorise the licensable activities.
- Guidance notes for selling animals as pets (PDF 869KB)
- Code of practice for the welfare of cats (PDF 4.11MB)
- Code of practice for the welfare of dogs (PDF 1.65MB)
- Guidance notes for breeding dogs (PDF 604KB)
- Guidance notes for boarding dogs in kennels (PDF 424KB)
- Guidance notes for dog day care (PDF 416KB)
- Guidance notes for boarding cats (PDF 1.17MB)
- Guidance notes for home boarding dogs (PDF 564KB)
- Guidance notes for hiring out horses (PDF 462KB)
- Guidance notes for the exhibition of animals (PDF 616KB)
- Procedural guidance for animal activity licensing (PDF 685KB)
Who to contact for help
2 Bristol Avenue
Telephone: 020 8359 7443