Animal Licensing Information

The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 came into force 1 October 2018.

This has brought a number changes to how we licence activities involving animals.

For our existing licence holders, your licence will continue to run until it expires. The majority of these will be at the end of 2018. This year there will be no renewals. Instead you will be expected to apply for a new licence.

In order to ensure a smooth transition and to avoid any disruption to your trading, please ensure that you have submitted your new application at least 10 weeks before your current licence expires.

Change to how you pay for a licence

Please be aware that when you apply for a licence you will need to pay the application and any relevant inspection fee only. If the outcome of the inspection recommends that a licence should be granted, you will be contacted by the licensing team to pay the additional fee which will enable the council to issue the licence.

Changes to the length of the licence

In the first year we have determined that all licences should be issued for 1 year. This will give licence holders the time and opportunity to reach the minimum standards required, as per the conditions of their licence.  It will also  give  the Authority time to establish new procedures required for the new regulations.

Following on from this any renewal or new application received will be issued a licence according to the risk score and star rating following inspection.

A premises with a low risk score  and high rating would be issued a licence up to 3 years (excluding the issue Keeping and Training Animals for Exhibition).

The purpose is to ensure consistency in implementation and operation of the licensing system by local authorities, and to ensure that consumers can be confident that the star rating applied to the business is an accurate reflection of both their risk level and the animal welfare standards that they adopt.

Frequently asked questions:

Q1. When should businesses be rated?

Businesses should be rated following an inspection that takes place prior to grant /renewal of the licence or a requested re-inspection. Businesses may be also re-rated following an unannounced or additional inspection (e.g. following a complaint), if major issues are highlighted that require follow up action.

Q2. When should new businesses be rated?

New businesses should be rated following their initial inspection.

Q3. Where businesses have a licence for multiple activities within the scope of the regulations, should each activity be rated separately?

The licence holder should receive only one rating, which must cover all activities. Where they are meeting different standards (e.g. meeting the higher standards for dog breeding, but the minimum standards for dog boarding), the overall score should reflect the lower of the two.

Q4. What information should the local authority provide with the star rating following inspection at which a rating was determined?

The following information should be provided in writing:

  • The star rating itself
  • Details of why the business was rated as it was. This should include a list of higher standards that the business is currently failing to meet, if it is considered to be in the minor failing category. This should also include a copy of the risk management table showing the scores under each point. Details recorded must be sufficient to support the score given for each element to facilitate internal monitoring or enable review where an appeal is made.
  • Details of the appeals process and the deadline by which an appeal must be made.

How we risk Score

Risk Scoring Table

Risk Rating