Animal Licensing

From 1 October 2018 the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 came into force.

These regulations replaced a number of existing pieces of legislation repealed at the end of 2018, providing a new single licensing regime for a number of animal licensing activities.

The following activities must be licensed by law under the regulations (some exceptions apply):

  • Boarding for cats and/or dogs (including home boarding for dogs and dog day care)
  • Selling animals as pets
  • Hiring out horses
  • Breeding dogs
  • Keeping or training animals for exhibition

The regulations can be found by visiting The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 (opens in new window).  

The new legislation does not affect the following licences:

  • Zoo Licences (under the Zoo Licensing Act 1981)
  • Dangerous Wild Animal Licences (under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976).

Anyone who operates a licensable animal activity business without a licence, is committing an offence.  

Guidance for licensable animal activities

Statutory guidance for each licensable animal activity can be found on the Government's website.  Links to the guidance for each licensable activity are provided below.  The guidance sets out the criteria used to establish whether an individual or business requires a licence for that activity.  The guidance also sets out all of the licence conditions that must be complied with.  

Guidance for boarding Dogs - Kennels (opens in new window)

Guidance for boarding Cats - Catteries (opens in new window)

Guidance for home Boarding of Dogs (opens in new window)

Guidance for dog day care (opens in new window)

Guidance for selling Animals as Pets (opens in new window)

Guidance on dog Breeding (opens in new window)

Guidance for hiring out of Horses (opens in new window)

Guidance on keeping or Training Animals for Exhibition (opens in new window)

Applying for a licence

The licence application process and fees provides information about the licence application process and fees (opens in new window)

More information about the animal activities licensing process can be found on the government's website (opens in new window)

Making a complaint

If you are concerned about any business or individual in the Tendring District who is operating an unlicenced animal activity business, please inform the Council using our online report form, or by calling the telephone number below.

Please note that, although we will maintain the confidentiality of your enquiry, we cannot deal with anonymous complaints, so please leave a contact name and details so that the officer dealing with your query can speak to you.

Animal Movement Licensing

In the event of a disease outbreak the precise location of all livestock is essential for effective measures to control and eradicate highly contagious viruses. To try and stop the spread of disease there are strict rules controlling the identification and movements of livestock. These rules apply even if you only keep one animal of the species covered.  For information on the Licensing of Animal Movements please visit the Government website (opens in new window).

Animal Welfare Charter

Tendring likes to believe it is a humane council.   The Animal WelfareCharter sets out the Council's perspective on what it hopes to see for animalwelfare and therefore that the Council can be seen to be a champion fordeveloping a humane district for all animals.

View the Animal Welfare Charter.

Who should I contact?

Address:  Environmental Health (Food Health & Safety), Town Hall, Station Road, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex CO15 1SE

Telephone: 01255 686767

Government advice about animal welfare


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