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Animal licences

Animal licences

Changes to the licensing of animal-related activities

On 1st October 2018, The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 came into force and introduced changes to the laws relating to animal activity licensing.

You will need a licence if you want to:

  • sell animals as pets;
  • provide for or arrange for the provision of boarding of cats or dogs (including boarding in kennels or catteries, home boarding for dogs and dog day care);
  • hire out horses (not restricted to riding lessons);
  • keep or train animals for exhibition (including performance) – this activity in the Derbyshire Dales was previously regulated by Derbyshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service; and
  • breed dogs (3 litters a year or more – or if the business threshold test is met this may be fewer litters).

Click here to view the Regulations [PDF 207 KB].

A Single Licence

One of more of these activities at the same premises will be authorised by a single licence, known as an Animal Activity Licence. These licences will be issued subject to new nationally-set licence conditions. Any business wanting to operate one of these animal-related activities will have to be assessed before the licence is granted to make sure they can comply with the requirements.

A star-rating system for licensed premises has been introduced, and a rating of 1 to 5 will be awarded. The rating will dictate the period for which the licence is granted, which will be 1, 2 or 3 years.

The minimum duration of a licence will be 1 year, but where higher standards are achieved a 2 or 3 year licence will be granted. Where higher standards are met this will result in fewer renewals and the premises being inspected less frequently. All new premises will be granted a 1 year licence initially.

More information about the rating system is contained in the Guidance documents detailed below.

Guidance Notes

Guidance Notes have been produced by DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), to assist licensing authorities, existing licence holders and would-be applicants to understand these new licensing requirements. The Guidance details the nationally-set conditions/standards which will need to be complied with before a licence is granted or renewed.

The Guidance Notes in respect of each activity can viewed by clicking on the links below:

Procedural Guidance for Licensing Authorities [PDF 685 KB]

Guidance for Dog Breeding [PDF 605 KB]

Guidance for Hiring out Horses [PDF 462 KB]

Guidance for Selling Animals as Pets [PDF 869 KB]

Guidance for Boarding of Cats [PDF 1.18 MB]

Guidance for Home Boarding of Dogs [PDF 564 KB]

Guidance for Dog Day Care [PDF 416 KB]

Guidance for Dog Boarding (Kennels) [PDF 424 KB]

Guidance for Keeping Animals for Exhibition [PDF 616 KB]

Renewal of Existing Licence

If you are currently licensed with the Council, you will need to apply to renew your licence now, so that we have sufficient time in which to arrange for your premises to be inspected. You will be able to continue to operate until the expiry date of your licence.

Application Forms for Renewals and New Licences

Application Form - Dog Breeding [WORD 139 KB]

Application form for Pet Vending [WORD 160 KB] 

Application form for Hiring out of Horses [WORD 161 KB]

Application for Animal Boarding Licence [WORD 134 KB]

Application Fees

The fees for Animal Activity Licences are currently being reviewed.  The proposed fees for the new licensing regime will need to be considered by Committee. In the meantime the existing animal related licence fees will be applied as follows:

Activities:  Dog Breeding, Animal Boarding (including Home Boarding and Dog Day Care) and Selling of Animals as Pets -

First time application: £147.00 plus all Vet Inspection fees (and VAT on Vet fees) and £17.00 (plus VAT) payable to DDDC for arrangement of Vet inspection(s). 

Renewal Application : £103.00 plus all Vet fees (and VAT on Vet fees) if inspection required; and £17.00 (plus VAT) payable to DDDC for arrangement of any Vet inspection(s). 

Activities: Hiring out of Horses

First time application: £158.00 plus all Vet Inspection fees (and VAT on Vet fees) and £17.00 (plus VAT) payable to DDDC for arrangement of Vet inspection(s). 

Renewal Application : £125.00 plus all Vet fees (and VAT on Vet fees) if inspection required; and £17.00 (plus VAT) payable to DDDC for arrangement of any Vet inspection(s). 

Vet Inspection(s)

New applications may be subject to an inspection by a vet appointed by the District Council, and in some circumstances a Vet may be required to inspect your premises before your renewal application can be determined.   In either case you will be invoiced separately for the total costs of any Vet inspection(s) plus VAT.  All inspections by a Vet will be arranged by the District Council, and an arrangement fee will be charged plus VAT.

The licensing of Zoos and the Keeping of Dangerous Wild Animals are not included or directly affected by the Regulations.

Am I eligible?

Eugo logoAn Animal Activity Licence will be issued as long as the premises/business can comply with the nationally-set standards and licence conditions.

Schedule 8 of the Regulations provides details of persons who may not apply for a licence.

Regulation summary

How will my application be evaluated?

Once your application form and fee(s) has been received your premises will be inspected by a member of the District Council's Environmental Health Team to ensure your premises comply with the nationally-set standards detailed in the regulations and explained in the Guidance documents.

What if I don't hear back within the specified time?

It is in the public interest that we must process your application before it can be granted.  For new applications and renewals, if you have not heard from us within 28 days please contact the Licensing Team.

What happens if my application is refused?

Please contact us in the first instance.  

Consumer complaint

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first point of contact should be made with the business proprietor by you - preferably in the form of a letter (with proof of delivery).  If that has not worked, please contact the Council's Licensing Team for assistance.

If you are located in the UK, Consumer Direct will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

Public registers

Details of premises currently licensed are shown in the following documents:

Animal Boarders (including Home Boarding) view public register details here [PDF 200 KB]

Dog Breeders view public register details here [PDF 178 KB]

Pet Shops (Vendors) view public register here


Town Hall, Bank Road
Matlock, Derbyshire DE4 3NN
01629 761313
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