Animal licences

The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 came into force  in October 2018 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 the following link to view the Regulations

Business Test

If you are not sure whether you require a licence or whether the business threshold is met, you will to supply as much information and evidence as possible so that we can assess your operation and advise accordingly. 

NOTE: In the Government’s 2016 Budget a new allowance was announced of £1,000 for trading income from April 2017. Anyone whose trading income falls below this level would not normally be considered to be trading as a business.

The first 30 minutes of advice we provide will be free of charge - see Application Fees below.

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 Notes 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. Each guidance document details the nationally-set conditions/standards for an activity 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 (Revised April 2020) [PDF 352 KB]

Revised Guidance for Dog Breeding - with changes highlighted [PDF 352 KB]

Guidance for Hiring out Horses [PDF 497 KB]

Guidance for Selling Animals as Pets [PDF 993 KB] 

Guidance for Licensing Boarding of Cats [PDF 1.2 MB] 

Guidance for Home Boarding of Dogs [PDF 598 KB] 

Guidance for Dog Day Care [PDF 462 KB] 

Guidance for Dog Boarding (Kennels) [PDF 457 KB] 

Guidance for Keeping Animals for Exhibition [PDF 616 KB]

Guidance for Dog Boarding Franchises October 2018 [PDF 97 KB]

The Guidance Notes first published and made available here at the beginning of October 2018 were revised and re-published on 5th December 2018 by DEFRA.  (The Procedural Guidance for Licensing Authorities and the Guidance for Keeping Animals for Exhibition were unchanged). 

The above links to the Guidance Notes are the latest versions.  A changelog detailing how these differ from version 1 published in October 2018 can be viewed here

Franchises (Arranger) for Animal Boarding

An arranger licence is required by a business or company who arrange the boarding of animals with host families. An application must be made to each Local Authority that the business or company has host facilities located in.

In Derbyshire Dales, the arranger application form needs to be completed and submitted with the relevant fee. Form A.

The arranger’s licence (franchise holder) will be “star rated”, this will be dependent on the lowest rated licensable host families linked to the business/company. This will also determine the length of the licence.

If a business has no licensable host families operating in Derbyshire Dales, but only out of scope hosts families, then the arranger licence will be granted for a period of 12 months.

An arranger’s renewal application, accompanied by any required documentation and renewal fee must be submitted prior to the expiry of the existing licence.

A Host Family Notification form must be completed for each Host Family - Form B.

Host families that are in scope (licensable) will be required to submit an application form   “For a Licence to Operate an Animal Boarding Establishment” and go through the standard process to be granted a licence.  See application forms section below.

Licensed host families will be subject to at least one unannounced inspection during the duration of their licence and further inspections/visits should complaints be received.

Host families deemed out of scope (receiving only minimal expenses) and therefore not licensable need to complete and submit the “Host Family Notification” form and legal declaration - Form C

Host families in scope will be inspected to ensure they meet the requirements of the legislation and the company/business advised whether Derbyshire Dales District Council considers the host accommodation meets the conditions.

Host families (out of scope) may be visited/inspected if complaints or concerns are received by the District Council claiming that the host accommodation is failing to meet the conditions set out in the regulations.

All policies and procedures supplied to franchise host families should be site-specific and host families must be fully aware of their content.

Guidance in relation to licensing of dog boarding franchises [PDF 97 KB]

Form A - Application Form for Arranger of Animal Boarding [PDF 480 KB]

Application Form A - WORD Version [WORD 67 KB]

Form B - Host Family Notification [PDF 402 KB]

Host Family Notification Form B WORD Version [WORD 62 KB]

Form C - Legal Declaration WORD version [WORD 24 KB]

Form C - Legal Declaration [PDF 253 KB]

 Application Forms for New/Renewal of 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 [WORD 134 KB]

Application for Exhibiting Animals [WORD 152 KB]

Application Fees from 1st April 2022 to 31st March 2023

The fees for Animal Activity Licences are as follows:

Application fee for new licence £337.00
Fee for grant of licence, including compliance and enforcement £81.50 **

**(If for any reason a licence is not granted the second fee of £81.50 will not be charged)

Application fee for renewal of licence £337.00
Fee for grant of renewal, including compliance and enforcement £81.50 **

Variation of licence – administration only £27.20
Variation of licence – administration and inspection £136.00

Re-rating inspection £108.70
Appeal inspection £108.70

Advice from Licensing Team - first 30 minutes – Free of Charge
Advice from Licensing Team – more than 30 minutes £50 fee to include meeting and written advice

Advisory site visit £100

Vet Fees and VAT on Vet Fees plus DDDC arrangement fee of £18.25 + VAT.

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 the inspection report will be provided direct to the Council. A copy of the inspection report will be made available to the applicant/licence-holder.

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) have been received and verified as complete, an inspection of your premises will be arranged.  The inspection will be carried out by a member of the District Council's Environmental Health Team (and, in some cases, a vet) to ensure your premises comply with the nationally-set standards and conditions detailed in the regulations and explained in more detail in the Guidance Note documents provided by DEFRA.

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 for the above activities are shown in the following documents:

Register of Premises Licensed for Breeding Dogs [PDF 6.22 KB]  

Register of Premises Licensed to Sell Pets [PDF 6 KB] 

Register of Premises Licensed to Board Animals [PDF 15 KB]

Register of Premises Licensed to Hire out Horses [PDF 6 KB] 

Register of Premises Licensed/Registered to Exhibit Animals - tbc.