Animal welfare regulations 2018

The law governing the licensing of animal welfare establishments changed in October 2018. These changes were made to bring the licensing regime up to date with local government regulation and to improve animal care standards, as well as making it compatible with the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

Please find below the updated guidelines concerning the Animal Welfare Regulations 2018 (licensing of activities involving animals):

Animal establishment application forms

Please download the appropriate application form and once complete submit, along with all supporting documents, to Once the team has confirmed receipt of your application form an invoice for the application fee will be sent directly to you.

For further information please read the following FAQs relating to:

Pre-inspection information

Understanding the changes

It is important that Licence holders understand the guidance relevant to their business, please read the following key changes:

  • Licences can be issued for one, two or three years.
  • The fees will need to be recalculated and based on “reasonable anticipated costs” of the process.
  • Protection is provided for licences in the event of the death of the licence holder.
  • Specific training qualifications have been introduced for both businesses and inspectors.
  • A performance rating system is to be introduced and linked to the period of the licence.
  • Licenses can be varied, suspended or revoked.
  • An appeals process is established for both alterations to the licence and the performance rating.
  • Emphasis is put on the suitability of the environment for the particular needs of an animal.
  • Emphasis for animal welfare is put on the management arrangements.
  • Isolation facilities must be adequate and may be an arrangement with the attending vet and confirmed in writing.
  • Arrangements for suitable transport are included.
  • Where the business has a web site it must display the licence holder's name and the licence number.
  • Service of documents can be made by email to the last known email address of the licence holder.
  • The council cannot issue a licence in any circumstances other than those described in the regulations.

Premises presently holding an animal licence will all be contacted by the council to make them aware of the changes.