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Animal welfare licences

Changes to animal licensing laws from 1 October 2018

The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals)(England) Regulations 2018came into effect on 1 October 2018. Under the new laws anyone carrying out any of the activities listed below will be covered under a single type of licence known as an animal activity licence:

  • selling animals as pets
  • boarding cats or dogs
  • providing home boarding (including day care) for dogs
  • hiring out horses
  • breeding dogs
  • keeping or training animals for exhibition

Animal activity licences have new nationally-set conditions for businesses providing animal-related services, which are included in the DEFRA Guides below. We cannot change these conditions as they are set in the legislation. Businesses operating with these activities will need to comply with the new conditions, and will be assessed before the license is granted to make sure they can meet them.

Dangerous wild animal licences and zoo licences are not altered by the new regulations.

Read the Procedural Guidance for Animal Activity Licensing 2018issued to local authorities.

Existing licence holders

Businesses operating under current licences will be able to continue to do so until the expiry date of their licence.

Applications to renew licences will be under the new legislation. Existing licence holders will need to apply for their renewed licences under the new laws 10 weeks before the renewal date.

Once the application has been received, we will examine the information provided, then instruct an Animal Welfare Officer and/or a Vet to arrange an inspection.

Apply for a licence

Application forms are in 3 parts. You must complete the:

  1. Standard Introductory Section
  2. Declaration Section
  3. Relevant form for the activity(s) required:


Christchurch Borough Council

Christchurch Borough Council licence fees
Type of licenceCost

**Boarding in kennels for dogs


**Home boarding for dogs


**Providing day care for dogs


Selling animals as pets


Keeping or training animals for exhibition


Breeding dogs


Hiring out horses

£352 + vets fee

**Providing boarding for cats


*Plus veterinary fee, as charged, for new applications

** Multiple activities – highest fee charged

East Dorset District Council, North Dorset Council, Purbeck District Council (to be confirmed), West Dorset District Council and Weymouth and Portland Borough Council

East Dorset District Council, North Dorset Council, Purbeck District Council (to be confirmed), West Dorset District Council and Weymouth and Portland Borough Council licence fees
Type of licenceCost

Dog Breeding/Boarding Commercial


Dog Breeding/Boarding Domestic

£246 *

Pet Shop


Riding Establishment

£330 + Vet Fees

Exhibition of Animals


*Vet fees to be added for new applications

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