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Changes to animal licensing

Animal licensing regulations changed from 1 October 2018

New regulations

From 1 October 2018 the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 changed the way in which we licence animal establishments.

The regulations set out the way animal welfare licensing must be regulated, and includes mandatory conditions relative to each licensable activity.

An important introduction, within the regulations, is the business test. This is defined as follows:

"Makes a sale or carries on an activity with a view to making a profit, or earn a commission or fee from an activity".

The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) have produced procedural guidance for each licensable activity. These documents include the risk rating table and star rating matrix.

View DEFRA's guidance

You can find the procedures on the relevant page(s) below:

Star rating scheme

Another important change is the introduction of a star rating scheme. Premises will be considered a one, two, three, four or five star, depending on their compliance with the regulations and guidance. The star of a premises will determine the length of the licence held; from one to three years.

Licence fees have been calculated on a cost recovery basis and will consist of:

  • an initial application fee (application and initial inspection)
  • an additional fee to cover compliance and future inspection fees within the term of the licence

For further information, please view our fee document.

There is also provision to appeal a star rating awarded, or to request a re-rating inspection during the term of the licence.

Further information

If you need help or information about the new regulations, please contact us.