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Pet Vending

Changes to animal licensing laws

The government has recently published the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 under section 13 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006. The effect of the new regulations is to replace some existing licensing regimes and to put in place a new licensing regime to control the following licensable activities:

  • selling animals as pets
  • providing or arranging for the provision of boarding for cats or dogs
  • hiring out horses
  • breeding dogs
  • keeping or training animals for exhibition.

The regulations come into effect on 1 October 2018 and have introduced a new licensing regime to replace the licensing and registration regimes in place under the following legislation:

  • Pet Animals Act 1951
  • Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963
  • Riding Establishments Acts 1970
  • Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 and Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999
  • Performing Animals (Regulation) Act 1925.

All current licences will continue to be subject to the same restrictions until their expiry date or until 31 December 2018 whichever is sooner. Other than current animal exhibition registrations which will continue to be valid until 1 April 2019, and riding establishments which have unique expiry dates.
You will then need to apply for a licence under the new regulations. In order that applications can be processed and issued in accordance with the new requirements you should ensure that applications are made well in advance of any expiry date on 31 December 2018.
Further guidance and information can be found on the pets4homes website.

Am I eligible?

The licence holder must be a named person who is not disqualified from holding a licence in accordance with the requirements of regulation 11 (Persons who may not apply for a licence). A person cannot apply for a licence if they have had a licence revoked under the Animal Welfare Regulations 2018 (these regulations) or is disqualified under the repealed legislation and those Acts and Regulations detailed in Schedule 8 of the Animal Welfare Regulations 2018.

Application for a licence

You can apply by downloading the applicable form below. An online version will be available in the near future. Read about our Privacy policy.

Email the completed form to and you will be contacted to make payment by credit or debit card to complete your application.

Or take your completed application form and fee to the Customer Service Centre, Fountain Court, Gordon Road, West Bridgford, Nottingham, NG2 5LN.


For information about fees, please visit the fees and charges section.

Please note:

  1. Fees are the same for each activity included on a licence, irrelevant of how long the licence lasts (one to three years) as the cost to the Council is expected to be very similar.
  2. Where vets fees are not shown, these will be invoiced after the inspection and will be specific to the application.

Guidance from DEFRA

The Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has now published procedural guidance for local authorities in relation to the new regulations, along with guidance notes on the conditions that will apply to licences issued to authorise the different licensable activities.

The new licence conditions and guidance notes for each of the animal activities covered are set out below:

Useful information

The following codes of practice are available from the Canine and Feline Sector Group:

  • Code of practice for the welfare of dogs
  • Code of practice for the welfare of cats.