Published on 25th July 2018


New animal welfare laws mean more people who run animal businesses must apply for a licence with their local council.

Dog day boarders, keepers of exhibition animals, intermediate pet animal sellers and most dog breeders must contact Cheltenham Borough Council ahead of Government legislation which will become law in just a few months’ time.

On 1 October, these groups will be covered by the The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 and anyone who does not hold a licence will be guilty of an offence. From that date, members of the public should look for the licence number when choosing an animal welfare activity online.

  1. Anyone who operates a business where dogs are looked after away from their owners’ home (eg Doggy Daycare) will need a licence from 1 October.
  2. People who keep exhibition animals in the course of their business for educational or entertainment purposes will also need a licence – this includes businesses such as falconry displays, dove releases, animal encounter experiences, and pat-a-pony days.
  3. Dog breeders who make sales, or earn a commission or fee and/or breed three or more litters of puppies in any 12-month period must have a licence.
  4. Anyone selling animals as pets as a business (including if there is a view to reselling them later as pets) will require a licence. Examples include anyone selling to pet shops or selling animals on the internet.
  5. Anyone who hires out horses as a business e.g. for riding and/or instruction in riding will need to be licensed.

Cabinet member for development and safety, Andrew McKinlay said: “It’s important not to fall on the wrong side of the law so we would encourage any animal businesses described above to provide details of their business to the council.’’

The full guidance for the new regulations is due in September.

Anyone whose business falls within these criteria must contact the borough council by email [email protected] or call 01242 264300.

The legislation can be viewed in full.

For press enquiries contact: Katie Sandey, communications and web team leader, [email protected], 01242 264231