New registration legislation for animal businesses comes into effect on 1 October

Release date: 25July 2018

New welfare laws will mean that more people who run animal businesses will have to register with their local council.

Dog day boarders, keepers of exhibition animals and some dog breeders must contact Cotswold District 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 register could be guilty of an offence.

Anyone who operates a business looking after dogs away from their homes during the day will need a licence from 1 October.

People who keep exhibition animals in the course of their business for educational or entertainment purposes will also need to register – this includes businesses such as falconry displays, dove releases, animal encounter experiences, or pat-a-pony days.

Additionally, dog breeders who breed three or more litters of puppies in any 12-month period and/or breed dogs and advertise a business selling dogs must register.

CDC Cabinet Member for Licensing Cllr Mark MacKenzie-Charrington, comments:

“We fully support this important government legislation and want to ensure that animal business operators are aware of this important change and the need to register with the Council before 1 October.  We would encourage everyone who boards animals during the day, breeds dogs for sale, or who keeps exhibition animals to contact us as soon as possible. Please call 01285 623000 or email

The full guidance on the new regulations is due in September, and uptake is expected to be high.

The legislation can be viewed in full here:



Why is animal licensing important?

Licensing is important because it provides a platform for regulation of animal businesses, ensuring that they adhere to good practice in animal welfare.

The lives of tens of thousands of animals are covered by this. From a bearded dragon waiting to be sold in a pet shop, to a dog who’s being sold over the internet. How these animals are cared for by a pet shop worker or puppy dealer determines if their business gets the go-ahead to operate.

Why is the current licensing system being reviewed?

There are many laws surrounding licensing, all of which are over a decade old – these outdated pieces of legislation haven’t adapted to the changing types of animal-related businesses, and to new standards of good practice in animal welfare.

Cotswold District Council
Trinity Road