The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 came into force on 1st October 2018, replacing previous legislation. Licences are required for the following activities:

Should your business consist of more than one of the activities above, you will need to apply separately using the appropriate applications forms and will need to pay for both licence activities separately. The exception is animal boarding (which includes kennels, catteries, home boarding of dogs and day care for dogs) - these may be applied for using the same application form and you only need to pay a single licence fee. All licensable activities at the same premises can be combined on a single licence.

The regulations can be viewed here.

Licences for keeping Dangerous Wild Animals and Zoos are covered by separate legislation.


Guidance is held on the Canine and Feline Sector Group website. Note that the guidance was last updated on 1st February 2022. You will need to read the guidance for the appropriate activity, but also the procedural guidance, as this describes the rating system. Each premises will be risk rated at inspection and will be given a star rating from 1 to 5, which will also determine whether the premises is granted a licence for 1, 2 or 3 years. For premises with more than one activity, the star rating will be determined by the lowest rated activity.

Note that you may need planning permission to run a business of this nature, even if it is at your own home.

For application forms and guidance, please refer to the specific webpage for each type of licence. 

Register of licences

In accordance with guidance issued by DEFRA, a list of premises licensed under the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals)(England) Regulations 2018 is published on our website. The list contains the following information; the name of the business (or the name of the licensee if there is no business name), the area that your premises lies within and the licence number. Your business will automatically be added to the list. You may request that your business be removed from the list by emailing EHealth@havant.gov.uk. The register is updated quarterly.