January 3, 2016

The RSPCA identified a number of problems with the current legislation which regulates the pet trade – covering dogs, cats, rabbits, etc but also exotic animals too. The Pet Animals Act is over 60 years old and needed updating.  In addition the laws concerning the licensing of dog breeding, cat and dog boarding, livery yards and performing animals were also out of date.

Following a consultation in 2016 the Government prepared new Licensing Regulations to address this issue – the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018.  They provide a new licensing framework that local authorities can use and puts animal welfare at the heart of the process.  They cover the boarding of cats and dogs (including home boarding and day care for dogs), hiring out of horses, breeding of dogs and keeping or training animals for entertainment.  To support the Regulations there is new guidance for each activity to assist local authority inspectors in enforcing the law.  They come into force on 1st October 2018.

The RSPCA believes this work should be continued to ensure other activities should also be brought within this licensing framework, including things like animal sanctuaries and trainers and behaviourists.