From 1 October 2018, new animal welfare regulations came into effect for selling animals as pets, dog breeding, providing for or arranging for the provision of boarding for cats or dogs, hiring out horses and keeping or training animals for exhibition.

Animal welfare licensing

On the 1st of October 2018 The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 came into force, controlling various businesses that involve animals. If you are currently licensed to board animals (whether at home or in kennel/cattery), sell animals, hire horses or breed dogs, that licence will be valued up until it expires but when you come to renew it will be under the new regulations.

If you do not have a licence but are carrying out or intending to carry out one or more of the following activities, you will need to apply for a licence.

Anyone with an existing animal related business or planning a business should read the regulations and the guidance notes which accompany them. You should also read pdf icon the general conditions to be attached to all animal licences. [207kb]

Applications

Due to the new regulations Reading Borough Council may ask for additional information on application. 

For dangerous wild animal licences, riding establishments, zoo licences or animals for exhibition, you will need to contact the animal warden as price will be on application.

Make an animal licence application online

Fees

Activity / licence typeNew licence feeRenewal fee

Animal boarding - catteries and kennels (exclusive of vets' fees)

£652£575

Small pet shop - less than 75m2 (exclusive of vets' fees)

£477£370

Large pet shop - more than 75m2 (exclusive of vets' fees)

£652£575

Small home boarder (1-6 dogs)

£440£321

Larger home boarder (7+ dogs)

£477£370

Animal breeding establishments (exclusive of vets' fees)

£477£370

Horse riding establishment licence

£652£575

Dangerous wild animals licence or zoo licence

Price on application

Keeping or training animals for exhibition (3 year licence)

£652N/A

Duration of licence

Under the new regulations, your licence will last 1, 2 or 3* years. This is based on the inspection we carry out, which focuses on welfare standards (records, environment, staff, wellbeing of animals etc) and the compliance risk of your business and you as a licence holder. You will be scored according to the table below. 

*Please note, all exhibition of animals licences last for 3 years. 

Welfare standards
  

Minor failings

(existing business that is failing to meet minimum standards)

Minimum standards

(meeting the requirements in schedules and guidance notes)

Higher standards

(exceeding the requirements in the guidance notes)

RiskLow risk

1 Star

  • 1 year licence
  • Minimum of 1 unannounced visit within 12 month period

3 Star

  • 2 year licence
  • Minimum of 1 unannounced visit within 24 month period

5 Star

  • 3 year licence
  • Minimum of 1 unannounced visit within 36 month period
Higher risk

1 Star

  • 1 year licence
  • Minimum of 1 unannounced visit within 12 month period

2 Star

  • 1 year licence
  • Minimum of 1 unannounced visit within 12 month period

4 Star

  • 2 year licence
  • Minimum of 1 unannounced visit within 24 month period

Licensed premises

You can see licensed premises on our public registers page.

Reading has no zoos, farm parks, wildlife parks, safari parks or horse riding establishments. To find out about Beale Park, Bucklebury Farm Park, Amners Farm, Lockey Farm or the UK Wolf Conservation Trust, please contact West Berkshire Council.

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