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Defra updates guidance on Animal Activities Licensing regulations

Defra has re-issued the guidance documents for the new Animal Activities Licensing Regulations, which came into force on 1 October 2018.

Following feedback provided by the Pet Industry Federation (PIF), in collaboration with the Corporation of London, the new guidance has been amended versions to address some of the points made.

The new regulations address the changes in pet owner attitudes and lifestyles and take account of different business models which have sprung up in recent years and the rise of internet.

There will be one generic licence for commercial pet businesses, regardless of how many licensable activities they undertake and there will be standardised criteria on the various activities providing a framework of minimum standards which businesses must meet in order to gain a licence.

In addition, a star-rating system will be introduced for businesses, and there is a requirement within the legislation for trained inspectors.

Nigel Baker, PIF CEO said: “We’re really pleased that Defra have been open to changes at this stage and delighted that a number of improvements have appeared in time for these regulations to take effect. Although not all of our changes were taken on board, we are continuing to collate comments to feed back to Defra in the new year, once we get a clearer idea of how the licensing is working in practice.

“We will also use our Primary Authority partnership with the Corporation of London to generate bespoke advice for our members if there are particular and common issues that arise, once inspections under the new licensing regime take place.”

The revised supporting guidance, along with a link to the actual regulations and a changes log, are available on the PIF website at

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