Borough Council of Wellingborough

Animal licensing laws are changing

Published Monday, 10 September 2018

New legislation will come into effect on 1 October, overhauling current animal licensing laws.

Changes will impact how residents and local businesses buy and sell pets, use day care or animal boarding services and keep and train animals for exhibitions.

Anyone selling pets, and dog breeders operating as a business or breeding more than three litters a year, will need to apply for a licence from the council.

Adverts selling pets must include:
• The licence number
• Name of local authority issuing the licence
• Photograph and age of pet
• County of origin and residence of pet

If you’re looking to buy a pet, it is important that you look out for these things to make sure that the person selling is doing so legitimately to ensure animal welfare.

The change in legislation requires anyone offering day care or home-boarding to apply for a licence from the council.  Before using these services, residents are asked to be mindful and make sure that anyone providing these services holds the correct licence.

Leader of the Borough Council of Wellingborough, Cllr Martin Griffiths, said: “The changes in legislation will crack down on how people sell and keep animals across the country. I would encourage anyone selling pets, breeding and selling dogs, or keeping animals for exhibitions to contact the council to find out how these changes will affect them.”

If you previously registered a performing animal with Northamptonshire County Council, you will need to apply for a licence from the Borough Council of Wellingborough under the new requirements. A new star rating is also being rolled out for all animal activity licences, with ratings ranging from one to five, five being the maximum that can be achieved. This rating will be displayed on the licence.

To check whether a business holds the correct licence, or to apply for a licence, visit: or contact the licensing team on (01933) 231966/