Animal health and welfare

What is animal welfare?

There is a wide range of legislation in the UK designed to protect the health and welfare of both domesticated and wild animals.

Animal health and welfare laws are enforced jointly by the Local Authority and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) in association with other government bodies and independent organisations like the RSPCA. There are links to  these websites at the bottom of this page.

Who deals with what?

North Kesteven District Council deals with the licensing of:

  • Horse Riding Establishments
  • Dog Breeding Establishments
  • Animal Boarding Establishments
  • Dangerous Wild Animals
  • Pet Shops

Lincolnshire County Council deals with the licensing of:

  • Animal Movements

DEFRA deals with:

  • National Animal Health and Welfare Strategy
  • Animal Welfare at Farms, Markets, Slaughterhouses
  • The Pet Travel Scheme
  • International Trade in Animals
  • Animal Diseases - Control and Surveillance, BSE, Tuberculosis, Scrapie, Foot and Mouth Disease
  • Animal by-products
  • Wildlife Conservation and Biodiversity
  • Wildlife Crime

Defra Helpline: 08459 33 55 77

The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018

On 1st October 2018 new animal welfare regulations will be introduced that fundamentally change the animal licensing system.

The new legislation is very different and will in future allow for the licensing of the following activities:

  • Selling Animals as pets (pet shops)
  • Providing Boarding for cats or dogs (Dog Kennels and Catteries)
  • Home Dog Boarding
  • Dog Day Care
  • Hiring Out Horses (to include Pony trekking, Riding instruction where a mount is provided and Donkey or pony rides )
  • Breeding Dogs (to include where 3 or more litters are bred in 12 months or a business selling dogs is advertised)
  • Keeping or Training Animals for Exhibition

All existing premises in North Kesteven will continue to be licensed until their licence expires.  However any new premises, or any business that are now encompassed within the above criteria, will require a licence on 1st October 2018.

The legislation can be viewed in full on the Government Legislation website.

Further guidance documents are available on the Canine and Feline Sector Group website.

The new licences will also be subject to satisfactory inspections by officers from NKDC, and also by an approved veterinarian for premises offering riding lessons for the public.

Fees for the new licences are yet to be set, but as licences can be issued for up to 3 years, they are unlikely to remain at the current levels.

In addition to the above changes, the inspecting officer will, in the future, be required to determine a "Star Rating" for each licence issued, together with a determination on the duration of the licence and frequency of inspections. The star rating will form part of the licence which must be publicly displayed.

Should you have any questions relating to the above changes, please contact the Public Protection Team on 01529 308287 or email