AAL - How PIF is supporting its members

New Animal Activities Licensing (AAL) regulations come into on 1 October 2018. They will replace a number of different pieces of animal establishment regulations, namely: Boarding Establishments Act 1963, Pet Animals Act 1951, Riding Establishments Act 1968, Dog Breeding Act 1991, Performing Animals Act 1925.

From that date any businesses in England commercially trading live animals or boarding cats or dogs either during the day or overnight will need a licence issued under the new regulations, although existing licences issued under the Pet Animals Act 1951 or the Boarding Establishments Act 1963 will remain valid until they expire. The new regulations take effect on renewal or if your business is being brought into the scope of licensing for the first time.

Activities such as pet sitting, pet grooming and dog walking are not covered by the new regulations.

Why is there a need for new regulations?

Existing laws covering a range of animal-related legislation have been in place for decades, and in that time there have been huge changes in pet owner attitudes and lifestyles. The new legislation takes account of different business models which have sprung up in response to these, as well as the rise of internet. A major criticism of current laws is that they are inconsistently applied across the country, with inspection fees varying hugely and the inspections themselves based on a variety of different criteria. These issues have also been addressed in the new regulations.

The Pet Industry Federations recommends that you make yourself familiar with the new regulations and the guidance documents below prior to 1 October. All PIF members that will be captured by the new regime for the first time should apply to their local authority and ask for an application form.

 Legislation and Guidance Documents - **Guidance documents updated as of 30 November 2018**

The full regulations are available to view online at: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2018/9780111165485

In addition, the supporting guidance for each activity is available below. Some changes have been incorporated into the guidance since they were first published. An outline of those changes can be found here: Guidance Document Changes

Commercial Dog Boarding - Kennels - updated 30 November 2018

Commercial Cat Boarding - Catteries - updated 30 November 2018

Commercial Home Boarding - updated 30 November 2018

Commercial Dog Daycare - updated 30 November 2018

Commercial Pet Vending - updated 12 November 2018

Commercial Dog Breeding - updated 30 November 2018

Animal Exhibits


DEFRA have also issued guidance on home boarding franchises and how they are to be inspected under the new Animal Activities Licensing regulations. That guidance is available below:

Home Boarding Franchises Guidance

Fee Guidance

DEFRA have also published guidelines on fee setting under the the regulations.

What is included in the new regulations?

The new AAL regulations will provide one generic licence for commercial pet businesses, regardless of how many licensable activities they are undertaking. However, 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. The regulations will be supported by a statutory guidance documents which will provide explanation to businesses and to local authorities about how the regulations can be met.

 Risk-Rating System

In addition, a star-rating system will be introduced for businesses, and local authorities will determine a business’s star rating based on welfare standards found during an inspection and on whether that business is deemed low or high risk. Businesses deemed low risk and meeting higher welfare standards will access the highest star ratings, which in turn is likely to lead to ‘light touch’ licensing and potentially lower fees. The new legislation will also provide the requirement for trained inspectors and the requirement for the training of licence holders and their staff.

Procedural guidance notes for local authorities - **updated as of 1 October 2018**

This sets out useful information for inspecting authorities which you may find useful during the inspection process. In particular it outlines the new star rating system which will be applied by local authorities and which will determine the term of your licence (1, 2 or 3 years).

Procedural Guidance

 What is PIF doing for its members?

PIF members will have access to a number of policies and documents in the members’ only section of this website and all relevant members will be sent login details by 1 October. embers have been sent the relevsnt login details. Please use the password and username supplied by email to login on the box on the right of this page.

 What’s available to PIF members?

leaflet- New point of sale leaflets on a range of different pets (example left) have been developed for you to download and to provide to potential new pet owners when selling livestock. These leaflets will be free for our members from the members' area of the website. 

- Templates, policies and documents to help you comply with the legislation. Again, these will be free for you to download.

- Online training courses, including City & Guilds Level 3 Pet Store Management, as well as shorter courses on a range of topics including small mammals, fish, birds, reptiles will help you comply with the training requirements of the legislation. These will be available for you to purchase from the PIF website and a discount is available to our members.

Kennels, catteries, daycare and home boarding businesses

 - Templates, policies and documents to help you comply with the legislation. Again, these will be free for you to download. 

- Online training courses, including dog boarding, home boarding and day care to help you comply with the training requirements of the legislation. These will be available for you to purchase from the PIF website and a discount will be available to our members.

 Primary Authority

Don’t forget that as PIF members you are automatically opted in to our Primary Authority scheme, which we operate with the Corporation of London. This scheme can be used by PIF member businesses to arbitrate if they encounter difficulties with their local authority or receive unusual licensing stipulations. It’s like an extra insurance policy on licensing and it comes as part of PIF membership as long as the licensable business activity is covered by membership and you haven’t previously ‘opted out’ of the scheme. Further infromation is available on our Primary Authority page.

We want to hear from you!

If you have any questions about the regulations or the guidance please let us know by emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or telephoning 01234 273933. PIF will be collating comments and working with our Primary Authority partner to ensure the best possible for outcome for our members.































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