Animal control

The Environmental Health & Licensing Unit undertakes work in the following areas:

  • Pest Control
  • Control of stray dogs
  • Complaints regarding animal related nuisance, including pests
  • Enforcement of conditions and requirements necessary for the licensing of animal related establishments (pet shops, riding establishments, zoos, animal boarding, dog breeding and dangerous wild animals)

The aims of the service are:

  • to reduce the risk to human health from domesticated and wild animals and/or the premises where they are kept
  • to prevent nuisance arising from pet animals or from the keeping or boarding of pet animals
  • to reduce the risk to animal health arising from commercial keeping of pets or similar non-livestock animals

The following is a list of the legislation and who or what it applies to.

Pet Animals Act 1951

This legislation covers the sale of pet animals and the keeping of animals for the sale as pets.
Premises selling animals must be licensed. They are inspected once per annum before a licence is issued and are periodically checked to ensure animal welfare, health and safety.

Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976

Anyone wishing to keep animals listed on the schedule to this legislation must apply for a licence.

The purpose of the legislation is to ensure public safety and the welfare of the animal.

Particular attention would be paid to the accommodation in which the animals are to be kept, bearing in mind that certain species of animals, the size of small spiders up to the size of large mammals are listed under the Act.

Riding Establishments Act 1964 and 1970

Requires premises used as riding schools, etc. to be licensed.
An annual inspection is undertaken by a veterinary surgeon in the company of an authorised council officer to ensure the welfare of the horses, that they are supplied with proper accommodation and pasture, and that the Health and Safety at Work (etc.) Act 1974 is complied with.

Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963

This requires that premises for boarding dogs and cats must be licensed by the Council. This includes premises used for home boarding and/or dog day care (including at a private dwelling) as well as commercial kennels and catteries.

Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 and Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999 

The Breeding of Dogs Acts 1973 and 1991 and The Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999 require anyone who runs a business of breeding dogs to have a licence.

The occasional or hobby breeder will generally not require a licence, although you should contact us to discuss the level of breeding you undertake.

Zoo Licensing Act 1981

This requires that any premises where wild animals are kept for exhibition to the public, otherwise than for the purposes of a circus or a pet shop, must be licensed by the Council.

Further information

Further information is available via the links on the right or you can contact the Environmental Health and Licencing team.

Useful links

DEFRA - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Related pages

Frequently Asked Questions

Dog Fouling

Environmental Health fees and charges

Contact details

Environmental Health & Licensing
Stevenage Borough Council
Daneshill House
Herts, SG1 1HN

01438 242908 / 242916