The new regulations affect how residents and local businesses buy and sell pets, use day care or animal boarding services, and keep and train animals for exhibitions. People who are breeding animals or hiring out horses are also affected.
The changes have been brought in to update a number of existing laws under a single piece of legislation, to ensure that animal welfare standards are improved across all aspects of care, including sales.
It has also simplified the system, with the introduction of a single general licence for all animal activities.
The Central Licensing Administration Unit (CLAU) is responsible for the administration of animal licensing in Daventry District, and guidance on the new legislation has been published on their website at www.northantslicensing.gov.uk/animalwelfare2018
The changes require anyone offering day care or home-boarding to apply for a licence. Premises which are already licensed will only be subject to the changes at the time of renewal.
Breeders and those who sell pets, including through private sales, should contact the CLAU to check whether the new legislation applies to them.
Anyone who previously registered a performing animal with Northamptonshire County Council needs to apply for a licence from the CLAU under the new requirements.
A star rating system has also been rolled out for all animal activity licences, with ratings ranging from one to five, five being the maximum that can be achieved. The duration of licences are determined by the star rating achieved.