Council clamps down on animal businesses

Date published: 07 September 2019

Residents are being advised to check who is looking after their animals after a spate of complaints to the council about illegal animal businesses.

Rochdale Borough Council has received multiple reports about people earning money from services like breeding, boarding and dog walking without an animal welfare licence.

People who want to set up a business running an animal boarding service, dog day care, dog breeding, or selling, training or exhibiting animals must have an animal welfare licence.

Animal licences are issued by local authorities if the required standards are proved at the time of inspection and are a legal requirement for caring for animals.

Anyone operating these services without a licence can face an unlimited fine, up to 51 weeks in prison, or both.

The council is therefore urging anyone who operates an animal business to make sure they are correctly licensed.

Councillor Sara Rowbotham, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “We are receiving a concerning number of complaints about unregistered animals businesses. We are investigating these complaints further and we encourage residents to check who they are handing their animals over to.”

If you would like to check that a business is registered to look after animals call animal welfare on 0300 303 8871 or email

To find out more about animal licences and to apply for one, visit:

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