Animal Welfare Legislation Change affects you

Posted on 27th September 2018

You may, or may not be aware that there have been some legislative changes that mean that in England the Riding Establishments Act 1964 and 1970 are now implemented via the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals)(England) Regulations 2018. This will affect riding centres that operate as a business in England. 

This change has come about during a government review that covered all licensed activities including catteries, kennels, dog breeding (I am sure you have seen in the news about the crack down on puppy farms), animal exhibitions etc. The regulations themselves are based on a series of model conditions which apply to ALL licensed activities (including hiring out of horses) listed as schedule 2 in the link above and in the attached document. 

When describing ‘Licensable Activities’ it lists in Part 4:

Hiring out horses

6. Hiring out horses in the course of a business for either or both of the following purposes—

  1. riding;
  2. instruction in riding.

7. The activity described in paragraph 6 does not include any activity— 

  1. solely for military or police purposes, or
  2. involving the instruction of students at a university on a course of study and examinations leading to a veterinary degree to which a recognition order under section 3 of the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966(17) relates and for as long as such an order is in force.

These regulations were consulted via the Equine Sector Council and do not significantly change the requirements. There are also additional conditions listed at Schedule 5 in the link above and in the attached document.In order to implement these conditions, Defra have published some guidance which is available here on the Canine and Feline Sector Group:

Guidance notes for conditions for hiring out horses

These should be read in conjunction with the Procedural guidance here:

Procedural guidance notes for local authorities

These regulations and guidance come into force from 1 October 2018 or any time after this date when a Riding Establishments Licence comes up for renewal. 


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