The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 controls the licensing of the following activities:

  • providing boarding for cats
  • providing boarding for dogs
  • providing day care for dogs
  • selling animals as pets (pet shops)
  • breeding dogs
  • hiring out horses (riding establishments)
  • keeping or training animals for exhibition (performing animals)

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has produced guidance for animal activities licensing.

Apply for a licence for an activity involving animals

Complete and return an animal activities application form, and return the form to the Licensing Section with a plan of the premises and the appropriate fee.

See details of fees relating to animal health.

In addition to your application and standard fees, please note that:

  • if a vet has to inspect your premises you will be charged separately (a vet inspection is required for hiring out horses and dog breeding)
  • the duration of the licence will be determined following inspection, this could be up to 3 years
  • a "Star Rating" will be issued following inspection (this does not apply to keeping or training animals for exhibition)
  • planning permission may also be necessary

How we process your application

We require time to process and consider your application before it can be granted.

In this case:

  • you can't assume permission will be given
  • we'll contact you within 28 days to acknowledge receipt of your application
  • we consider the animals' welfare before issuing a licence

You can't act as if your application has been granted if we don't respond within expected timeframes.

If you haven't heard from us within 28 days, please contact us to check the status of your application.

Also see

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