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The purposes of animal licensing is to ensure the welfare and protection of animals. An animal licence covers one or more of these activities:

  • keeping or training of animals for exhibition
  • boarding of cats or dogs
  • selling animals as pets
  • day care for dogs
  • hiring out horses
  • dog breeding.

Apply for an animal licence

When applying for an animal licence, you will need to pay a non-refundable application fee and provide the following evidence:

  • a plan of the premises
  • insurance policy documents
  • operating procedures
  • risk assessments, including fire safety measures
  • infection control procedure
  • qualifications
  • training records.

Renew a licence

Applications to renew an animal licence must be made before the expiry date of your existing licence.

Animal licence cost

The cost of an animal licence depends on what type of licence you need, how many animals it should cover and how long it should last. 

Animal licence process

After you've applied for an animal licence, we'll aim to process it within 28 days.

We'll also contact you to arrange a premises inspection by an animal welfare officer. If a vet is needed during the inspection, you will need to pay the veterinary fees.

If an animal licence is granted, it will last between one and three years, depending on the outcome of the inspection and the type of activity the licence is needed for. If there are any additional licence fees, we'll call you to arrange payment.

If the officer is satisfied your premises meets all the licence conditions and the correct fee has been paid, we will issue your licence. 

Animal licensing legislation

We are responsible for licensing activities relating to the welfare of animals. We use legislation aimed at protecting animals for businesses carrying out certain activities and of those who have certain animals.

The purpose of the various animal focused legislation is to protect the health, safety and welfare of animals and prevent the spread of disease.

We issue licences for the following regulated activities relating to the welfare of animals:

The government department for environment, food and rural affairs (Defra) offers guidance for those looking to apply for an animal licence.