Animal Welfare Licensing Schemes

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak no new applications will be accepted until further notice.

Advice and guidance from CFSG (Canine and Feline Sector Group) for businesses who are continuing to operate during the Coronavirus outbreak can be found here: Icon for pdf CFSG Animal Business Guidance (May 2020) [606.87KB]

We currently licence riding establishments, animal boarding establishments, home boarders, pet shops, dog breeders, and keeping or training animals for exhibition.

Application forms are available below:

Icon for pdf Application for a Licence to Breed Dogs [229.24KB]
Icon for pdf Application for a Licence to Provide or Arrange for the Provision of Boarding for Cats or Dogs [223.49KB]
Icon for pdf Application for a Licence to Hire Out Horses [271.49KB]
Icon for pdf Application for a Licence to Sell Animals as Pets [240.46KB]
Icon for pdf Application for a Licence to Keep or Train Animals for Exhibition [256.06KB]
Icon for pdf RCVS Riding Establishments Guidance [1.35MB]
Icon for pdf RCVS Inspector Form for Hiring Out Horses [353.71KB]

The fees and charges for this service are available on the Animal Licensing Fees and Charges page.

Animal Activities Licensing

If you carry out any of the activities listed below, you need to take a look at the detailed guidance provided to check whether your activities are in scope. 

The licensable activities are described as below:-

  • Dog boarding
  • Home boarding for dogs
  • Dog day care
  • Dog breeding
  • Cat boarding
  • Selling animals as pets
  • Hiring out horses
  • Keeping or training animals for exhibition

The following link provides guidance to the conditions relating to each activity mentioned above -

The following three links are also helpful:-

There is a star based risk rating system and will allow licences to run for up to 3 years, depending on their star rating. The star rating however does not reflect the care provided. The Procedural Notes for Local Authorities explain how the system will work in more detail.

If you have any queries please call us on 0300 303 8588.

Please note that the licensing schemes for Dangerous Wild Animals and Zoos are unaltered by these changes.

Animal Welfare Licensing 

If you want to keep a dangerous wild animal, before you get the animal you must get a licence under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976.

This law was put in place to ensure that people who keep dangerous wild animals do not cause any risks to the public and safeguard the welfare of the animals.

There are many types of animals referred to as a dangerous wild animal, for example crocodiles, the big cats, ostriches and many poisonous snakes. For a complete list see the Schedule contained in The Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 (Modification) (No 2) Order 2007. Animals kept in zoos, pet shops and circuses are not covered by this legislation and need a different sort of licence.

If you are thinking of getting a Dangerous Wild Animal you must apply to us for a licence by completing the Icon for pdf Application for a licence for a Dangerous Wild Animal [146.26KB] and returning this with the correct fee.

Animal Licensing Fees

Please visit our Fees and Charges page for information on our Animal Licensing Fees.

Animal Licensing Fees and Charges