Animal Welfare Licences

On 1 October 2018 The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 came into force.

These regulations will replace a number of pieces of existing legislation and will provide a single licensing regime for a number of animal activities.

Those undertaking the following activities will need to be licensed under the new regime:

  • Selling animals as pets
  • Providing or arranging for the provision of boarding for cats and dogs (including day care)
  • Hiring out horses
  • Breeding dogs
  • Keeping or training animals for exhibition

Licenses held under the current system relating to pet shops, animal boarding establishments, riding establishments or dog breeding will continue in force for the rest of their term. Licence holders will then need to make an application for a licence under the new regime and comply with the new requirements.

The new Regulations will set nationally applicable conditions that licence holders must comply with. A ratings system will be introduced whereby licence holders will be given a rating dependant on specified criteria. Current licence holders are advised to review their compliance with the new conditions.

The Regulations and further guidance can be found in the related downloads section on this page.

An application form can be downloaded here pdf icon Application Form [314kb]

The fees for animal licences can be viewed here pdf icon Table of Fees 2018 [59kb]

A list of existing animal activity licences can be viewed on our public register page  Public Registers

If you have a licence for "hiring of horses" and wish to change the schedule of animals please complete this form pdf icon Application to vary schedule [165kb] 

Zoos and Dangerous and Wild Animals will continue to be licensed under existing legislation.

You can view the current schedule of Dangerous Wild Animals as classified by DEFRA here pdf icon DWA Schedule [65kb]

An application form for a licence to keep Dangerous Wild Animals can be downloaded from here pdf icon DWA Application Form [227kb]

If you wish to apply for a Zoo Licence please contact the Licensing Team to discuss your proposals. Before starting up a new zoo you must give the local authority at least two months written notice before applying for a licence.