Animal Licences

The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals)(England) Regulations 2018 require any business commercially trading live animals or boarding cats or dogs either during the day or overnight to have a licence.

A licensable activity includes:

  • selling animals as pets
  • animal boarding (includes dog kennel boarding, cat boarding, home boarding for dogs and day care for dogs)
  • hiring out horses
  • dog breeding
  • keeping or training animals for exhibition

Activities such as pet sitting, pet grooming and dog walking are not covered by this legislation.

You will need to comply with the conditions set out in the regulations.  We recommend reading the relevant activity guidance note for further information. 

To apply, transfer or renew a licence email


Part A fee, due with your application – covers all costs associated with determining the licence application and includes all administration and inspection fees. This is non refundable should we refuse your application.

Part B fee, due once we determine grant of your licence –  includes recoverable, reasonably expected, enforcement cost, including training and an interim compliance visit during the licence period. You will be contacted at a later date to collect this fee.

Where a veterinary inspection is required this is payable in addition to the Part A and B fee.

Hiring horses and any other veterinary inspection is invoiced after the visit to recover the costs incurred by the council.

Tacit Consent

Tacit consent does not apply to these licences as it is in the public interest for the authority to process your application before it can be granted.

You need a licence to keep dangerous wild animals such as snakes, crocodiles, as well as large marsupials and mammals. A full list of animals which require licensing is in the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976.

A licence may be issued providing the applicant is not disqualified or has been convicted for endangering animals.

Licences expire annually on 31 December.

You will also be required to pay the cost of inspections carried out by our  authorised veterinary surgeon or veterinary practitioner.

It should be noted that the person who owns or is proposing to own the animal(s) concerned, must be the one who makes the application.

If you are exhibiting wild animals to the general public on seven or more days in any 12 consecutive months you will need a licence.

There are exemptions for:

  • circuses
  • pet shops
  • individual premises where the Secretary of State provides the appropriate consent

To apply, transfer or renew a zoo licence email


Report any concerns relating to animal licensing