Animal Activities Licensing

On 1 October 2018 new legislation reformed animal welfare licensing including: the sale of animals; breeding dogs; hiring horses; boarding cats; boarding dogs; home boarding dogs; day care for dogs and keeping or training animals for performance

Businesses operating under current licences will be able to continue to do so until the expiry date of their licence. The definition of existing licensable activities has been amended, additionally new activities have been added (listed in the below table). A single licence known as an 'animal activity licence', with nationally set licence conditions will apply.

Animal Activities -  Guidance notes, Conditions, Fees & Application forms

Fee - Part A & B are payable

ActivityGuidance notesConditions

PART A (on application)

New Application / Renewal



Application form

( see 'how to apply' notes)


a) Selling animals as petsIcon for pdf a) guidance [868.39KB]  Icon for pdf a) conditions [166.24KB]£335.96 / £227.67£160.56Icon for pdf Application Form [348.5KB]
b) Providing boarding for catsIcon for pdf b) guidance [1.18MB]Icon for pdf b) conditions [167.0KB]£335.96 / £227.67£160.56Icon for pdf Application form [287.53KB]
c) Providing boarding in kennels for dogsIcon for pdf c) guidance [423.94KB]Icon for pdf c) conditions [91.41KB]£335.96 / £227.67£160.56Icon for pdf Application form [287.53KB]
d) providing home boarding for dogsIcon for pdf d) guidance [564.78KB]Icon for pdf d) conditions [167.58KB]£311.89 / £203.61£160.56Icon for pdf Application form [287.53KB]
e) Providing day care for dogsIcon for pdf e) guidance [429.74KB]Icon for pdf e) conditions [164.67KB]£311.89 / £203.61£160.56Icon for pdf Application form [287.53KB]
f) Hiring out horsesIcon for pdf f) guidance [462.9KB]Icon for pdf f) conditions [169.86KB]

£335.96 / £227.67

(Plus our veterinary inspection costs at each inspection)

£160.56Icon for pdf Aplication form [307.43KB]
g) Breeding dogsIcon for pdf g) guidance [603.2KB]Icon for pdf g) conditions [175.14KB]

£335.96 / £227.67

(Plus our veterinary inspection costs - new applicants only, not payable on renewal)

£160.56Icon for pdf Application form [285.32KB]
h) Keeping or training animals for exhibition

Icon for pdf h) guidance [616.28KB]

Icon for pdf h) conditions [162.95KB]£335.96 / £227.67£160.56Icon for pdf Application form [298.72KB]

Combination of activities: Greatest applicable activity application fee above plus £45.73 per additional activity. Contact us for application form.

Supplementary fees: Star rating reassessment request £185, transfer due to death of licensee £50, variations or transfers £50 (not entailing additional activities). 

How to apply

To apply for your licence download and complete the appropriate form above.The form does not work on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Right click the link and select the 'save' option.

Next, fill in the application form on your computer. To edit the form you'll need a recent version of Adobe Reader. Open the form using Adobe Reader instead of your web browser. If you can not complete the form immediately do not worry, you can edit it in your own time. When complete print, sign and return the application.


Fee information

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 have determined we will grant 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 (as indicated in the above table and, exceptionally, reactively with cause for any licence application visit) this is payable in addition to the Part A & B fee.

New dog breeding applications currently benefit from a fixed-fee veterinary inspection, price on application, payable before inspection takes place. Hiring horses and any other veterinary inspection is invoiced after the visit to recover the costs incurred by the council.


Star rating

Businesses must be given a star rating, ranging from one to five that must be listed on the licence. Safeguards including an appeal procedure and a mechanism for requesting a reinspection when improvements have been made will apply. The star rating determines the length of the licence from one to three years (except keeping/training animals for exhibition which must be granted for three years). The cost is the same regardless of the licence length, rewarding compliant businesses and driving up standards in the sector. Full details are available in the Icon for pdf procedure guidance [685.15KB].

Public Register

You can check who holds a licence on our Icon for pdf Public Register [122.17KB]


A license is required for anyone providing or arranging the provision of accommodation for other peoples cats and dogs in the course of a business on any premises where the provision of that accommodation is a purpose of the business by Providing boarding for cats; boarding in kennels for dogs; home boarding for dogs or day care for dogs
Breeding dogs and advertising a business of selling dogs requires a licence, as does breeding three or more litters of puppies in any 12-month period
A licence is required if you hire out horses in the course of a business for riding or instruction in riding.
To run a business selling pet animals online or in a shop you will need a licence. Pet animals includes any vertebrate animals - fish, amphibian, reptile, bird or mammal.

Share this page

Facebook icon Twitter icon email icon


print icon