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Licensing of activities involving animals

From 1 October 2018, a new set of regulations came in to force, controlling various businesses that involve animals. If you currently hold a licence to board animals (whether at home or in a kennel/cattery), sell animals, hire horses, or breed dogs, that licence will run until the expiry date as stated on the licence but when you come to renew it will be under the new regulations.

If you do not currently hold a licence but are carrying out or are intending to carry out one or more of the following activities, you will need to apply for a licence:

  • selling animals as pets
  • providing or arranging for the provision of boarding for cats or dogs , including:
    • providing boarding for cats
    • providing boarding in kennels for dogs
    • providing home boarding for dogs
    • providing day care for dogs
  • hiring out horses
  • breeding dogs
  • keeping or training animals for exhibition

The conditions and guidance for these activities is set nationally by the regulations rather than by the council.

Should you have any questions about the requirements or whether or not you need to apply for a licence please get in touch.

Application process

Please fill in the part 1 form, and the relevant part 2 form for the type of activity you wish to carry out.

Once your application has been received and checked, we will be in touch so that an inspection of your premises can be arranged.

Factors to be taken into account when inspecting your premises include:

  • that the animals will be kept in suitable accommodation at all times - we will take account of the construction and size of the accommodation, the number of animals to be housed in it, facilities for exercising the animals, cleanliness and temperature, lighting and ventilation provisions
  • that you will provide suitable food, drink and bedding materials and that the animals are exercised and visited regularly
  • that you will take steps to prevent and control the spread of disease among the animals and that isolation facilities are in place
  • that you provide adequate protection to the animals in the case of fire and other emergencies
  • that facilities are in place to keep an appropriate register


Should your application be refused or subsequently revoked, there is a right of appeal to the first-tier tribunal within 28 days of the decision being made.

Contact information

Licensing Team

Make an enquiry