Establishments are governed by The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018.

The regulations unified and updated animal licensing for pet shops, animal boarding establishments, riding establishments, dog breeding and performing animals. These activities are now covered under a single licence known as the Animal Activity Licence, which are new nationally set conditions that will apply to each licensable activity. Businesses will need to comply with these conditions.

Who can apply?

  • Anyone as long as you haven't been disqualified from:
  • keeping an animal boarding establishment
  • keeping a pet shop under the Pet Animals Act 1951
  • keeping animals under the Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1954
  • owning, keeping, being involved in the keeping, or being entitled to control or influence the keeping of animals under the Animals Welfare Act 2006
  • dealing in animals, transporting or being involved in the transportation of animals under the Animals Welfare Act 2006


How to apply

These guidance documents contain extensive information on what will be required to meet the licence conditions and what steps can be taken to meet the highest animal welfare standards. You should ensure that you have read the relevant documentation before you apply for your licence. 

Please fully complete the application form and gather together all additional documents (as stated on the application form) that you need to submit at the same time as your application.

Once completed, please email it to

We can't accept incomplete applications forms or applications that aren't accompanied by all the required documents. 

Once we receive your complete application accompanied by the required documents, we'll contact you to take your first payment. Once we process this, your application will be considered against the standard assessment criteria, and we'll make arrangements for a site visit. Our officer carrying out the assessment will consider several factors relating to the business compliance history, complaints, animal welfare and management standards. The outcome will be used to determine if the licence will be granted. Arrangements will also be made for the visit of a veterinary surgeon, nominated by ourselves. You'll be advised of the outcome of the assessment and visit. However, please be aware that we'll require the second payment before we grant a full licence.

Fees and charges

First payment - Application fee

This covers our costs of handling your application, carrying out an inspection and determining whether we should grant a licence.

Second payment - Granting fee

This covers the cost of issuing the licence and conducting an unannounced inspection during the licence term (as required by government guidance).

The licence will only be issued after the second payment has been made.

New fees come into force in April every year. All fees are calculated in accordance with the statutory guidance, which stipulates a full cost recovery model.

Fees are exclusive of VAT.

Animal welfare - Keeping or training animals for exhibitionFee (exc VAT)
Keeping or training of animals for exhibition licence - Application fee£290.01
Keeping or training of animals for exhibition licence - Granting fee*£174.57

You can appeal if your business is refused a licence or you're unhappy with a condition attached to your licence. Furthermore, you may wish to appeal the decision of a licence review or the withdrawal of a licence.

We advise you to discuss your intention to appeal with our Inspecting Officer before a formal written appeal submission is made. Our Inspecting Officer will explain how the decision was made which may help resolve the need for a formal appeal. Should you remain unsatisfied with our decision, you can submit a formal appeal to the Magistrates Court within 21 days of our decision. 

Get in touch

Email or call 01925 442658

30 April 2024