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Animal activity licence

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You require a licence if your business:

  • sells animals as pets (see guidance)
  • provides or arranges for the provision of boarding for cats (see guidance)
  • provides or arranges for the provision of boarding for dogs in kennels (see guidance)
  • home boards dogs (see guidance)
  • is a day care for dogs (see guidance)
  • hires out horses (see guidance)
  • breeds dogs (see guidance)
  • keeps or trains animals for exhibition (see guidance)

The licence application includes a risk assessment process that will determine whether we grant a one, two or three-year licence.

Application for a licence

The fee is £426 for a full licence and £405 for keeping or training animals exclusively for exhibition.

To apply please complete the online application form.

To achieve a 3-year licence for the fee detailed you must be fully compliant with all the requirements detailed in the guidance. Please note that your history of compliance and substantiated complaints are considered as part of the assessment.

There is also a business threshold test which applies if you earn more than £1,000 or earn a commission or fee from one of the specified business activities. (This means for dog breeders you may only have one litter but if you earn more than £1,000 you will need a licence).

Your right of appeal

To make an appeal the business must make the appeal in writing (including by email) to us. It is advisable to discuss the matter first with the inspecting officer. Any operator who is aggrieved by a decision by a local authority may appeal to the First-Tier Tribunal.

Requests for re-inspections for re-rating purposes

In cases where businesses with a rating of 1 to 4 have accepted their rating and have made the necessary improvements to address non-compliances identified during the local authority’s previous inspection businesses can apply for a re-rating. The re-rating request must be made in writing and payment will be required to ensure acceptance of the re-rating. The re-rating will be carried out within 3 months of the request. There is no limit to the re-inspection visits that a business can request.

All requests for re-visits can be made in writing by email to

Public Register

Details of the businesses which have been licensed to provide animal-related activities can be found in our public register.

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