Licence for the Keeping or Training of Animals for exhibition

The keeping or training of animals used in the course of a business for educational or entertainment purposes

  • The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018

    As of 1st October 2018, a licence is required for the following activity;

    "Keeping or training animals for exhibition in the course of a business for educational or entertainment purposes—

    (a) to any audience attending in person, or

    (b) by the recording of visual images of them by any form of technology that enables the display of such images."


    The following do not require a licence;

    (a) keeping or training animals solely for military, police or sporting purposes,

    (b) any activity permitted under a licence to operate a travelling circus under the Welfare of Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses (England) Regulations 2012, or

    (c) any activity permitted under a licence for a zoo under the Zoo Licensing Act 1981

  • Applying (and Covid 19)

    *While Covid 19 restrictions are in place, please make your licence application as usual. We will not be able to inspect your premises until social distancing restrictions have been lifted but, if your current licence expires during that period and you have applied to renew, you will be sent a letter extending your licence. When your inspection has been carried out, assuming the conditions have been met, your new licence will be issued and backdated.

    We understand how difficult things are and our heartfelt sympathy goes out to all our businesses during these difficult times. To keep up with the latest rules and guidance regarding Covid 19, including support and advice for business, please see information on our website here, and on the Government website here

    Complete the online form (see link at the side of the page - you can register with our website or use the "Guest" button, which does not require you to sign in).

    Please note that an application for a licence renewal must be received more than 10 weeks before the current licence expires. Failure to do so may result in the licence not being renewed in time and, thus a period where the business can not operate.

    Those who will require a licence and are currently registered under the Performing Animals Act 1925 have until 1st April 2019 to apply for a licence; those not registered will need to apply for a licence immediately.

    Please contact us on 01962 848097 (or email if you have any queries.

  • Conditions

    The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 came into force on 1st October 2018, although current licences issued under previous legislation will remain in place until their expiry date. There is detailed guidance at this link and it is important that you read this before applying. Please read the guidance for the appropriate activity but also the procedural guidance.Click on the blue writing and it will link you to the appropriate website

  • Fees

    The fees for 2020/21 (made in accordance with the Regulations) are £206 although, if a vet or expert is needed for the inspection, the cost will be borne by the applicant.

    Methods of Payment:

    1. Credit/Debit card. Telephone 01962 848097 and your details will be taken.
    2. Online. Use the blue Pay button on our home page. Choose Miscellaneous Payments. A new window appears. Choose Miscellaneous Payments again. Choose Animal Welfare from the list. Select the appropriate licence type and click on it. You are taken to an online form. Fill in the details and put the name of your premises in the message box. Use the continue button to move to the next page and make your payment.

    Note: If you have trouble paying for your licence at the time of application, please contact us on 01962 848097

  • Inspections

    Appointed veterinary surgeons and practitioners, appropriately qualified local authority officers, or other competent persons authorised by the local authority may inspect licensed premises and any animals at such premises at any reasonable time. Note that, if a veterinary surgeon or practitioner is required to attend an inspection, these charges will be passed on to the applicant in addition to the Council's licence fees.

    There will normally only be one inspection for each licence granted but further inspections may be made to check that licence conditions have been complied with, if a complaint is received about the premises, or if there is any concern about the condition of the premises, or the welfare of an animal at the premises.

    A licence will last for 3 years from the date that it is granted.

    Unlicensed premises may also be inspected in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

  • Refusal, Revocation, Suspension or Variation of a Licence

    A licence will be refused;

    • If the applicant is under 18.
    • If the applicant has been disqualified from holding an animal licence or keeping an animal, or has had a licence revoked under scetion 15 of the Regulations.
    • If conditions of the licence are not met.

    The applicant may appeal to a First tier Tribunal if the Council refuses to grant or renew a licence

    A licence may be varied, suspended or revoked by the Council for the following reasons;

    • the licence conditions are not being complied with
    • there has been a breach of the Regulations
    • the information supplied by the licensee is false or misleading, or
    • it is necessary to protect the welfare of an animal.

    Any significant change to the premises may require a variation to your licence. The licensee may request a variation or the Council can impose one. This will involve a small charge. Please contact us on if you think a variation may be needed.

    The licensee may appeal to a First tier Tribunal if the Council has varied, suspended or revoked a licence.


  • Looking for licensees in the District?

    There is a list on the right hand side of the page. The list is usually updated twice a year.