Apply for an animal licence

You need different licences for breeding, keeping, training, hiring out and selling animals.

Animal welfare regulation

In October 2018, regulations came into force called the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals). These consist of powers contained in the Animal Welfare Act 2006. They require any person wishing to carry out the activities listed below in the course of a business to obtain a licence from the local authority where their premises are situated.

The activities are:

  • selling animals as pets
  • providing or arranging for the provision of boarding for cats or dogs
  • hiring out horses
  • breeding dogs
  • training animals for exhibition.

The regulations replaced the requirement in England to:

  • be registered under the Performing Animals (Regulation) Act 1925
  • obtain a licence under the Pet Animals Act 1951, the Animal Boarding Establishment Act 1963, the Riding Establishments Act 1964, or the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973.

The regulations set conditions that licence holders nationwide must comply with. Licence holders are given a rating based on specified criteria.