Apply for an animal licence

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

Licence to keep or train animals for exhibition

You require a licence if you are keeping or training animals for exhibition as part of a business for educational or entertainment purposes:

  • to any audience attending in person
  • by the recording of images of the animals by any form of technology. This does not include keeping or training animals solely for military, police or sporting purposes, any activity permitted to operate under a licence to operate a travelling circus, or any activity permitted under a licence for a zoo.

Inspections and star ratings

All premises are inspected before the licence is granted. The inspector will be looking to make sure that the applicant has:

  • a specialist knowledge in the species that they are caring for and a clear understanding of its needs and welfare (including the animal's mental and physical health, feeding, and knowledge of environmental enrichment)
  • comprehensive records that contain all the information required by the conditions that apply to their particular activities
  • an understanding of risks involved in caring for the animal, including an extensive risk assessment and written policies and procedures, which are reviewed regularly
  • training procedures in place to make sure that staff know what is expected of them
  • clear evidence of good supervision of staff.

The premises itself will also be assessed against the national standards relating to the physical environment in which the animals will be kept.

In the case of this animal activity, the inspections are not risk-rated. Licences issued are valid for three years, and unlike the other animal activities, there is no star rating system.

Costs for this service

  • For a new licence, the application fee is £393.
  • If you are renewing an existing licence, the application fee is £315.
  • The length of the licence is three years.

What you need to know...

Download and complete

Please download and complete the application form below.

Apply for a licence to keep or train animals for exhibition (PDF, 312KB)

Return it with a cheque payable to 'London Borough of Lambeth' and send it to Animal Welfare Services. You can also contact us if you need more information or have any concerns.