Apply for an animal licence
This application process applies to:
- animal boarding businesses (including home boarders and day carers)
- dog breeders
- pet shops
- riding establishments
- anyone keeping or training animals for exhibition
There is a separate application process for:
For more information see the guidance and legislation documents from DEFRA:
- Guidance documents for licensing activities involving animals
- The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals)(England) Regulations 2018
When to renew an existing licence
Existing licence holders will need to renew their licence no later than 10 weeks before it expires if they wish to continue to work whilst their renewal application is being determined.
The majority of existing licences expire on 31 December and therefore renewal applications need to be submitted by 22 October.
All licence holders will receive an inspection prior to their new licence being issued.
Timescales for new licences
For new licences, there is a target determination time of 10 weeks.
This can be extended if, for example, it is difficult to schedule an inspection or a vet inspection is also required.
Animal licence fees are split between an application fee and a fee on grant of a licence.
The complete fee must be paid at the time of application. The grant fee will be refunded in the event that a licence is not granted.
Single activity licences
|Activity||Application fee||Fee on grant of a licence||Total|
|Animals for exhibition||£317.00||£136.00||£453.00|
|Day care for dogs (commercial buildings)||£345.00||£147.80||£492.80|
|Dog breeding||£357.00||£152.85||£509.85 (plus vet inspection fees on first time licences)|
|Hiring out horses||£460.00||£197.00||£657.00 (plus vet inspection fees)|
|Selling animals as pets||£396.50||£170.00||£556.50|
Licences with multiple activities
There is a difference licence fee if you're combining multiple activities (for example, running a kennel and cattery or breeding animals as pets and selling them).
|Activities||Application fee||Fee on grant of a licence||Total|
|Combined boarding activities (e.g. kennel and cattery)||£427.00||£184.00 (plus vet fees where applicable)||£611.00|
|Combined activities where one is hiring out horses||£500.00||£215 (plus vet fees where applicable)||£715.00|
More than one activity can be listed on the licence for one fee, however only the lowest star rating will apply. If you wish to have separate star ratings for each activity please apply for a separate licence per activity.
Variations and changes to animal licences
If you need to make changes to your animal activity licence please email the appropriate licensing team, the following fees will apply:
|Animal Licence (admin changes)||£27.50|
|Variation to animal licence where visit is required||Same as application fee for relevant licence|
Last updated 03 April 2023