Animal licensing

The animal welfare licensing of activities involving animals regulations

COVID-19 - Advice for animal premises

The Animals and Licensing team are continuing to work at this time. Socially distanced inspections may be carried out depending on the current level of restrictions. We may need to ask for information to be sent electronically beforehand, to minimise time spent at the inspection.

If you send any paperwork by post, please email to confirm the day it was sent.

For horse owners and riding establishments, please see the latest information published by the British Horse Society and British Equestrian.

These regulations came into effect on 1 October 2018. The full details can be found on the Government Regulations website.

The regulations were made under the current Animal Welfare Act 2006. They have been established to maintain and improve existing animal welfare standards throughout England.

The regulations will replace all existing animal licensing legislation which will be revoked with the exception of licences for dangerous wild animals and zoos.

The activities affected include:

Under the new regulations you will be required to apply for each activity separately. Once an inspection has taken place, a dual licence may be granted for multiple activities.

A new risk based star rating system has been introduced. This system will determine the star rating and the duration of the licence issued. This could be for a period of one, two or three years, with the exception of Keeping or Training Animals for Exhibition, which requires a three year, non risk based licence. 

Details of each type of licence, how to apply and how to pay, are available in the pages above.

Licensed premises list

You can see a list of premises that hold licences for the boarding of animals in the Licensed Premises for Animals Directory.

Help us to improve this website

Use this form to provide feedback on this webpage. Don't use it to contact us about a service or make a complaint. We will not reply, even if you include personal details such as your name and address. If you want us to reply, you should contact us in a different way.

What is your feedback for this webpage?

Give feedback about this page