Animal licensing

Apply for a licence to hire out horses

Under The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018, a licence is required to hire out horses as part of a business.

When is a licence needed?

A licence is required when horses are hired for either or both of the following:

  • Horse riding
  • Instruction in horse riding

This includes pony rides, riding schools and hunter hirelings.

Are there any exceptions?

The following examples are considered out of scope and do not require a licence:

  • Pony parties where ponies are not ridden. These should be licensed as Keeping or training animals for exhibition.
  • Military or police activities or training
  • Riding schools used exclusively for veterinary instruction
  • Individuals who occasionally lend a horse where no profit or intent to make profit is made

What should I consider?

Full details are available in the guidance notes below: 

A three year licence may be granted if you achieve a five star rating. However, an annual veterinary inspection is still required.

How to apply

Complete the following online form:

Apply for an animal activity licence

How to pay

The application fee is payable when you have completed the online form. Only the application fee needs to be paid at this time. The grant fee for the issue of the licence is payable following inspection.

Fees

Hiring horses

One to 20 horses:
  • Application fee including renewals - £143.30
  • Additional costs - Vet fees where applicable throughout the duration of the licence. Recharged at cost.
  • Licence grant fee for one year - £143.30
  • Licence grant fee for two years - £204
  • Licence grant fee for three years - £253.60
20+ horses:
  • Application fee including renewals - £176.40
  • Additional costs - Vet fees where applicable throughout the duration of the licence. Recharged at cost.
  • Licence grant fee for one year - £143.30
  • Licence grant fee for two years - £204
  • Licence grant fee for three years - £253.60

Variation of licence

  • Application fee - £60.60
  • Vets fees where applicable and recharged at cost plus £85 inspection fee if required.

Minor variation

  • Minor administrative change (for example, name change or additional carer name) - £16.50

Transfer due to death of licensee

  • Application fee - £60.60

Re-evaluation of star rating

  • Application fee - £49.60
  • Inspection fee - £93.70

Copy of licence

  • Application fee - £11.60

Combination of licensable activities

  • Application fee - Highest fee combined with 50% of lowest application fee.
  • Additional costs - Vets fees as required recharged at cost.
  • Licence grant fee for one year - Highest fee combined with 50% of lowest application fee.
  • Licence grant fee for two years - Highest fee combined with 50% of lowest application fee.
  • Licence grant fee for three years - Highest fee combined with 50% of lowest application fee.

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