Animal Activities Licensing

On 1 October 2018 new legislation reformed animal welfare licensing including: the sale of animals; breeding dogs; hiring horses; boarding cats; boarding dogs; home boarding dogs; day care for dogs and keeping or training animals for performance

Businesses operating under current licences will be able to continue to do so until the expiry date of their licence. The definition of existing licensable activities has been amended, additionally new activities have been added (listed in the below table). A single licence known as an 'animal activity licence', with nationally set licence conditions will apply.

Lucy's Law

On 6 April 2020  The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2019 known in short as Lucy's Law made it unlawful for the sales of puppies and kittens (under six months in both cases) to be undertaken by anyone other than the breeder. The guidance notes downloadable in the table below have been updated with these changes highlighted in yellow.

Animal activities: conditions, fees and application forms

Fee: £164 of this is refundable, should a licence not be granted.

ActivityNew applicationRenewalApplication form (see how to apply notes)
a) Selling animals as pets£507£396Icon for pdf Application Form [358.83KB]
b) Providing boarding for cats£507£396Icon for pdf Application form [378.92KB]
c) Providing boarding in kennels for dogs£507£396Icon for pdf Application form [378.92KB]
d) providing home boarding for dogs£482£372Icon for pdf Application form [378.92KB]
e) Providing day care for dogs£482£372Icon for pdf Application form [378.92KB]
f) Hiring out horses


Plus veterinary

inspection costs

£396Icon for pdf Aplication form [337.75KB]
g) Breeding dogs


Plus veterinary

inspection costs

£396Icon for pdf Application form [929.42KB]
h) Keeping or training animals for exhibition£507£396Icon for pdf Application form [350.88KB]

Guidance notes for each activity can be found on the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs website.

Combination of activities: Greatest applicable activity application fee above plus £47 per additional activity. Contact us for an application form Icon for pdf or download it here [571.72KB].

Supplementary fees: Star rating reassessment request £189, transfer due to death of licensee £51, variations or transfers £51 (not entailing additional activities). 

Veterinary Inspection: Inspections by our appointed vet are required before a licence can be granted to any new dog breeding premises. Businesses who hire out horses require an annual veterinary inspection. The costs of any veterinary inspections will be recharged to the licence holder following the inspection.

How to apply

To apply for your licence download and complete the appropriate form above.The form does not work on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Right click the link and select the 'save' option.

Next, fill in the application form on your computer. To edit the form you'll need a recent version of Adobe Reader. Open the form using Adobe Reader instead of your web browser. If you can not complete the form immediately do not worry, you can edit it in your own time. When complete print, sign and return the application.

Fee information

The fee payable on application is a combined application and grant fee.

The Application portion of the fee covers all costs associated with determining the licence application and includes all administration and inspection fees. This portion is non refundable should we refuse your application.

The Grant portion of the fee includes recoverable, reasonably expected, enforcement cost, including training and an interim compliance visit during the licence period. This portion (£164) is refundable should we refuse your application.

Where a veterinary inspection is required (as indicated in the above table and, exceptionally, reactively with cause for any licence application visit) this is payable in addition to the application fee.

New dog breeding applications currently benefit from a fixed-fee veterinary inspection, price on application, payable before inspection takes place. Hiring horses and any other veterinary inspection is invoiced after the visit to recover the costs incurred by the Council.

Star rating

Businesses must be given a star rating, ranging from one to five that must be listed on the licence. Safeguards including an appeal procedure and a mechanism for requesting a reinspection when improvements have been made will apply. The star rating determines the length of the licence from one to three years (except keeping/training animals for exhibition which must be granted for three years). The cost is the same regardless of the licence length, rewarding compliant businesses and driving up standards in the sector. Full details are available in the Icon for pdf procedure guidance [685.15KB].

Public Register

The register is available Icon for excel Public Register of Animal Activities Licences [45.5KB] if you wish have any concerns or further questions please contact us on 01932 838383 or