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Animal activities licence

If you would like to run an animal activity business, you must apply for a licence from us.

Before you apply

Before you apply, read the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra)¬†animal activities licensing guidance.

How to apply

Apply for a licence to breed dogs

Apply for a licence to keep or train animals for exhibition

Apply for a licence to hire out horses

Apply for a licence to sell animals as pets

Apply for a licence to provide or arrange boarding for cats or dogs

After you apply, an officer will contact you to arrange an inspection of the premises where the animal activity will take place.

To ensure the requirements are met, we may also authorise a vet to inspect your premises. This inspection is mandatory for new dog breeders and annually for hiring out horses. The fee for this is not included in the application fee and will be requested separately.

What happens next?

Tacit consent

Tacit consent does not apply in respect of these applications. 

Tacit consent means that if we have not dealt with licence applications within the target period then the application can be deemed to have been granted or approved. 

It is in the public interest that we process your application before it can be granted. 

If you have not heard from us within 10 working days, contact us on 01642 524802 or


If we refuse your application, you may be able to appeal this decision to the Magistrates' Court or First-Tier Tribunal.

Full details will be included in any refusal notice.


Tell us about a change to your licence

Contact us to request a variation to your existing animal activities licence 

After the grant of your licence, you will receive an animal activities star rating. If you accepted the star rating given and have made the necessary improvements to address any issues identified, you have a right to request a reinspection for the purposes of re-rating.

Contact us to request a reinspection


Contact us

Contact the Licensing Team for advice on any licence or to make a complaint about a licensed business.

Phone: 01642 524802