Animal Activities Licensing

New legislation took effect from 1 October 2018 reforming animal welfare licensing including the sale of animals, breeding dogs, hiring horses, boarding cats, boarding dogs, home boarding dogs, dog day care and keeping or training animals for performance
Please note: 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 and new activities have been added.

A single licence known as an 'animal activity licence', with nationally set licence conditions will apply. Please see table below for guidance and conditions.

​Any questions, please contact the Environmental Health team.

How do I apply and what are the fees?

All applicants need to complete the standard application payment and declaration form and the application for the activity they are applying for.

Download application forms here: 

Visit the fees and charges page to find out more about costs.

What is the "Star Rating" system and how is this scored?

Businesses must be given a star rating, ranging from one to five which 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.

Find out about approved animal welfare businesses?

If you would like more information about approved animal welfare businesses please contact Environmental Health.

Animal Activities - Guidance and Conditions

Type of Activity Guidance and Conditions

Selling animals as pets

Cat boarding

Dogs - boarding in kennels

Dogs - home boarding

Dogs - day care

Dogs - breeding

Horses - hiring for riding/riding instruction

Keeping or training animals for exhibition

(Performing animal registration holders must apply for a licence by 1 April 2019)