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Animal Licensing

Animal Licensing

Animal Activity Licences

Apply for a Licence

You can apply for a Licence by downloading one of the below forms.  An online version will be available soon. 

Businesses that wish to be Licenced for more than a single activity (i.e. Licence to breed dogs and to provide or arrange for the provision of boarding for cats or dogs) should contact the Licensing team for a bespoke application form or submit an online application.


Businesses selling animals as pets, providing for or arranging for the provision of boarding cats or dogs, hiring out horses, dog breeding and keeping or training animals for exhibition will now be covered under a single Licence known as the “Animal Activity Licence”

New nationally set conditions will apply to each Licensable activity and can be viewed below. Businesses will need to comply with these conditions.


Find out how much the licensing fees cost.


Detailed guidance for each licensable activity is provided below. These documents contain extensive information on what will be required to meet the Licence conditions and what steps can be taken to meet the highest animal welfare standards

Application and inspection process

Once an application has been received with the correct fee your business will be inspected (A vet will accompany the inspector for a new dog breeders Licence application and for each application for businesses related to hiring out horses).

Businesses will receive a risk score (1 to 5 stars) which will take into account both the animal welfare standards adopted by a business as well as their level of risk (based on elements such as past compliance).  The star rating received will depend upon the duration of the Licence (1 to 3 years).  The star rating will be included on the Licence which must be displayed by the Licence holder.  

Risk re rating and appeals process


Businesses will be able to request a re-inspection for the purposes of re-evaluating an issued star rating.  A request can be made using the dedicated Animal Welfare Rating Scheme: Request for a re-inspection visit form.

The business, should outline the case for re-inspection and should indicate the actions that have been taken to improve the level of compliance or welfare since the inspection.  If appropriate supporting evidence can be provided, however the case should relate to the actions the Council advises the business should be made in order to receive a higher rating.

Appeals to a risk rating

A business can dispute the star rating awarded where it is felt the score awarded did not reflect the animal welfare standards and risk levels at the time of the inspection.  An appeal can be made using the dedicated: Animal Welfare Rating Scheme: Request for an Appeal form.

Before submission of an appeal, businesses will be encouraged to discuss their intention to make an appeal with the inspecting Officer before a formal written appeal submission is made.  The ‘inspecting Officer will explain how the rating was awarded which may help resolve the need for a formal appeal.  In the event a business is still not satisfied with the risk rating score following an informal discussion with the inspecting Officer, the business can submit a formal appeal in writing to the authority.

Public Register

Once the Animal Activity Licence has been granted, the premises will be listed on a public register.

Public Register