Animal welfare licences
We are responsible for licensing:
- animal boarding establishments - kennels and catteries
- animal home boarding establishments
- pet shops
- riding establishments
- dog breeding establishments
- dangerous wild animals
Licensed premises are regularly inspected, and for some of these licences an annual inspection is carried out by a veterinary surgeon.
Animal boarding establishment licences
This is where businesses provide accommodation for animals on behalf of their owners - usually kennels or catteries. Licence holders must comply with the provisions in the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963. Licenses run for 12 months at a time, and they are renewed on 1 January each year.
Animal boarding establishment licences currently cost £320 for a new licence, and £160 to renew the licence each year. You can apply for an Animal Boarding Establishment licence online, or the applicant form can be downloaded here.
apply online for animal boarding establishment licence
apply online to change an animal boarding establishment licence
apply online to renew an animal boarding establishment licence
Animal boarding establishments application form (7.65 KB)
Conditions for animal boarding establishments (dogs and cats) (16.8 KB)
Home boarding licences
These are also licensed under the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963, for providing overnight accommodation, food and care for an animal in a private residence other than its own home for a fee.
Home boarding offers a 'home from home' environment, which some pet owners prefer to boarding their animals in kennels or catteries. Informal arrangements between friends or family to look after pets are not covered by the licence, but businesses that advertise their home boarding services to the general public are. The licence is put in place to ensure that these establishments offer a level of welfare and care that is comparable to those offered in kennels and catteries.
The fee for a licence is currently £125 per year. You can apply for a Home Boarding licence by downloading a copy of the application form below.
Animal home boarding establishment application form (7.72 KB)
Model conditions for home boarding (dogs) (39.4 KB)
Model conditions for home boarding (cats) (37.6 KB)
Dog breeding licences
You will need to licence your premises if there are more than two bitches that are kept for the purpose of breeding in order to sell the pups.
Dog breeding establishments are controlled by the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973, and the licence runs for a 12 month period, renewable on 1 January each year.
The fee for a new dog breeding licence is currently £320 and £160 to renew the licence annually.
Dog Breeding licence application form (7.48 KB)
Conditions for dog breeding (38.4KB)
Pet shop licences
Pet shops are controlled by the Pet Animals Act 1951. They can be licensed to keep and sell all types of animals, or be limited to the sale of fish only.
Pet shop licences run for a 12 month period, renewable on 1 January each year.
The fee for a new Pet Shop licence which keeps and sells all types of animals is currently £210 for a new licence and £105 to renew the licence. To keep and sell fish only, the fee for a new licence is currently £140, and £70 each year to renew.
Application forms for Pet Shop licences can be downloaded here.
Pet shop licence application form (11.1 KB)
Conditions for pet shops (38 KB)
A riding establishment is "the carrying on of a business of keeping horses to let them out for hire, for riding, or riding instruction"
Licences to run riding establishments are issued under the Riding Establishments Acts 1964 and 1970.
Riding Establishment licences run for a 12 month period, renewable each year from 1 January.
The fees for Riding Establishment licences are £280 each year, plus veterinary inspection fees.
You can apply for a Riding Establishment licence online, or by downloading the application form.
Apply online for a Riding establishment licence
Riding establishment licence application form (27 KB)
Dangerous wild animals licences
The keeping of certain species of wild animals is controlled by the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976.
A list of the animals for which a licence is required before they may be kept can be found in the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 (Modification)(No 2) Order 2007. Licences are granted for a period of two years, and premises are subject to an inspection by a specialist vet before grant, and at each renewal. The fee for both grant and renewal of a DWA licence is currently £300, plus the fees incurred for the specialist veterinary inspection.
More information can be found on the DEFRA website, and application forms can be downloaded here.
Application form for a Dangerous Wild Animals Licence
More information is available on our zoo licensing page and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) website.
Telephone: 01442 228470/228860