Animal activity licence

The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 took effect on 1 October 2018.The regulations were made by the Secretary of State under Section 13 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006. The new regulations replace the previous licensing legislation, except for the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 and the Zoo Licensing Act 1981. For more information please: 

If you have a current animal licence issued before 1 October 2018 it will be valid until it expires. If you wish to continue to operate the licensable activity without a break, you need to apply under the new regulations at least 10 weeks before your current licence expires. 

Guidance from Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) 

The Department of Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has published procedural guidance for local authorities and guidance notes on the conditions that apply to each licensable activity.

Licensable activityNew regulations replace the following actsDepartment for Food, Environment and Rual Affairs (DEFRA) guidance notes                                                                     
Providing or arranging for the provision of boarding for cats and dogs Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963
 Breeding dogs  Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 & Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999
 Selling animals as pets Pet Animals Act 1951
 Hiring out horses  Riding Establishments Acts 1964 and 1970
Keeping or training animals for exhibition  Performing Animals (Regulation) Act 1925

DEFRA have also provided procedural guidance for local authorities for the new regulations. For more information, please view: 

Apply for an animal activity licence

Before you apply for a licence make sure you read the guidance notes.

You can apply by downloading an application form and sending it to the licensing department.

Download an animal activity licence application form

Application fees until 31 March 2019

Please note that you must pay the fee for each licensable activity that your licence will cover. 

Licensable ActivityApplication Fee (new and renewal)
Breeding dogs (excluding veterinary fees) £178
Hiring out horses (excluding veterinary fees) £157
Providing boarding for cats £178
Providing boarding in kennels for dogs £178
Providing day care for dogs £178
Providing home boarding for dogs £80
Selling animals as pets £178
Keeping or training animals for exhibition £178


                       Depending on which licensable activities you are applying for, we may need to appoint a vet to inspect the premises. The costs of vet inspections are NOT covered by the application fees so you will be invoiced by the Council to recover the veterinary costs. Your licence will not be granted until this invoice has been paid.

Star rating scheme

A risk based system must be used to decide the star rating that will be awarded and the length of the licence except “Keeping or Training Animals for Exhibition” where all licences are issued for 3 years.

For further information on the star rating scheme please see: 

Approval of your licence

It is in the public interest that the Council processes your application before it can be granted so you cannot assume that your licence has been granted if you haven’t heard from us. We aim to determine a licence within 10 weeks, but it may take longer. If you have not heard from the Council within 4 weeks, please contact us for an update. 

Frequently asked questions about the new animal licensing regulations

For more information, please:

Cotswold District Council
Trinity Road