Animal licence types

On 1 October 2018, the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 came into force. This legislation significantly changed the way certain activities involving animals are licensed and regulated.

The legislation defines and sets the guidelines for the following licensable activities.

Selling animals as pets

Selling animals in a shop or online. Pet animals include vertebrate animals such as fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds or mammals.

View guidance for selling animals as pets

Download application form

Catteries providing or arranging boarding for cats

Any premises that provides or arranges overnight accommodation for other people's cats.

View guidance for cat boarding

Download application form

Kennels providing or arranging boarding for dogs

Any premises that provides or arranges overnight accommodation for other people's dogs in a commercial setting.

View guidance for dog boarding

Download application form

Home boarding providing or arranging boarding for dogs

Any premises that provides or arranges overnight accommodation for other people's dogs in a residential setting.

View guidance for home boarding for dogs

Download application form

Day care for dogs

Any premises or home which provides accommodation for other people's dogs during the day.

View guidance for dog day care

Download application form

Breeding dogs

Breeding three or more litters of puppies in any 12 month period with the intention to sell and/or breeding dogs and advertising a business of selling dogs.

View guidance for breeding dogs

Download application form

Hiring out horses

Any business which operates a riding school and/or hires out horses and/or ponies.

View guidance for hiring out horses

Download application form

Keeping or training animals for exhibition

Any business which keeps animals for exhibition for educational or entertainment purposes to any audience attending in person or by the recording of visual images of them by any form of technology that enables the display of such images. This includes, but is not limited to the following business activities:

  • mobile animal exhibits that visit schools
  • weddings
  • private parties
  • fairs
  • other events where an audience is present
  • pony parties where the ponies are not ridden
  • petting farms.

View the government’s guidance for keeping or training animals for exhibition

Download application form