Animal welfare licences

This page gives you information about the licensing and legal requirements of running an animal related business. You will find links to pages that detail the different types of licenses where you will also find application forms, information about any application fee and any necessary conditions that must be met. You can apply for many of our licenses online.

To ensure animal welfare matters are properly addressed, certain specified categories of premises are subject to licensing regimes.

Animal boarding establishments

Animal boarding establishments are businesses (including private dwellings) that provide accommodation for cats and/or dogs (i.e. cattery or kennel) for other people's animals The animals may be kept at the premises for a short duration (drop off in the morning and pick up in the evening) or for long term (days or weeks). The keeping and running of animal boarding establishments requires a licence from us.

Animal movement

A licence is required for the movement of certain animals. This includes pigs, goats sheep, and cattle. The person responsible for moving these animals must ensure that they have a licence.

Dangerous wild animals

A licence is required if you keep certain wild animals in the home or at a business.

Dog breeding

Dog breeding establishments are businesses (including private dwellings) where dogs are bred with a view to being sold. The running of such a business requires a licence from us and you should contact the Safety and Licensing Team for information. 

Further information regarding dog breeding (GOV. UK).

Multiple dog walking

A multiple dog walking licence may be required if you walk more than four dogs at any one time.

Performing animals

If you exhibit or train performing animals you must be registered.

Pet shops

Pet shops are businesses (including private dwellings) that sell pet animals and keep them with a view to being sold. This includes all commercial selling of pet animals either from a retail premises or over the internet. To operate a pet shop you require a licence from us.

Riding establishments

Riding establishments are businesses where horses are kept for either riding for hire, or for the purpose of instruction for the return of payment.


Zoos are establishments where animals are kept for exhibition to the public. The public can have access with or without payment. To operate a zoo you require a licence from us.