Types of 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 Welfare

On 1 October 2018, the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 came into force. These regulations replace existing pieces of legislation, which were repealed (or substantially repealed) at the end of 2018. The Regulations provide a new single licensing regime for the following animal licensing activities:

  • Selling animals as pets
  • Providing or arranging for the provision of boarding for cats or dogs (including day care)
  • Hiring out horses
  • Breeding dogs
  • Keeping or training animals for exhibition

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. Please complete the dangerous wild animals enquiry form and return to the licensing team.

Multiple dog walking

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


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.