Animal licences

Licences are required to keep certain animals, and also for businesses that deal with animals.

Licences are not required for Pet Sitting (where you visit the animal in its own home) or Dog Walking (providing you only collect the dog from its home and return it directly after its walk).

  • Animal boarding establishment licence
    The Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963 requires that premises for boarding dogs and cats must be licensed by the Council. This includes premises used for home boarding and/or dog day care (including at a private dwelling) as well as commercial kennels and catteries. You do not need a licence if you board any other animal other than a cat or dog, but you must meet your duty of care under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
  • Pet shop licence
    The Pet Animals Act 1951 requires that any business that sells animals as pets, or keeps animals for sale as pets, must be licensed by the Council. This includes all commercial selling of pet animals including pet shops and businesses selling animals over the internet and from private dwellings. It also includes animals sold at market stalls and car boot sales. The aim is to protect the welfare of animals sold as pets.
  • Riding establishment licence
    The Riding Establishments Acts 1964 and 1970 require that any business that keeps horses to provide riding lessons, or to let them out to hire for riding or riding instruction must be licensed by the Council.
  • Zoo licence
    The Zoo Licensing Act 1981 requires that any premises where wild animals are kept for exhibition to the public, otherwise than for the purposes of a circus or a pet shop, must be licensed by the Council.
  • Dangerous wild animals licence
    The Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 requires that any person who wishes to keep an animal listed in the Schedule to the Dangerous Wild Animals Act (as amended) 1976 must have a licence to do so from the Council. The aim is to ensure that the animals create no risk to the public and to protect the welfare of the animals.
  • Dog breeding establishment licence
    The Breeding of Dogs Acts 1973 and 1991 and The Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999 require that any premises where a business of breeding dogs for sale is carried on to have a licence.