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Environmental Health and Licensing Unit

As well as the licensing of animal related establishments, the unit also deals with pest control, the control of stray dogs and complaints regarding animal nuisance.

The aims of the service are to:

  • reduce the risk to human health from domesticated and wild animals and/or the premises where they are kept;
  • prevent nuisance arising from pet animals or from the keeping or boarding of pet animals; and
  • reduce the risk to animal health arising from the commercial keeping of pets or similar non-livestock animals.


The following is a list of the legislation and who or what it applies to.

Animals as pets

The Pet Animals Act 1951 covers the sale of animals as pets. Premises selling animals must be licensed. They are inspected (once a year) before a licence is issued and are periodically checked to ensure animal welfare, health and safety.

Dangerous wild animals

Anyone wishing to keep the animals listed on the schedule of the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 must apply for a licence to keep dangerous wild animals. The purpose of the legislation is to ensure public safety and the welfare of the animal. Particular attention would be paid to the accommodation in which the animals are to be kept, bearing in mind that certain species of animals, the size of small spiders up to the size of large mammals are listed under the Act.

Riding establishments

The Riding Establishments Act 1964 and the Riding Establishments Act 1970 require premises used as riding schools to be licensed. An annual inspection is undertaken by a veterinary surgeon in the company of an authorised Council officer to ensure the welfare of the horses, that they are supplied with proper accommodation and pasture, and that the Health and Safety at Work (etc.) Act 1974 is complied with. 

Animal boarding

The Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963 requires that premises for boarding dogs and cats must be licensed by us. This includes premises used for home boarding and/or dog day care (including at a private dwelling) as well as commercial kennels and catteries.

Dog breeding

The Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 Breeding of Dogs Act 1991 Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999 require anyone who runs a business of breeding dogs to have a licence. The occasional or hobby breeder will generally not require a licence, although you should contact us to discuss the level of breeding you undertake.


The Zoo Licensing Act 1981 requires that any premises that keep wild animals for exhibition to the public, otherwise than for the purposes of a circus or a pet shop, must be licensed by us.

Environmental Health and Licensing

Daneshill House





01438 242908 / 242916