Animal Activity Licences
The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 came into force in October 2018 and introduced changes to the laws relating to animal activity licensing.
You will need a licence if you want to
- sell animals as pets
- provide for or arrange for the provision of boarding of cats or dogs (including boarding in kennels or catteries, home boarding for dogs and dog day care)
- hire out horses (not restricted to riding lessons)
- keep or train animals for exhibition (including performance) – Note: this activity in the Derbyshire Dales was previously regulated by Derbyshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service
- breed dogs (3 litters a year or more where the business threshold test is met. Please note that you could meet the business threshold with fewer litters so a licence would be required).
The licensing of Zoos and the Keeping of Dangerous Wild Animals are not included or directly affected by these Regulations.
If you are not sure whether you require a licence or whether the business threshold is met, you will need to supply as much information and evidence as possible so that we can assess your operation and advise accordingly. NOTE: In the Government’s 2016 Budget a new allowance was announced of £1,000 for trading income from April 2017. Anyone whose trading income falls below this level would not normally be considered to be trading as a business.
A Single Licence
One of more of these activities at the same premises will be authorised by a single licence, known as an Animal Activity Licence.
These licences will be issued subject to new nationally-set licence conditions.
Any business wanting to operate one of these animal-related activities will have to be assessed before the licence is granted to make sure they can comply with the requirements.
A star-rating system for licensed premises has been introduced, and a rating of 1 to 5 will be awarded. The rating will dictate the length of time for which the licence is granted. This can be 1, 2 or 3 years.
The minimum duration of a licence will be 1 year, but where higher standards are achieved a 2 or 3 year licence will be granted. Where higher standards are met this will result in fewer renewals and the premises being inspected less frequently.
More information about the rating system is contained in the Guidance Notes from Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs). Each guidance document details the nationally-set conditions/standards for each of the activities involving animals. These conditions will need to be complied with before a licence is granted or renewed.
The latest Guidance Notes for Local Authority Inspectors in respect of each licensable activity can be viewed on the Gov.UK website.
Application Fees from 1st April 2023 until 31st March 2024 (inclusive)
(The first 30 minutes of advice we provide will be free of charge).
Application fee for new licence £353.90.
Fee for grant of new licence, including compliance and enforcement £85.60 ** (If for any reason a licence is not granted the second fee of £85.60 will not be charged)
Application fee for renewal of licence £353.90.
Fee for grant of renewal, including compliance and enforcement £85.60 ** (If for any reason a licence is not granted the second fee of £85.60 will not be charged)
Variation of licence – administration only £28.60.
Variation of licence – administration and inspection £142.80
Re-rating inspection £114.15
Appeal inspection £114.15
Applications can be emailed to
The fees can be paid by debit/credit card – please call 01629 761166 and ask to pay for an animal activity licence. The cash code you will need to quote is 9240.
New applications may be subject to an inspection by a vet appointed by the District Council, and in some circumstances a Vet may be required to inspect your premises before your renewal application can be determined. In either case you will be invoiced separately for the total costs of any Vet inspection(s) plus VAT, plus an arrangement fee.
Any inspections carried out by a Vet will be arranged by the District Council. The inspection report will be provided directly to the Council, and a copy of the inspection report will be made available to the applicant/licence-holder on receipt of full payment of the vet's fees.
Am I eligible?
An Animal Activity Licence will be issued as long as the premises/business can comply with the nationally-set standards and licence conditions.
Schedule 8 of the Regulations provides details of persons who may not apply for a licence.
How will my application be evaluated?
Once your application form and fee(s) have been received and verified as complete, an inspection of your premises will be arranged. The inspection will be carried out by an authorised officer of the Council (and, in some cases, a vet) to ensure your premises comply with the nationally-set standards and conditions detailed in the regulations and explained in more detail in the Guidance Note documents provided by DEFRA.
Application forms can be downloaded here