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Animal Licences

Do I need an animal licence?

If you keep certain types of animals or operate animal related businesses, you will need to obtain a licence from us.

Dog breeding

To apply to breed and sell dogs as a business you must complete our dog breeding application form [pdf] 56KB and pay the relevant fee. We ensure animals have suitable accommodation, food, exercise and are protected from disease and fire. This is done by attaching relevant dog breeding conditions [pdf] 78KB to the licence. We make checks on the standards of health, welfare and accommodation of the animals.

When is a licence required?

When someone is in the business of breeding and selling dogs regardless of the number litters produced in a 12 month period (for example an intention to make profit).

Anyone producing five litters or more in a 12 month period should be licensed, regardless of whether they are in the business of breeding or selling dogs.

Pet shops

To apply to run a business selling pet animals you need to complete our pet shop application form [pdf] 136KB and pay the relevant fee. This includes all commercial selling of pet animals, including pet shops and businesses selling animals over the internet.


There are strict guidelines and pet shop conditions [pdf] 92KB applied to the licence to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all the animals.

Pet shops are also required to meet the requirements of the Animal Welfare Act 2006. More information can be found in the model conditions for pet vending licensing 2013 [pdf] 392KB.

Riding schools

To apply to run a riding establishment where horses or ponies are hired out for riding or used for riding instruction you need to complete our riding establishment application form [pdf] 93KB and pay the relevant fee. Riding stables are inspected every year prior to the renewal of a licence. An inspection by a vet ensures that all the horses used for instruction are fit and healthy.

Health and safety matters at the stables, and are of a high priority to try and safeguard staff and customers. As such, riding establishment conditions [pdf] 87KB are attached to the licence.

Animal boarding

Dangerous wild animals and zoos


Download our animal Licensing Fees 2017-18 [pdf] 53KB.

Reporting poor care of animals

We are responsible for any welfare issues occurring in premises which we licence, such as breeding or boarding establishments. If you suspect animal welfare needs are not being met in a council licensed establishment please email the environmental health team.

For all other enquiries reporting the welfare of animals please call the RSPCA's 24-hour national cruelty and advice line on 0300 1234 999.

Contact us

For further information please email the environmental health team.

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