Animal Licences

Do I need an Animal Activity licence?

You need a licence to carry out the following activities:

  • Pet shops;
  • Selling animals as pets;
  • Animal boarding establishments;
  • Commercial boarding kennels;
  • Catteries;
  • Home dog boarding;
  • Dog day care/creche;
  • Dog breeding establishments;
  • Riding establishments;
  • Hiring out horses;
  • Keepers and trainers of performing animals; and
  • Exhibition of animals.

Definitions of these activities can be found at

New applications

If you wish to apply for an Animal Activity licence you must:

Request a rescore

Business operators have a right to request a revisit for the purposes of rerating if they have taken action to rectify the non-compliances identified at the time of inspection.

To make a request for a revisit, please complete the request a rescore form [pdf] 140KB and email it back to us. Remember to read the notes for businesses carefully before submitting the form.

What can the business operator do if they do not agree with the rating given?

Business operators have a right to appeal the rating given following their inspection if they do not agree that it reflects the welfare and risk level of their business, and the management controls found at the time of the inspection.

To make an appeal, please complete the animal licensing appeal form [pdf] 49KB and email it back to us. Remember to read the notes for businesses carefully before submitting the form.

Further information

Reporting poor care of animals

We are responsible for any welfare issues that arise in premises which we licence. Please contact us if you suspect that animal welfare needs are not being met in a premises that we licence. 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.

Licences issued by us

To view the current licences issued by us, please visit our Licences Issued page and select the type of activity from the 'activities' dropdown list.

Contact us

By email:, providing us with your name, contact details and home or business address; regrettably we are unable to offer advice without this.

By post: Environmental Health, Ashford Borough Council, Tannery Lane, Ashford, Kent, TN23 1PL