Animal welfare licensing

The following are licensed or registered by the commercial services team:

  • Animal boarding establishments
  • Dangerous wild animals
  • Dog breeding
  • Pet shops
  • Riding establishments
  • Performing animals
  • Zoos

Officers inspect the majority of these premises annually, some with an accompanying veterinary surgeon depending on the licence type, to ensure that they comply with licence conditions. Warrants from the court could be applied for to gain access to unlicensed premises.

The licence conditions and standards relate to structure, safety, security, infectious disease control, and the suitability of the licence holder. The aim is to:

  • Ensure minimum standards of welfare for animals.
  • Prevent the spread of disease.
  • Ensure the safety of the public visiting these premises.

Periodic inspections are carried out to confirm standards are maintained, and in response to complaints received. Our advice to anyone using these premises is always:

  • Check they are licensed by the council, and ask to see the current licence.
  • Inspect the premises prior to leaving your pet, buying an animal, or taking a riding lesson.
  • Ensure that riding schools have current public liability insurance.

Any complaints in respect of animal cruelty should be directed to the RSPCA.

Details of licenced establishments are maintained on our animal welfare register.

Licence fees are required on application and in some cases payment of vet’s fees are also required. Licences run for varying amounts of time depending upon the type of establishment. Licence fees will be invoiced following receipt of the application and vet's fees, as necessary, will be recharged to the business following the licence inspection. 

Licences may be refused, cancelled or revoked. The courts may disqualify applicants from holding an animal license for a set period of time if:

  • The applicant is under 18.
  • The applicant has been disqualified from holding an animal license or keeping an animal.
  • Conditions of the licence are not met.

If you would like to apply for an application form or if you have an enquiry or complaint about animal welfare licensing, please contact us using our online form.