Animal related licences

If your business involves animals, it is likely you will need a licence. The current animal welfare regulations came into effect in October 2018. 

Businesses that need a licence include:

  • pet shops
  • animal boarding establishments (commercial boarding kennels, catteries, home dog boarding, dog day care)
  • dog breeding establishments
  • riding establishments
  • keepers and trainers of performing animals (certificate of registration current requirement)
  • zoos
  • dangerous or wild animals
  • keeping primates

You can have a number of separate licensing activities on the same licence.

National conditions will be applied to all licences issued and there are be general conditions which will be applicable to all licences and specific conditions which can be tailored to each individual licensable activity.

Licence duration and risk ratings

We can issue licences for one, two or three years, with longer licences going to high performing, low risk businesses.

The risk rating will be based on compliance history, your knowledge of the animal’s in your care and your ability to demonstrate your practices and staff training.

Businesses will be star rated between one and five stars, with a one star rating earning a one year licence and a five star rating earning a three year licence.


An experienced local authority officer will carry out the inspections. For horse riding and dog breeding, the officer will be joined by a vet. 

Appealing an inspection rating

When we issue your licence, we will be required to write to you explaining how your rating was determined.

If you are not happy with your rating, you have 21 days to submit a written appeal and request a re-inspection. You will need to cover the cost of any re-inspection.

If you are disputing the star rating, we encourage you to first speak to the inspecting officer so that they can help explain how the rating was worked out.

We are not obliged to re-inspect your business if there is no evidence provided to justify this.

We will be required to publish these ratings on our website.

Guidance documents

The CFSG also have a page on formal legislation and guidance

Further information

For further information, please email the licensing team or call 01543 308735.