Licence to run a business involving animals

If you’re thinking about running a kennel, cattery, riding stable, pet shop, home boarding or dog breeding facility, you’ll need to apply to us for a licence. 

It’s an offence to run such businesses without a licence.   Before you apply you can take a look at our Guidance notes and Frequently Asked Questions to help you.


You'll need to: 

  • read about the standards and conditions that you’ll have to meet before you can open any business involving animals. You can find these in the Animal Welfare legislation and the relevant DEFRA guidance below.
  • Complete and return the relevant application form.
  • Pay your licence application fee by calling 01226 773743. Check our pay page to see which cards we accept.

DEFRA guidance documents

Catteries Dog breeding Dog day care
Hire of horses Home boarding  Kennels
Pet shops Procedural Guidance for Local Authorities
Risk Assessment Matrix

Licence Application Forms

Dog breeding application form
Hire of horses application form 

Home boarder/dog day care from residential premises application form 

Kennels or catteries application form 
Performing animals application form
Pet shop application form 


DEFRA requires us to notify you about your licensed premises 3 months prior to the expiry of your licence and requires you as a business to apply for a renewal of your licence 10 weeks prior to its expiry.

Star ratings

From 1 October 2018 businesses will be given a Star Rating on inspection to indicate whether they meet the minimum or higher standard under the legislation and DEFRA guidance.  The guidance indicates under each section the requirements that could achieve a Higher Standard.  

As part of this process we will assess whether your business is high risk or low risk by completing the Risk Assessment Matrix DEFRA guidance documents.  This will determine whether your licence is renewed on a 1, 2 or 3 year basis.  The intention is that businesses operating to the highest standards will save money.