Animal Activity Licensing

Do you have a query regarding animal activity licensing?

If you have a query regarding animal activity licencsing, please email We aim to respond to your email within five working days of receipt. 

The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018

New legislation relating to Animal Activity Licensing is now in force. Animal boarding businesses (including home boarders and day carers), dog breeders, pet shops, riding establishments and people that keep or train animals for exhibitions will now be covered under a single type of licence (known as an 'animal activity licence'), with new nationally-set licence conditions.

Businesses operating with these activities will need to comply with new conditions, and will be assessed before the licence is granted to make sure they can meet them.

Harborough District Council aim to issue a decision on an application within 10 weeks of receiving it. It is possible that the process may take longer, for example if further information is required from the applicant or if it proves difficult to make the arrangements for the inspection.

Existing licence holders should apply 10 weeks prior to their expiry date to ensure they receive their new licences in good time and wish to continue to operate the licensable activity without a break.

All premises will be inspected before the licence is granted. The inspector will be looking to make sure the applicant has the following:

1. A specialist knowledge in the species that they are caring for and a clear understanding of its needs and welfare. This would include the animals' mental and physical health, feeding and knowledge of environmental enrichment. The applicant should be able to demonstrate that they have researched and followed expert guidance in order to carry out their role.

2. Comprehensive records that contain all the information required by the conditions that apply to their particular activities.

3. An understanding of risks involved in caring for the animal, including an extensive risk assessment and written policies and procedures that are reviewed regularly. These documents should be available for the Inspector to examine.

4. Training procedures in place to make sure staff know what is expected of them, and clear evidence of good supervision of staff.

The premises itself will also be assessed so we can be sure the licence holder can meet the new laws relating to the physical environment in which the animals will be kept.

Based upon the information, we will assess using the risk rating and award stars. Low-risk premises can attain up to five stars, and premises that have been assessed as higher risk can be awarded up to four stars.

If the applicant is not satisfied with the decision, they can make improvements to address highlighted issues, and ask for a re-inspection.

Premises with a lower star rating are not necessarily ones to avoid as there are other factors that have to be considered, such as the length of time the licence holder has been operating. New businesses are likely to be assessed as slightly higher risk simply because there is no history of good practice that can be considered.

If customers have any concerns, please contact us prior to making a purchase or making booking arrangements.