The council is responsible for the licensing of a variety of premises that provide facilities for the keeping or breeding of animals. The premises or activities that require licensing are;
If you run a business that involves boarding cats and/or dogs your business must be licensed by the council. The council issues these annual licences, will enforce the conditions of the licence if they are breached and will investigate any complaints received about animal boarding establishments.
Dangerous Wild Animals
If you own or keep one or more dangerous wild animals, within the meaning of the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976, then you must be licensed by us. We issue these annual licences. We will enforce the conditions of the licence, if they are breached, and will investigate any complaints received about the keeping of these animals. The licensing process will involve a veterinary inspection. The Environmental Health Service is also able to offer advice, regarding the Act and its requirements.
You do not need a licence to open a boarding establishment for small animals (such as rabbits and guinea pigs). Licences are only needed where cats or dogs are boarded.
You should consult the Development Control team to check whether or not planning permission is required. Certain conditions need to be met before you will be granted a Licence.
If you are concerned about the conditions in which animals are kept at a particular boarding establishment, and can provide us with the reasons for your concerns, we will arrange for an enforcement officer to contact you to discuss them, and to visit the establishment to investigate how the animals are being kept.
Horse Riding Establishments
Under the Riding Establishments Acts 1964 and 1970, anyone operating a riding establishment must obtain a licence from the local authority for the area where the premises are located. The licence is renewable annually.
A Riding Establishment is defined as 'the carrying on of a business of keeping horses to let them out for riding, or for use in providing instruction in riding for payment or both'. This would, therefore, include riding schools and trekking centres.
To apply for a licence, you must complete an application form and return it with the fee and relevant documents (eg. copies of qualification certificates for horse riding tuition and insurance certificates).
Please note: licences run from 1 January to 31 December every year.
The council deals with the inspection and licensing of all establishments, where wild animals are displayed for public entertainment, the enforcement of licence conditions and dealing with complaints.
If the premises only displays animals which are domesticated within the UK, then no licence is required. You should still contact the council to discuss health and safety issues. In all other cases, you will be required to submit a notice of intention to apply for a licence.
The initial application process for a zoo licence is unusual. An intention to apply for a licence is followed by a period of public consultation. When this is completed a licence application is required, which is followed with an inspection by a team of council officers and state nominated vets. The council will arrange the veterinary inspection. The costs of the vets inspection will be charged to the applicant along with the Zoo Licence fee. The vets costs depend on a number of factors, such as travelling costs, the number of vets and the extent of the animals in the zoo collection. Once approved, the first licence lasts for four years and subsequent licences for six years.
Last updated: 12th December 2012