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Animal licensing

Information on Animal Licensing

The current Animal Welfare Regulations began on 1 October 2018. Licenses for the following activities will be needed when carried out as a business*:-

  • Selling animals as pets, advertising a business for selling pets.
  • Providing or arranging for the provision of boarding of cats or dogs which means:-
    - Cat boarding.
    - Kennel boarding for dogs.
    - Home boarding for dogs (including day care in the home).
    - Day care boarding for dogs (i.e. boarding of dogs not in the home or kennel environment)
  • Hiring out horses for riding or instruction in riding.
  • Breeding dogs, advertising a business for selling dogs, or if producing three or more litters of puppies in any 12-month period.
  • Keeping or training animals for exhibition, in the course of a business for educational or entertainment purposes.

* An Animal Licensing Business Test is used to assess whether a licence is required. Currently this is determined at any income above ¬£1000 per annum, this also applies to individuals operating from a domestic property i.e. home environment.

HMRC tax free allowances on property and trading income information 
HMRC Business Income Manual

In addition we also issue licences under separate legislation for the following activities:


You must pay for each licensable activity that your licence will cover.

The following fees and charges are applicable for licences processed and/or granted under the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018.

How to Apply

Before you apply for a licence you should read the DEFRA Animal activities licensing guidance - more details about this are in the section below.

Animal Activity Licence Application Form [275KB]

Return your completed application form and supporting documents by emailing or by post to Animal Licensing Department, Buxton Town Hall, Market Place, Buxton, Derbyshire, SK17 6EL

Contact the Animal Licensing Department / Apply for a Licence Variation

If you have an enquiry for our Animal Licensing Department or wish to request a variation to your existing licence please complete the following form.

Star rating scheme

We use a risk-based system to decide your star rating and the length of the licence. This does not include "Keeping or Training Animals for Exhibition" where all licences are valid for 3 years.

The minimum term of a licence will be 1 year. Where higher standards are achieved a 2 or 3 year licence will be granted. Please note that new applications which do not have one year's compliance history with a Local Authority or UKAS accredited scheme will be rated as high risk. New applicants must meet the minimum standards to gain a licence.

For further information on the star rating scheme, refer to the DEFRA guidance notes below.

If you require a re-visit for the animals activity star rating system, please complete and return the below form by emailing or by post to Animal Licensing Department, Buxton Town Hall, Market Place, Buxton, Derbyshire, SK17 6EL.

Animal Activity Revisit Request Form [96KB]

Vet inspection

Depending on which activities you are applying for, we may need to appoint a Vet to inspect your premises. If a Vet is required you will be invoiced separately for the total costs of the vet inspection plus VAT. All veterinary inspections will be arranged by the Local Authority with an authorised Veterinary surgeon.

Approval of your licence

We aim to evaluate your application within 10 weeks, but it may take longer. Any renewal applications that are not submitted in a timeframe to ensure that the licence can run consecutively, will be treated as a new application.

DEFRA Guidance / Legislation

The Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs has produced procedural guidance for local authorities. It can also be used by those who currently have a licence or wish to apply for one.

The page includes guidance on:

  • providing boarding for cats and dogs
  • dog breeding
  • selling animals as pets
  • hiring out horses
  • keeping or training animals for exhibition

You can also read the legislation by visiting The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018

Public Register of Licences Issued by this Authority

HPBC Public register Updated [140KB]