Animal activity licence

Under the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 you need a licence to carry out any of the following activities:

  • Selling animals as pets
  • Boarding dogs or cats in kennels and catteries
  • Home boarding or dog day care
  • Hiring out horses
  • Dog breeding
  • Keeping or training animals for exhibition

We are required to carry out an inspection of all premises where licensable activities take place before we can grant a licence. A star ratings system has also been introduced where you will be given a rating dependant on a specified criteria.

Zoos and dangerous and wild animals will continue to be licensed under the existing legislation.

Guidance and conditions of licence

The general conditions set by the legislation are as follows:

How to apply

Existing licence holders

When your existing licence is due to expire you must apply under these new regulations. If you are currently registered with us under the Performing Animals (Regulation) Act 1925, you must apply under the new regulations by 1st April 2019.

What happens next?

An inspector will visit your premises to check that you meet the conditions of the licence. If you are breeding dogs or hiring out horses, a veterinary surgeon will also be present.

We will tell you how long your licence will last and what your star rating will be based on the government criteria. 

If we approve your licence you will need to pay the £80 grant fee (cheque made payable to Liverpool City Council).  You should only pay this once we have approved your licence. 


If we have made a decision to refuse, vary, suspend or revoke a licence, you can appeal to the General Regulatory Chamber of the First Tier Tribunal.

Licence variation

We can vary a licence with or without the consent of the licence holder.  If you wish to vary your licence e.g. in order to keep more animals on the premises, please complete the application form and include a cheque for £40 made payable to Liverpool City Council.