Picture of a dog and cat.

What animal activities require an animal licence?

On 1 October 2018 new government regulations came into force that apply to the following animal activities:

  • Pet shop
  • Selling animals as pets
  • Animal boarding establishments
  • Commercial boarding kennels
  • Catteries
  • Home dog boarding
  • Dog day care/creche
  • Dog breeding establishments
  • Riding establishments
  • Hiring out horses
  • Keepers and trainers of performing animals (certificate of registration current requirement)
  • Exhibition of animals

What happens next?

Existing licences remain in force for the remainder of their term, under the current regulations in place. Renewal licences and all new licence applications after 1 October 2018 will need to be made under the new Regulations.

We are currently in the process of reviewing the new legislation and guidance. As a result, licence conditions will be changed and our fees and procedures will also need to be adjusted. If you have an animal licence with us we will contact you in due course to let you know what the next steps are. In the meantime, you should review the above guidance to see how the changes might impact on your business.

Dangerous Wild Animals and Zoos licences remain largely unaffected by the Regulations.

New applications

Anyone wishing to apply for a new animal licence should contact us before making an application. You must then:

Request a rescore

Business operators have a right to request a revisit for the purposes of rerating if they have taken action to rectify the non-compliances identified at the time of inspection.

To make a request for a revisit, please complete the request a rescore form [pdf] 140KB and email it back to us. Remember to read the notes for businesses carefully before submitting the form.

What can the business operator do if they do not agree with the rating given?

Business operators have a right to appeal the rating given following their inspection if they do not agree that it reflects the welfare and risk level of their business, and the management controls found at the time of the inspection.

To make an appeal, please complete the animal licensing appeal form [pdf] 49KB and email it back to us. Remember to read the notes for businesses carefully before submitting the form.

Further information

Dangerous wild animals and zoos

Reporting poor care of animals

We are responsible for any welfare issues occurring in premises which we licence. If you suspect animal welfare needs are not being met in an establishment that we licence please contact us. For all other enquiries reporting the welfare of animals please call the RSPCA's 24-hour national cruelty and advice line on 0300 1234 999.

Licences issued and notices


See our Animal Licensing Fees 2019-20 page

Contact us

By email: envhealth@ashford.gov.uk

By post: Environmental Health, Ashford Borough Council, Tannery Lane, Ashford, Kent, TN23 1PLPL