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Licensing of activities involving animals

Animal Activity Licence

The following activities are covered by a single  ‘Animal Activity Licence’:

  • Animal boarding businesses (including home boarders and day carers, but not dog walking and dog grooming services)
  • dog breeders
  • pet shops
  • riding establishments
  • people that keep or train animals for exhibitions.

View public register of animal licences

We recommend people use licenced activities. Please download the public register:

Public Register of animal licences (PDF)

Other animal licences

You need to apply for licences for zoos and keeping dangerous wild animals separately.

Find out more below.

The following activities are covered by a single  ‘Animal Activity Licence’:

  • Animal boarding businesses (including home boarders and day carers, but not dog walking and dog grooming services)
  • dog breeders
  • pet shops
  • riding establishments
  • people that keep or train animals for exhibitions.

The conditions are set nationally, under The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018. They came into force on 1 October 2018 (made under the Animal Welfare Act 2006). They replace previous legislation relating to individual types of animals licences.

You will need to comply with the conditions set out in the regulations. We will check to what extent you meet the requirements before we grant you a licence with a star rating. 

Guidance

The Canine and Feline Sector Group website has guidance notes for each activity.

Star ratings

When we review your licence application(s), we will assess your welfare standards to see how you comply with them.  We will give you a score between 1 and 5, where 5 is a business with high welfare standards that represent a low risk to animals.

The table below shows the star ratings available to both low risk and high risk businesses. If you are a new applicant you are automatically considered to be high risk.

Risk level

Minor failing in welfare standards

Minimum welfare standards

Higher welfare standards

Low risk

1 star = 1 year licence

3 stars = 2 year licence

5 star = 3 year licence

Higher risk

1 star = 1 year licence

2 stars = 1 year licence

4 starts = 2 year licence

How long are licences valid for?

When we review your licence application(s), we will assess your welfare standards to see how you comply with them.  This will then determine if you get a licence for one, two or three years.

Eligibility

Please look at Schedule 8 of the regulations, it lists people who cannot apply for a licence.

When reviewing your application, we will consider:

  • your conduct in running your business
  • whether you are a fit and proper person
  • any other relevant information.

Apply

As part of the application process, please fill in these forms:

  1. Standard Introductory Section form
  2. Declaration form 
  3. The relevant form for each animal activity that you wish to apply for:

Please return your completed application forms, requested documents, and the required application fee to:

Waverley Borough Council
Environmental Health
The Burys
Godalming
Surrey
GU7 1HR

Email: environmentalhealth@waverley.gov.uk

How to pay

You can either:

  • send us a cheque, made payable to ‘Waverley Borough Council’, with your application, or
  • call us on 01483 523393 to pay by credit or debit card.

Decisions

We usually determine your application within 10 weeks.  The process starts when we receive your application and fee.

We do not offer refunds on Part A fees (see below), if we refuse your application.

Fees

Part A fees include:

  • processing your application
  • one inspection
  • general enforcement, admin and training costs.

Part B fees include:

  • writing up inspection notes
  • determining your rating
  • issuing your licence
  • an unannounced visit and associated admin
  • ongoing liaison with our appointed vet, as required.

Paying for your licence

Part A and B fees apply for the duration of the licence. Eg - if you get a three year licence, you only need to pay this once.

When you apply for a licence you can choose to pay Parts A and B together, or Part A when you apply and Part B when we are ready to issue your licence.

Boarding for dogs and cats – kennels and catteries

You will need to pay this fee for each type of animal boarding you offer. Eg - if your business boards dogs and cats you will need to pay for both. We do offer discounts, please see ‘other fees’ information below to find out more.

  • Part A: £384
  • Part B: £300
  • Total: £684

Boarding for dogs – home boarding (including home boarding arranger licences)

  • Part A: £334
  • Part B: £300
  • Total: £634

Boarding for dogs – day care

  • Part A: £384
  • Part B: £300
  • Total: £684

Breeding dogs

  • Part A: £334
  • Part B: £300
  • Total: £634
  • Plus vet fees

Selling animals as pets

  • Part A: £334
  • Part B: £300
  • Total: £634

Exhibition of animals

  • Part A: £334
  • Part B: £300
  • Total: £634

Hiring horses

1 to 8 horses
  • Part A: £384
  • Part B: £325
  • Total: £709
  • Plus vet fees
9 to 15 horses
  • Part A: £459
  • Part B: £325
  • Total: £784
  • Plus vet fees
Over 15 horses
  • Part A: £534
  • Part B: £325
  • Total: £859
  • Plus vet fees

Other fees

  • Additional activities: 50% off (if you conduct more than one activity that needs a licence, you get 50% off the total fee for each additional activity. We will apply the discount to the activity with the smaller fee)
  • Each additional inspection / visit: £150
  • Each advisory visit: £150
  • Variation of licence (including one visit): £200
  • Re-evaluation of star rating (including one visit) : £200
  • Changes to reduce the number of licensable activities / numbers of animals: £75
  • Transfer a licence if licence holder has died: £75

Vet inspections – extra charges

  • Riding establishments – an appointed vet will inspect your stables every year
  • Dog breeding businesses - an appointed vet will inspect your premises when you first apply for your licence.

You will need to pay for the vet fees separately.

Franchises

If the business is a franchise, each establishment will need its own licence.

What if you don’t hold a valid licence

We can fine you and take formal action against you if you run a business with animals, as described above, and don’t have the right licence.

More information

Please contact us if you:

  • need advice
  • want to make a complaint about a licensed premises
  • want to report someone who is operating without the correct licence.

Email: environmentalhealth@waverley.gov.uk 

Tel: 01483 523393

Under the Zoo Licencing Act 1981 a zoo licence is needed if displaying wild animals to the public for at least 7 days a year, in any place that'€s not a circus or pet shop. There are many detailed requirements and conditions to be met under the zoo licensing regime and you are strongly advised to read the legislation and Defra'€s 2012 document a€ guide to the Act's provisions before making an application.

Validity and fees

A zoo licence lasts for four years and costs £1,100.

How to apply

Write to us 2 months before applying

For an application to be considered you must write to Waverley Borough Council at least 2 months before applying.

Environmental Health Team
Waverley Borough Council
The Burys
Godalming
Surrey
GU7 1HR
Tel: 01483 523393
Email: environmentalhealth@waverley.gov.uk

You must give details about:

  • where the zoo will be
  • what kind of animals you're going to keep and how many
  • how you house and care for the animals
  • staff numbers and what they will be doing
  • expected visitor and vehicle numbers
  • zoo entrance and exit points
  • how you will meet the conservation conditions

You must also:

  • publish a notice that you are intending to apply in at least 1 local and 1 national newspaper
  • display the notice at the planned zoo site
  • send a copy to the council

Step 2. Apply for a Zoo licence

Apply for a zoo licence online through the Business Link portal. Please note that a completed application must be submitted with the current year'€s fee. In addition, the applicant will need to pay any associated veterinary fees for DEFRA nominated inspectors.

How long will it take to process my application?

Due to the complexity of the licensing process, it is not possible to provide an exact timescale for the granting or refusal of a licence.

Zoo inspection

Before determining whether you get your licence, the zoo premises will be inspected.

You will get at least 28 days€' notice before the inspection.

After the inspection the council may attach conditions to your licence, eg that you will need to get insurance for any damage caused by the animals.

If you get a licence, you will be inspected regularly to make sure you are following these conditions.

You must keep records on animal health, numbers and species, acquisitions, births, deaths (with causes), disposals and escapes.

Renewing your licence

Your licence will need to be renewed after 4 years. If you get your licence renewed it will then last for 6 years. You will need to apply to renew it again 6 months before it expires.

Transferring your licence

A licence can be transferred to another person with the Council's approval.

Displaying your licence

You must display your licence or a copy of it at each entrance to the zoo.

Fines and penalties

You could, on conviction, get a fine of up to £2,500 if you run a zoo without a licence or do not follow the conditions of a licence.

You could also get a fine of up to £1,000 if you:

  • stop a zoo inspector doing their job properly
  • do not display your zoo licence properly

More information

If you need advice, please contact us:

Email: environmentalhealth@waverley.gov.uk

Tel: 01483 523393

You need a licence to keep dangerous wild animals such as snakes, crocodiles, as well as large marsupials and mammals. A full list of animals which require licensing is in the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976.

A licence will only be granted when we are satisfied the applicant is a suitable person, the animal's accommodation is adequate, secure and there are no public safety issues.

Fees

£210 - You will also need to pay for the 2 yearly veterinary inspections.

Apply

Please complete the Dangerous Wild Animal Licence Application Form

Return it to:

Waverley Borough Council
Environmental Health
Council Offices
The Burys
Godalming
Surrey
GU7 1HR

It normally takes 28 days to process your application.

Validity

A dangerous wild animal licence is valid for two years and comes into force either on the day it is granted or on 1 January the following year, depending on your request.

More information

If you need advice, please contact us:

Email: environmentalhealth@waverley.gov.uk

Tel: 01483 523393