You need to apply for an animal licence if you want to run a business that carries out any of the following activities:
- Selling animals as pets
- Providing boarding for cats or dogs
- Hiring out horses
- Breeding dogs
- Keeping or training animals for exhibition
Before you apply
You need to read and understand the requirements set out on this page before you submit an application for an animal licence. We cannot proceed with your application unless you give us all the information we need.
You should also read the general and the relevant specific conditions attached to your licence. You can find these conditions on GOV.UK
As part of your application you must supply:
- copies of relevant qualifications
- copies of Public Liability Insurance or evidence of insurance
Applicants for dog breeding and hiring out horses must also pay for and obtain a vet’s inspection report to submit with the application.
Details of vets who can carry out inspections for animal licences
For all animal licences
Kingston Veterinary Group
For pets, boarding and dog breeding licences only
Bath Vet Group
Midsomer Veterinary Centre
Equine licences only
Hale Veterinary Group
Pet Shops must also supply a stock list.
Fees and prices
Prices and fees for animal licences are shown in the following table.
|New application fee (payable at time of application)||£238|
|Maintenance fee (payable before a licence is issued)||£82|
|Renewal application fee (payable at time of renewal)||£63|
|Council officer inspection (per inspection)||£130|
We will usually grant an animal licence for 1, 2 or 3 years, based on our assessment of the following criteria set by DEFRA:
- the risk of an operator breaching any licence conditions
- the impact on animal welfare of any such breaches
- whether the operator is already meeting higher standards of animal welfare than are required by the licence conditions
You can read the scoring system we use to determine the star rating and length of licence on GOV.UK
How to apply
When you are sure you are able to provide all the information we require, submit an application using our online form.
For licence renewals, we will contact you directly. We will contact you approximately three months before your licence is due to expire. You must submit a renewal application no later than 10 weeks before the expiry date.
Select a topic below to find out more about animal licences.
Before approving your application, we must first consult with the following bodies:
- Avon Fire and Rescue
- B&NES Environmental Protection
- B&NES Trading Standards
They will advise us within 14 days whether they have any objections to your licence being granted. We will advise you if we receive any such objections.
We will also arrange for an Animal Welfare Officer to visit you to inspect the premises.
We will consider guidance from DEFRA when evaluating your application.
If we do not receive any objections within 14 days of your application, we will contact you to confirm if your application is successful.
Tacit consent applies. This means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted if you have not heard from us within 60 days.
To appeal against a decision, email Licensing Services at: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are refused a licence you can also appeal to Bath Magistrates’ Court.
We have made the information on these web pages as comprehensive as possible. However, in attempting to simplify the law, certain requirements have been omitted. Full details of what you must do are in the relevant legislation.
If you think a business that is breaking the terms of their animal licence or operating without one, please complete our online complaints form
- The Association of Circus Proprietors of Great Britain
- Association of British Riding Schools (ABRS)
- British Dressage
- British Equestrian Federation (BEF)
- British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA)
- The International Marine Animal Trainers' Association
- Pet Industry Federation
- Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS)