Animal Welfare Licensing

Animal Activities Licensing

Animal boarding businesses (including home boarders and day carers), dog breeders, pet shops, riding establishments and people that keep or train animals for exhibitions will now be covered under a single type of licence, with nationally set licence conditions.

To help applicants, guidance notes for the licensable activities are set out below. They detail what steps applicants must take to meet the minimum standards to achieve a licence, they also set out the steps that can be taken to possibly achieve a higher star rating. Once a completed application and payment has been received, we will then contact applicants to arrange an inspection.

  • Guidance notes for The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018

We recommend that applicants check they have the correct permissions to use their property or premises for the business applied for and comply with all the relevant guidance. It's important to do this before applying, as the fee is not refundable.

How do I apply for my animal activities licence?

If there are changes to your current licence conditions or you are applying for the first time, please complete the relevant form:

How do I renew my animal activities licence?

If there are no changes to your current licence, you can renew your animal activities licence by completing the animal activities form.


Please see our licence fees list in effect from 1 April 2022.

Here you can make a payment online.


All premises will be inspected before the licence is granted. The inspector will be looking to make sure the applicant has the following:

  • A specialist knowledge in the species that they are caring for and a clear understanding of the animals welfare needs and to provide a suitable, safe environment.
  • Written comprehensive records as required by the conditions that apply to their particular activities. These documents should be available for the Inspector to examine.
  • An understanding of risks involved in caring for the animal, including risk assessments and written policies and procedures that are reviewed regularly and demonstrate safe working practices. These documents should be available for the Inspector to examine.

The premises itself will also be assessed so we can be sure the licence holder can meet the laws relating to the physical environment in which the animals will be kept. All businesses will be assessed based on the risk rating and scoring method created by DEFRA. Low-risk premises can attain up to five stars, and premises that have been assessed as higher risk can be awarded up to four stars. If the applicant is not satisfied with the decision, they can make improvements to address highlighted issues, and ask for a re-inspection or appeal.

Premises with lower star ratings

A premises with a lower star rating is not one to avoid, all licensed premises meet minimum standards. It is advisable to visit any premise prior to use. New businesses are assessed as higher risk simply because there is no history of good practice that can be considered. If customers have any concerns, please contact the Animal Welfare team prior to making a purchase or making booking arrangements.

Using animal premises

These are the currently licensed premises, correct as of January 2023 (Updated every quarter):

Licenced premises

Licensees may request their details to be removed from our website when the list is next updated, by emailing

Our advice to anyone using these premises, is to always check a business has a current  Animal Activity Licence has a issued by the Council, these should be available to be viewed by any customer.

Make sure you inspect the premises prior to leaving your pet or buying an animal, puppies must be seen with their mothers and the breeder must either have a licence or an exemption letter issued by the Council stating why they do not require a breeders licence. Riding Schools and persons exhibiting animals must have a current public liability insurance.  

Please contact us if you would like further advice about animal licensing or have a concern about a premise on 01252 774421 or email

Data Protection if you make an application for a licence 

Hart District (the Council) is the data controller for the personal information you are providing if you make an application. The Council will process this personal information in accordance with all relevant data protection law and will use it only to administer your application and licence and for the following purpose.

In accordance with guidance issued by DEFRA, a list of premises licensed under the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals)(England) Regulations 2018 is published on our website. The list contains the following information; the name of the business (or the name of the licensee if there is no business name), the parish that your premises lies within, and a link to the business website (or a contact number for the business).  Your business will automatically be added to the list. If your name as licensee (and not a business name) is shown in the list,  you may request that your business be removed from the list by Emailing if you so wish.

For more information about how the Council processes your personal information, please see the Council’s privacy policy webpage