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Animal licences

Arrangements for a range of Animal Welfare licences have changed with the introduction of the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018.

All the following animal related activities require a licence.

Information, application forms and guidance for animal licences and details of fees are available below. On line payment is currently only available for zoo applications.

Animal Welfare licences have changed with the introduction of the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018

Further information

Please contact us to clarify the licence fee payable if you are uncertain.

Am I eligible for a licence?

An applicant must not be disqualified from any of the following at the time of the application:

  • keeping an animal boarding establishment
  • keeping a pet shop under the Pet Animals Act 1951
  • keeping animals under the Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1954
  • owning, keeping, being involved in the keeping or being entitled to control or influence the keeping of animals, dealing in animals or transporting or being involved in the transportation of animals under the Animals Welfare Act 2006
  • owning, keeping, dealing in or transporting animals under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006. In Scotland an applicant must also not be disqualified from working with, using, driving or riding animals, providing services to animals that would involve taking possession of them, taking possession of an animal to carry out any of the activities listed or taking charge of animals for any other purpose

Application evaluation

All licence applications will be assessed based on the following criteria:

  • an assessment of the operator (applicant) as to whether they are a fit and proper person to carry out the licensable activity, their knowledge, experience, compliance history, ability to meet their licence conditions, afford immediate access to their sites for inspection and whether they are currently disqualified from making an application;
  • an inspection of the site of the licensable activity by a suitably qualified inspector (and where applicable accompanied by a registered veterinarian);
  • the submission of the inspectors report which will contain information about the operator, details of the premises, records, conditions of the animals, the risk rating score, compliance details and a statement on whether licence conditions will be met;
  • the payment of the appropriate licence fee.

Will tacit consent apply

No. Your licence will only be issued to you when all the necessary inspections/checks have been carried out and the premises meet the required standards.

The licence may also list additional site specific conditions.

When will a decision be made?

You can expect to be contacted by Animal Health Licensing within 14 days of receipt of your application. 

What if my application fails?

Please contact us in the first instance by emailing: regulatoryservices@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk

We will consider the report from the inspector and any comments made by the applicant when deciding whether to issue a licence.

We must refuse to issue a licence if it considers that the applicant cannot meet the licence conditions, the granting of a licence will have a negative impact on animal welfare or if the level of accommodation, staffing or management is inadequate for the well-being of animals. A licence cannot be issued to an operator who is disqualified.

The applicant will have the right of appeal to a First-tier Tribunal within 28 days of the decision notice.

Licence holder redress

Please contact us in the first instance by emailing: regulatoryservices@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk

The applicant will have the right of appeal to a First-tier Tribunal within 28 days of the decision notice.

Licence holder appeal against rating

Please contact us in the first instance by emailing: regulatoryservices@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk

Consumer complaint

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader - preferably in the form of a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, further information about making a complaint, can be found on the Information for Consumers page. 

Trade associations

General enquiries

If you do have a question that is not answered either on our website or in the draft guidance documents then do get in touch.  This will also allow us to understand the most common enquiries and share that information out to the wider business community.

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