You may need an animal licence if you:
- run a business that provides accommodation for other people’s dogs and cats, including dog day care
- breed dogs for commercial purposes
- keep an animal that is on the dangerous wild animals list
- keep or train animals for exhibition
- keep animals to sell as pets
- hire out horses
- operate a zoo
Animal licence activity star rating system
Licences are subject to the national animal licence activity star rating system.
The animal licence activity star rating system was introduced under the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018
The animal licence activity star rating system takes into account the animal welfare standards adopted by the business and your level of risk. Read our AAL applicant information document in the related documents below for further information on the licence process and a breakdown of the national scoring system.
Compulsory Microchipping Laws for cats and dogs
Since April 2016 it has been compulsory for dog owners to ensure their dogs are microchipped. Dogs must be fitted with a microchip and registered on a database by the time they are 8 weeks old.
New laws coming into force on 10 June 2024 will require cats in England to be microchipped and registered on a database by the time they reach 20 weeks old.