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Animal Exhibition Licence

Any person that wishes to keep or train animals for exhibition must obtain a licence under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

This includes mobile collections of animals, for example pony parties, and collections of reptiles taken to schools and events.

Animal welfare regulations are rules under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and cover licensing of various activities that involve animals. The Regulations came into force on 1 October 2018.

The following activities also need a licence:

If granted, a licence will last 3 years.

  1. Applying for a licence

    Any individual can apply for a licence if they can demonstrate that they are:

    • a fit and proper person
    • not disqualified from holding a licence (in accordance with Regulation 11 and Schedule 8)

    Apply for an animal exhibition licence.

    You will need to submit the application fee as the same time as your application.

    When the length of your licence is known, you will need to pay the licence fee.

  2. Will tacit consent apply?

    No, it is in the public interest that we process your application before it can be granted.

    We aim to process applications within 10 weeks of receiving them, but if we don’t meet this target your application won’t be granted automatically. This means that you can’t start the activity of keeping or training animals for exhibition until a licence has been granted.

  3. What happens once I've submitted my application?

    Once we have received your application, we will contact you to arrange an inspection.

    During an inspection, we will check that you comply with the standard conditions and the conditions for each activity you have applied for.

    You will need to meet the requirements of all the minimum standards, although minor failings may be noted or recorded providing they do not compromise the welfare of the animals.

    The premises will also be risk rated. 

    The conditions require that all documentation is kept and maintained. A checklist for the documents is available.

    There are no higher standards for the keeping or training animals for exhibition licence.

  4. What information will be provided with the licence?

    If a licence is issued, we will provide:

    • The licence with the star rating
    • Details of how the business has been rated, including a list of the higher standards the business currently fails to meet or a list of the minimum standards the business if failing to meet and resulting in a "minor failing" category.
    • A copy of the risk management assessment table
    • Details of the appeals process and timescales

  5. What happens if my application is refused?

    We must refuse to issue a licence if:

    • the applicant can't meet the licence conditions
    • the granting of a licence will have a negative impact on animal welfare
    • the level of accommodation, staffing, or management is inadequate for the well-being of animals.

    A licence cannot be issued to an applicant who is disqualified.

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

  6. Enforcement

    The new Regulations introduce a range of enforcement powers to allow us to issue a suspension, variation or revocation notice where conditions are not being complied with i.e. there is a breach of the regulations or issues relating to the protection of the welfare of an animal.

  7. Trade Associations

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