Performing Animals

An animal activity licence is required from the Council to keep or train animals. This could be for exhibition in the course of a business or for educational or entertainment purposes. This includes:

  • in the presence of any audience or
  • by the recording of visual images of them on any form of technology that enables them to be displayed.
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This is subject to a business test which is defined in statutory guidance.

Applications cannot be made by any individual who:

  • is subject to a specific disqualification or
  • has had certain licences revoked in the past 

You can read more detailed information on the requirements that will apply. Please refer to the regulations and statutory guidance. These documents also explain whether there are any exemptions. There is also specific statutory guidance in relation to keeping or training animals for exhibition. This guidance explains the business test and conditions of licence. It also includes what is in or out of scope, for licensing.

Applications can only be made by individuals.  An application form will need to be completed. This should be submitted with the application fee and any supporting documents. 

You can do this by downloading an application form. You will need to complete the form and send to the address on the form. Alternatively you can email the completed form, details are on the form.

Download the Perfoming Animals application form 

The Council is not permitted to consider and determine an application until it has an inspection report for the premises.  In order to obtain a report the Council is required to instruct a suitably qualified inspector to inspect the premises.

The inspector must establish whether the mandatory conditions that will be attached to any licence can be complied with.  The Council is also required to consider whether the conduct displayed by any applicant indicates that they are a fit and proper person to carry out the licensable activity.

Following the inspection your application will be considered and determined.  If your application is approved then a licence fee becomes payable. The licence will then be issued for a period of 3 years. 

We will aim to have your application determined within 10 weeks of a valid application and complete application.  If we have been unable to determine your application in this time a licence will not be automatically granted. This is due to animal welfare implications.

Please view the current licensing fees and charges to find out how much you will need to pay.

All licences will be subject to mandatory conditions of licence. These are set out in the regulations. Please read the statutory guidance relating to exhibiting animals. This provides guidance on what is required to meet the conditions of licence.  The statutory guidance also provides advice on what is in or out of scope for licensing. 

The Council may decide to refuse to grant or renew a licence, or to revoke or vary a licence. Any person who is aggrieved by a decision may appeal to the First-Tier Tribunal. This should be within 28 days of the decision.

Licence holders must apply for a renewal at least 10 weeks before their current licence expires. This is if they wish to continue to operate without a break.

There is a comprehensive range of business regulatory support services available. These are available to help and advise businesses to be more successful and compliant.

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