Animal activity licence

The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 (external link) has changed the way certain activities involving animals is licensed and regulated.

Which activities need a licence?

Any person or business operating the following activities will need to apply for a licence:

Zoos and Dangerous wild animals will continue to be licensed under the existing legislation.

Anyone carrying out the activities above without the relevant licence could be prosecuted and face imprisonment of up to 6 months, receive a fine or both.

Please note: The licences are non-transferrable should the premises / business be sold or taken over by another operator.  If the licence holder dies, the personal representative of the licence holder can take on the licence provided that they inform the local authority within 28 days of the death that they are now the operators.

How to Apply

  • Pay the fee online - do this BEFORE you apply
  • Complete the relevant application form - you will need to add your payment receipt number to your completed application
  • Complete the relevant inspection form
  • The following documents must be produced with the application form. Failure to produce these documents within 7 days of submitting your application will result in it being returned and any fees paid refunded:

          A completed inspection form

          Operating procedures (these should cover the following):

      • Feeding regimes
      • Cleaning regimes
      • Transportation
      • Monitoring & ensuring the health & welfare of all animals
      • The death or escape of an animal (including the storage of dead animals)
      • The care of the animals following suspension / revocation / an emergency
    • A plan of the premises
    • Insurance Policy
    • Risk Assessments (including a fire risk assessment)
    • Qualifications (if any)
    • Training policy / records.

Email your completed application, as a word document, and additional documents to The process will include a site inspection and this will usually take place within 8 weeks of submitting an application. An Officer will contact applicants directly to arrange a convenient time and date.


The general conditions set by the legislation are as follows:

Public register

We maintain a public register of all the businesses which hold an animal activity licence, a copy of which is available below. This will be updated on a regular basis.

© Wigan Council