You will need a licence for breeding, keeping, training, hiring out and selling animals. 

Licensing of animal activities

On 1 October 2018 regulations came into force called the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals)

These regulations updated and made changes to the previous animal licensing regime.  

The new legislation applies to:  

  • pet shops  
  • catteries  
  • kennels  
  • home boarders  
  • doggy day care  
  • riding establishments  
  • dog breeders  
  • performing and exhibition of animals

There are no changes to dangerous wild animals licences or zoo licences. 

Licence conditions

There are new conditions that will apply to licences: 

  • a set of general conditions that apply to all licences  
  • a set of specific conditions that will apply to specific animal activity 

It is necessary to comply with both sets of conditions. 

Apply for an animal activity licence

For information on how to apply, an application form, or information on fees contact us by: 

More information 

Defra has produced guidance documents for local authority inspectors. These documents are also useful reading for current and prospective licence holders. 

We advise that you read the procedural guidance document and the specific document relevant to your activity.

Licences issued by us

We keep a public register of each licensed premises that is available to view online. We rate each premises using a star-rated licensing model.

View our licensed premises document (Microsoft Excel format).

You can also download the above document as a PDF.

Licensing of dangerous wild animals

If you keep a dangerous wild animal you must hold a licence.  

If you fail to have a licence the animal can be removed from your premises. 

Examples of animals needing a dangerous wild animal licence 

Examples of dangerous wild animals include venomous snakes, certain spiders and ostriches.  

Read our full list of animals that need a dangerous wild animals licence


Dangerous wild animal licences are not needed for animals kept in:  

What happens next 

Before we issue a licence a veterinary surgeon will want to visit the premises and assess the animal.  

You will be charged for this visit. 

If the report from the veterinary surgeon is satisfactory, we will issue a licence.  

Licence conditions 

The licence may be subject to conditions. These conditions may relate for example to the suitability of the premises, or to restrictions on the species and numbers of animals you can have. 


If you do not keep to the conditions of your licence we can remove the animal from your premises. 

Licence renewal 

Licences are valid for one or 2 years.

Zoo licensing

If you display wild animals to the public for at least 7 days in a year, in any place that is not a circus or a pet shop, then you will need to apply for a zoo licence, as set out under the Zoo Licensing Act 1981.

The licence is subject to fees and conditions to ensure the proper conduct of the zoo.

What you must do before applying for a licence

At least two months before making an application for a licence you must:

  • give notice to us in writing
  • publish two newspaper notices of your intention to apply and display a copy

Apply for a zoo licence

Once you have completed the previous step, you can submit an application and pay the application fee.

For information on how to apply, an application form, or information on fees contact us by:  

What happens next

Before granting or refusing to grant the licence, we will: 

  • arrange for an inspection to be carried out (there will be a fee payable for this)
  • consider any inspectors’ reports based on their inspection of the zoo
  • consult the applicant about any conditions they propose should be attached to the licence

We will give at least 28 days’ notice of the inspection.

Renewing a licence

The first zoo licence will be valid for 4 years. Subsequent licences will be valid for 6 years.

An inspection of the zoo will be carried out every year (there may be a fee payable for this).

Registration or approval of animal feed hygiene

All businesses that make, use or market animal feeds in South Gloucestershire (excluding pet food retailers) must register or apply for approval from us as set out under the Feed (Hygiene and Enforcement) Regulations 2005.   

Examples of businesses who must register include: 

  • livestock farms 
  • arable farms growing crops for feed use 
  • companies that transport or store animal feed 
  • manufacture of pet food (including homemade cat and dog treats)
  • food manufacturers selling by-products of food production into the feed chain
  • retailers and wholesalers of animal feed (excluding pet food) 
  • pharmacists who supply mineral and vitamin supplements for animals 

Register for an animal feed hygiene licence  

Contact us to register for an animal feed hygiene licence by:

Registration for pet food and homemade treats

The manufacture and labelling of animal feed for food producing and non-food producing (pet) animals is a complex area.  

It is regulated by various pieces of legislation to make sure that all feed given to animals is:  

  • produced hygienically  
  • safe for the animal  
  • fully traceable 

This applies to large industrial scale operations right down to small scale production of homemade dog treats made in a domestic kitchen. 

Register or apply for approval 

The difference between registration and approval is down to the type of activity carried out.  

If you would like to register with us as a pet food manufacturer you should contact us for a registration form by:  

We can only advise and register businesses within South Gloucestershire. If you are based outside of South Gloucestershire you need to contact your local authority for advice. 


If you want to make a complaint about a licensed premises, you can email us at:

Beta This is our beta website