Animal licences

Chichester District Council issue licences under a range of different legislation applying to pet shops, the breeding of dogs, cat and dog boarding establishments, riding establishments, dangerous wild animals and zoos.

On receipt of a valid application and fee, an officer and in some circumstances, a vet will inspect the premises to ensure that the premises and practices meet high standards of animal health, welfare and safety. Chichester Council requires holders of animal licenses' to meet industry standard "model" conditions as produced by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) and comply with the Animal Welfare and Control Model Conditions.

In cases where a vet needs to visit a premises, this is an additional cost to the fee that the Council charge to process the application.  The council will pass on the cost of the vets visit to the applicant at the rate at which the vet charges the council for his/her inspection.

Boarding Animal Licences

Under the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963 where the boarding of animals is being carried on as a business, these establishments are required to hold a licence granted by the council. The keeping of such establishments is defined as any premises, including a private dwelling, the business of providing accommodation for other people's cats and dogs. Licences are required to ensure the proper care and treatment of animals.

Applying for a licence

Before granting a licence, the council's licensing inspector will usually visit the premises to assess the suitability of the applicant/manager, size of accommodation, feeding times, hygiene, registration of animals on premises and emergency procedures. Each licence is subject to standard conditions, however in certain circumstances a licence may also contain bespoke conditions.  A licence may be refused, or withheld, on other grounds - if those grounds are such that conditions are not suitable for the boarding of animals. The licence must be renewed on an annual basis, before the expiry date, if the premises are to continue as an animal boarding establishment.

Fees

Current annual licence application fees are as follows:

 
Licence TypePrice
1 - 25  Animals£146.00
26 - 75 Animals£177.00
75+ Animals and dog creches£233.00
Home Boarding£89.00

Combined Boarding and Breeding Licence:

Combined boarding and breeding licence fees
Licence TypePrice
1 - 25 animals£188.00
26 - 75 animals£232.00
75+ animals£294.00

Other matters to consider

Whilst the following issues will not be taken into account when determining the licence application, applicants are advised to consider the following issues which may affect the establishment:

  • Whether you will require planning permission for change of use or for building the necessary accommodation.
  • The disposal of waste and litter. Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (section 33 ) if businesses have a legal responsibility to safely manage, store and legally dispose of any waste.
  • The potential for nuisance to neighbours - for example from dog barking.
  • The health, safety and welfare requirements in relation to anyone you may employ in connection with the business (for example, 'kennel maids').

Home boarding of dogs

Under the Act people who provide a commercial boarding service in their own home for other people's dogs will still require a licence from the council, which must be renewed annually.  The maximum amount of dogs held at any one time at a Home Boarding premises is 6 (including your own dog/dogs).

Please visit the Gov.uk website to submit an Application for a licence to operate an animal boarding establishment

Dangerous wild animals licences

Under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 anyone who keeps a dangerous wild animal must hold a licence issued by the council. The Schedule attached to the Act lists animals that are considered to be dangerous, and includes various mammals, birds, reptiles and invertebrates.  The licensing procedure does not apply to animals kept in a zoo, circus, pet shop or a place registered as a scientific establishment.

Applying for a licence

When an application is received the premises and animal(s) will be inspected by the council's veterinary surgeon, and subject to a visit from a council licensing inspector.

Licences will only be granted when the council is satisfied that it would not be contrary to public interest on the grounds of safety or nuisance; that the applicant is a suitable person; and the animal's accommodation is adequate and secure.

Where the council grants a licence it will impose conditions on the licence covering issues such as:

  • a requirement that the animal be kept only by a person or persons named on the licence;
  • restrictions on the movement of the animal from the premises as specified on the licence; and
  • a requirement that the licence holder has a current insurance policy which ensures both licence holders and others against any liability caused by the animal.

Other conditions will also usually be imposed which are specific to the type of wild animal(s) being kept.

A licence may be refused, or withheld, on other grounds - if those grounds are such that conditions are not suitable for the keeping of dangerous wild animals.

Where a licence is granted, that licence and any subsequent licence will remain in force for two years from the date it is granted. The licence must be renewed before the expiry date if dangerous wild animals are continued to be kept.

Fees

There is an application fee which must be paid at the time the application is submitted. An indication of the likely fee will be given at the time of making the application.

Other matters to consider

Before making an application for a licence to keep a dangerous wild animal you are advised to consider the following:

  • Is the activity likely to give rise to nuisance, for example odours and noise?
  • What arrangements will you make for the care of the animal if you are away from the premises?
  • Can you comply with the requirements of the licence conditions?

Dog Breeding licences

Under the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 a breeding establishment is defined as any premises where the breeding of dogs for sale is carried on. A person will be presumed to be carrying on a business where during any 12 month period, 5 or more litters are born to their bitch / bitches. A decision as to whether a breeder with bitches producing fewer than 5 litters a year needs to be licensed will depend on whether the breeder concerned is carrying on a business: this can only be determined by the local authority on the facts of the case.

Conditions in the licence state that:

  • bitches must not be mated until they are at least 1 year old;
  • bitches must not give birth to more than 6 litters in a lifetime;
  • bitches must not have more than 1 litter in any 12 month period, and
  • breeders must keep accurate and detailed records covering all aspects concerning the health and welfare of the dogs, including details of litters. These records must be kept on the premises and made available to the council if requested.

Applying for a licence

When an application is received the premises and dogs will be inspected by the council's veterinary surgeon and visited by a council licensing inspector.

Please visit the Gov.uk website to submit an Application for a licence to keep a dog breeding establishment

The applicant must be able to demonstrate that:

  • dogs will be kept in accommodation that is suitable in respect of: construction, size of quarters, number of occupants, exercising facilities, temperature, lighting, ventilation and cleanliness.
  • dogs will be adequately supplied with suitable food, drink and bedding material, adequately exercised, and (so far as is necessary) visited at suitable intervals.
  • all reasonable precautions will be taken to prevent and control the spread, amongst the dogs, of infectious or contagious diseases - including the provision of isolation facilities.
  • appropriate steps will be taken for the protection of the dogs in case of fire or other emergency, including the provision of suitable and sufficient fire fighting equipment.
  • all appropriate steps will be taken to ensure that the dogs will be provided with suitable food, drink and bedding material, and adequately exercised, when being transported to (or from) the breeding establishment.

Each licence is subject to standard conditions, however a licence may also contain bespoke conditions.  A licence may be refused, or withheld, on other grounds - if those grounds are such that conditions are not suitable for the breeding of dogs. The licence must be renewed on an annual basis, before the expiry date, if the premises are to continue operating as a dog breeding establishment.

Fees

An initial application fee is payable and an annual fee of £145.00 is payable thereafter.

Where breeding and boarding is carried out at the same premises a combined fee may be paid instead (see boarding animal licences).

Other matters to consider

Whilst the following issues will not be taken into account when determining the licence application, applicants are advised to consider the following which may affect the establishment:

  • The provisions of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
  • Whether you will require planning permission for change of use or for building the necessary accommodation.
  • The disposal of waste and litter.  Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 businesses have a legal responsibility to safely manage, store and legally dispose of any waste.
  • The potential for nuisance to neighbours - for example from dog barking.
  • The health, safety and welfare requirements in relation to anyone you may employ in connection with the business (for example, kennel maids).

Pet shops licences

Under the Pet Animals Act 1951 (as amended in 1983) all pet shops are required to hold a licence granted by the council. The definition of pets includes vertebrate, and so also includes fish. The purpose of the Act is to protect the welfare of animals sold as pets. Under the Act, pets cannot be sold in the street, including on barrows and markets. It is currently an offence under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 to sell a pet to a child less than 16 years of age unless they are accompanied by an adult. The purpose of this is to prevent purchases on a whim without parental consent, and ensures that proper thought is given to the animal's care and welfare.

Applying for a licence

Before granting a licence, a licensing inspector will visit the premises where the animals are to be kept and the applicant must be able to demonstrate to the Council's licensing inspector that:

  • Animals will at all times be kept in accommodation suitable as respects size, temperature lighting, ventilation and cleanliness.
  • Adequate provisions will be made to keep the animals supplied with food or drink and (so far as necessary) visited at suitable intervals.
  • Animals, being mammals, will not be sold at too early an age.
  • All reasonable precautions will be taken to prevent the spread of infectious disease amongst the animals.
  • Appropriate steps will be taken in the case of fire or other emergency.

Each licence is subject to standard conditions, however a licence may also contain bespoke conditions.  A licence may be refused, or withheld, on other grounds - if those grounds are such that conditions are not suitable for the trading of pets. The licence must be renewed, on an annual basis before the expiry date, if the premises are to continue operating as a pet shop.

Please visit the Gov.uk website to submit an Application for a licence to keep a pet shop

Fees

An annual fee of £140.00 is payable.

Other matters to consider

Whilst the following issues will not be taken into account when determining the licence application, applicants are advised to consider the following issues which may affect the establishment:

  • The provisions of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
  • Whether planning permission is required for change of use or for building the necessary accommodation.
  • The disposal of waste and litter.  Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 businesses have a legal responsibility to safely manage, store and legally dispose of any waste.
  • The potential for nuisance to neighbours.
  • Under health and safety legislation persons are responsible for ensuring the health and safety of anyone affected by their business (including anyone employed in connection with the business, customers and visitors).

Riding establishment licences

Under the Riding Establishments Act 1964 and 1970 riding establishments are required to hold a licence granted by the council. A 'riding establishment' is defined as the carrying on of a business of keeping horses for either being let out for hire for riding, or for the purpose of being used in providing, in return for payment, instruction in riding. This includes horses, ponies and donkeys.

Applying for a licence

Before granting a licence the council's licensing inspector will usually visit the premises to establish the suitability of the applicant/manager, the accommodation and pasture, adequacy of the provision for the horses' health, welfare and exercise, precautions against fire and disease and the suitability of the horses as regards the reasons for which they are kept. An inspection of the horses and premises will also be made by a veterinary surgeon.

Each licence is subject to standard conditions, however in certain circumstances a licence may also contain bespoke conditions. A licence may be refused, or withheld, on other grounds - if those grounds are such that conditions are not suitable to run a riding establishment. The licence must be renewed on a yearly basis, before the expiry date, if the premises are to continue as a riding establishment.

Please visit the Gov.uk website to submit an Application for a licence to operate a riding establishment

Fees

Riding establishments are subject to 2 types of fees:

1) An annual Local Authority fee which is calculated on the number of horses being kept at the premises. This covers the administration of issuing the licence and the Health & Safety inspections undertaken by an Environmental Health Officer.

Current Local Authority annual licence fees are as follows:

Current local authority annual licence fees
Number of HorsesLocal Authority Fee
1 horse£128
2 - 10 horses£189
11 - 20 horses£245
Over 20 horses£365

2) The costs of the vet's inspection and inspection report - this is charged at cost to the applicant

Other matters to consider

Whilst the following issues will not be taken into account when determining the licence application, applicants are advised to consider the following issues which may affect the establishment:

  • Whether planning permission is required for change of use or for building the necessary accommodation.
  • Under health and safety legislation persons are responsible for ensuring the health and safety of anyone affected by their business (including anyone employed in connection with the business, customers and visitors).
  • The disposal of waste and litter. Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (section 33) businesses have a legal responsibility to safely manage, store and legally dispose of waste.
  • The potential for nuisance to neighbours - for example from any external floodlighting.

Zoos licences

Under the Zoo Licensing Act 1981 any establishment where wild animals (those not normally domesticated in Great Britain) are kept for exhibition to the public otherwise than for the purpose of a circus or a pet shop requires a licence from the council. The Act aims to ensure that, where animals are kept in enclosures, they are provided with a suitable environment.

A zoo licence is required if wild animals are exhibited to the general public on 7 or more days in any 12 consecutive months with or without charge for admission. This means that licensed zoos range from urban zoos and safari parks to premises such as butterfly houses and aquaria.

Applying for a licence

At least 2 months before making an application for a licence, the applicant must give notice in writing to the council of their intention to make the application. The notice must identify:

  • the zoo's location
  • the types of animals and approximate number of each group kept for exhibition on the premises and the arrangements for their accommodation, maintenance and wellbeing
  • the approximate numbers and categories of staff to be employed in the zoo
  • the approximate number of visitors and motor vehicles for which accommodation is to be provided
  • the approximate number and position of access to be provided to the premises
  • how required conservation measures will be implemented at the zoo

At least 2 months before making the application, the applicant must also publish notice of that intention in one local newspaper and one national newspaper and exhibit a copy of that notice. The notice must identify the location of the zoo and state that the application notice to the council is available to be inspected at the council offices.

Application evaluation process

When considering an application the council shall take into account any representations made by or on behalf of:

  • the applicant
  • the chief officer of police in the relevant area
  • the appropriate authority - this is either the enforcing authority or relevant authority in whose area the zoo will be situated
  • the governing body of any national institution concerned with the operation of zoos
  • where part of the zoo is not situated in the area of the council with power to grant the licence, a planning authority for the relevant area (other than a county planning authority)
  • any person alleging that the zoo would affect the health or safety of people living in the neighbourhood
  • anyone stating that the zoo would affect the health or safety of anyone living near it
  • any other person whose representations might show grounds on which the authority has a power or duty to refuse to grant a licence

Before granting or refusing to grant the licence, the council will arrange an inspection by a consultant inspector from the list of suitable inspectors nominated by the Secretary of State. The council will then 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 and make arrangements for an inspection to be carried out. At least 28 days notice of the inspection shall be provided by the council.

The council will not grant the licence if they feel that the zoo would adversely affect the health or safety of people living near to it, or seriously affect the preservation of law and order or if they are not satisfied that appropriate conservation measures would be satisfactorily implemented.

An application may also be refused if:

  • the council are not satisfied that accommodation, staffing or management standards are suitable for the proper care and wellbeing of the animals or for the proper conduct of the zoo
  • the applicant, or if the applicant is an incorporated company, the company or any of the company's directors, managers, secretaries or other similar officers, or a keeper in the zoo, has been convicted of any offence involving the ill-treatment of animals

Applications to renew a licence will be considered no later than 6 months before the expiry of the existing licence, unless a shorter time period is allowed by the council. The Secretary of State, after consulting the council, may direct them to attach one or more conditions to a licence. The council may advise the Secretary of State that, because of the small number of animals kept in the zoo or the small number of the kinds of animal kept there, a direction should be made that that a licence is not required.

Fees

There is an application fee which must be paid at the time the application is submitted. An indication of the likely fee will be given at the time of making the application.

Other matters to consider

Apart from ensuring that you have the necessary level of experience and expertise to look after the animal(s) that will be covered by the licence and that you can meet all the necessary standards and licence conditions, you should ensure that:

  • You have the relevant planning permissions for the activity and/or any enclosures that you are erecting.
  • You have considered and undertaken risk assessments relating to the health and safety of employees, the self-employed and the public.

Further details about zoo licensing and Standards of Modern Zoo Practice can be found on the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)  website.