Toggle menu

Animal licences FAQs

I already have a licence under the existing legislation, is this still valid or do I have to apply again?

All licences apart from those issued under the current Performing Animals (Regulation) Act 1925 will continue until their expiration date and under their current conditions. Licences issued for Performing Animals (Regulation) Act 1925 will run until 31 March 2019.

Will I need a licence?

Anyone carrying out the following licensable activities; cat/dog boarding, breeding, exhibiting animals, dog day care, selling animals or hire of horses will need a licence.

How do I get a licence?

Application forms to complete can be found on the Council's animal welfare web page.
Once an application has been submitted to the Council, we will arrange to carry out an inspection of your premises. The inspector will be looking at the welfare of the animals and how this is maintained through the business practices. The inspector will ask to see all paperwork setting out the business policies, procedures and staff training and will want to see the animals and their living environment.

How long will the inspection take?

It is anticipated that the inspection will take between 2 and 3 hours.

Who carries out the inspection?

An experienced local authority officer will carry out the inspections. For horse riding and any new applicants for dog breeding the local authority officer will be accompanied by a vet.

How long will my licence last?

A licence to exhibit animals will be granted for 3 years. All other licences will be granted with a licence for 1 to 3 years depending on the star rating awarded after inspection.

How is the star rating derived?

The star rating is based on the risk rating and the assessment of welfare standards. The inspecting officer will carry out a risk rating of the business based on compliance history, the applicant's knowledge of the animals in their care and their ability to demonstrate their practices and staff training. The inspector will be looking at the animals and their living environment giving consideration to the guidance issued by DEFRA. Operators need to meet minimum welfare standards to be granted a licence unless the failings are minor and do not impact adversely on animal welfare.  Each type of animal activity also has a set of Higher Standards that operators can achieve to increase the overall star rating.  The overall score will determine the star rating and the length of licence.

What happens if I don't agree with the star rating?

You can submit a written appeal within 21 days of the rating being issued to the licensing authority and request a re-inspection. Any re-inspection will be at the cost to the applicant. When we issue a licence we inform operators of any minor failings and any Higher Standards that have not been met.  Businesses disputing their star rating are encouraged to discuss this informally with the inspecting officer first so that there is an opportunity to help explain to the business how the rating was worked out.

How many times can I ask for my business to be re-rated?

There is no limit to the number of re-inspections, however there will be a charge for each inspection. You will need to submit the request in writing and detail what actions you have taken to improve the level of compliance or the standard of welfare for the animals since the previous inspection.

Does the local authority have to accept my request for a re-inspection?

No. If there is no evidence provided or the case made by the business is unsubstantiated, the local authority can refuse.

If I submit a request for a re-inspection, will I get a higher star rating?

Not necessarily. If Standards have fallen since the previous inspection, a lower rating may be given.

Under the new Act, how many dogs will I be allowed to board?

Each dog must be able to have its own designated room. This must be a proper room with its own window. Dogs from the same household will also need to have a room each.

Can I use a bedroom for home boarding of dogs?

Yes. Bedrooms can used, as long as they are not occupied by children under the age of 16 . The room must have enough space for the dog to move around freely.

Should businesses with a low star rating be avoided?

No not necessarily. There are many factors to take into consideration when rating a business; for instance a new business with no history will initially be considered high risk and therefore unable to attain the highest rating.

How will people know what star rating I have?

Your star rating will appear on your licence. This must be displayed in a prominent place in the premises.

I have been a licensed home boarder for the last 10 years, do I still need to obtain a qualification?

We will take your compliance history into consideration when the rating is issued. The highest number of stars will be issued to businesses that comply with the conditions and are able to demonstrate that they fulfil all of the required higher standards plus 50% of the optional higher standards. The level 3 qualification falls under the optional higher standards.

My dog has one litter of puppies each year which I sell. Will I require a dog breeding licence?

If you breed any number of litters then you will need a licence if you are operating as a business.  So if you are advertising dogs for sale, and a have a website or Social Media publicity indicating you have dogs for sale, you will probably be classified as operating as a business and should apply for a licence.  If this provides an income of more than £1000 each year, you will require a licence.

I breed guide dogs for the blind, do I need a dog breeding licence?

No, anyone breeding only assistance dogs as defined in the Equality Act 2010 will not require a licence.

I operate a franchise placing dogs with a network of home boarders, how is this licensed?

You will need a licence if you arrange boarding of dogs as a business.   We will need you to supply a list of all the home boarders you place dogs with within our District, and evidence that they are meeting the minimum welfare standards.   If any of your home boarders meet the business test they will also need their own licence.  If they are not operating as a business then you need to obtain a signed declaration from them, and submit it to us as part of your application.

What if I hear about a business operating without a licence?

It is likely there will be businesses operating that require an animal activity licence, but have not applied.  Some of these businesses will not be aware that they need a licence, and some may be in the process of applying.  However some may be aware they need a licence and have chosen not to apply.  If you have information about a business operating within the Chichester District Council area that you think the council needs to investigate please send it to us.  As a minimum we will need the address and the nature of the business that appears to be operating.  The information will be treated as confidential and, unless you give consent for us to do so, your details will not be disclosed to the business you are telling us about.  Similarly we will be unable to share details of any subsequent investigations with you.

What were the previous licensing regulations?

Regulations replaced the licensing and registration previously in place under the following legislation:

  • Pet Animals Act 1951

  • Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963

  • Riding Establishments Acts 1964 & 1970

  • Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 & Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999

  • Applications for a licence to keep or train animals for exhibition will not be due until march 2019. This will replace Performing Animals (Regulation) Act 1925.