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Keep up-to-date with the latest Covid advice for pet businesses, including breeders, rescue and rehoming centres, groomers and dog walkers etc. from the Canine Feline Sector Group

Animal activities licensing

Find out about the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 and who they affect.

The regulations govern the licensing of the following animal activities:

Changes to animal welfare licensing laws

Guidance and policy

Please read the guidance notes for each activity on what will be required. 

We have also put together some icon useful tips to help you complete your application [20.13KB] .

We have adopted a icon policy covering the Licensing of Animal Activities [592.05KB] .

In order to ensure compliance with our duties to ensure that an individual has not been disqualified from holding a licence, our policy sets out criteria which will ensure that only suitable applicants are granted a licence. 

An applicant will be granted a licence if we are satisfied that the licence conditions will be met. In considering this, we will take into account whether the applicant is a fit and proper person to be the operator of the activity. 

The term 'fit and proper' is not defined in the legislation or guidance. 

Our policy states that we will consider a 'fit and proper person' to be an individual who can demonstrate upon application that they have:

  • the right to work in the UK
  • no relevant convictions
  • not been disqualified from holding a licence
  • the knowledge, experience, compliance history and ability to comply with licence conditions and safeguard the welfare of animals in their care
  • made suitable management and training arrangements to safeguard and protect any staff and/or members of the public who may be affected by the licence activity.

Applicants will be required to produce documents in support of the above with their application.

Application forms

Please complete the animal activity licensing form that is relevant to your business, as well as the Standard Introductory Section form, and the Declaration Section form, and return all forms by email to: regulatoryservices@guildford.gov.uk.

icon Provision of Boarding for Cats and Dogs [270.69KB]

icon Breeding Dogs [277.11KB]

icon Hiring Out Horses [289.08KB]  

icon Keeping or Training Animals for Exhibition [272.68KB]

icon Selling Animals as Pets [296.98KB]

If you wish to remove or add a horse to your licence, please call customer services to make payment and complete the  icon Amend a Schedule of Animals [163.3KB]  form. The completed form and vet report can then be emailed to: regulatoryservices@guildford.gov.uk

How to pay

  • Pay with a debit/credit card over the phone once you have emailed your forms to us. Telephone: 01483 505050.

  • Pay with a debit/credit card at our main reception, Millmead House, Millmead, Guildford GU2 4BB.


All premises will be inspected before the licence is granted. The inspector will be checking the applicant has the following:

  • a specialist knowledge in the species they are caring for and a clear understanding of its needs and welfare. This would include the animal's mental and physical health, feeding and knowledge of environmental enrichment. The applicant should be able to demonstrate that they have researched and followed expert guidance in order to carry out their role.

  • comprehensive records that contain all the information required by the conditions that apply to their particular activities.

  • an understanding of risks involved in caring for the animal, including an extensive risk assessment and written policies and procedures that are reviewed regularly. These documents should be available for the Inspector to examine.

  • training procedures in place to make sure staff know what is expected of them, and clear evidence of good supervision of staff.

The premises will also be assessed so we can be sure the licence holder can meet the new laws relating to the physical environment in which the animals will be kept.

Based on the information, we will assess the risk rating and award stars.

Low-risk premises can attain up to five stars, and premises that have been assessed as higher risk can be awarded up to four stars. If the applicant is not satisfied with the decision, they can make improvements to address highlighted issues, and ask for a re-inspection. As per the regulations, Animals kept for Exhibition do not receive a star-rated licence.

A premises with a lower star rating is not necessarily a premises to avoid as there are other factors that have to be considered, such as the length of time the licence holder has been operating. New businesses will be assessed as slightly higher risk simply because there is no history of good practice that can be considered. Some older premises cannot attain a five star rating due to the way they were originally designed.

Fees for animal activities licensing from 1 April 2020

Licence Type

Application Fee

Fee For Grant

Total Fee

Other Costs

Animal Boarding




Vet fees upon application and as required for licence duration.

Home Boarding




Dog Day Care




Dog Breeding




Keeping Animals for Exhibition




Selling Animals as Pets




Hiring out horses




Each Additional Licence Activity




Each Additional Inspection



Advisory Visit



Variation to licence



Re-evaluation of rating



Variations to reduce the licensable activities or numbers of animals



Transfer due to death of licensee



Varying a schedule of horses on a licence  £36 

View online the register of premises operating under a valid Animal Licence. The register covers all licences under the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 Act in our Borough.