South Holland DC
Search site

Animal Welfare

Information on how to apply for a licence for Animal Boarders and Breeders, Pet Shops, Riding Establishments and Dangerous Wild Animals.

Please select from the options below:

Prior to submitting your application you must ensure that you contact the Council's Planning Department to obtain the relevant planning permissions for your business.

Animal Boarding

Any premises (including a private dwelling) which is used for the business of providing accommodation for other people's cats or dogs is described as an Animal Boarding Establishment.  Any person who runs such an establishment requires a licence under the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963.

Boarding establishments are inspected by authorised Council Officers or Veterinary Surgeons.  Licences have a number of conditions attached to them covering the accommodation in which animals are kept, the adequacy of food, drink and exercise, control of disease spread, protection of animals from fire or other emergency, and a register of animals.  Licences normally run for one year, but always expire on 31 December.

You will need to complete either an pdf icon Animal Boarding application form [17kb] and pay a fee of £115.00 or pdf icon Home Boarding Application Form [17kb] and pay a fee of £90.00 to register your premises.

There are separate conditions for pdf icon dog boarding [35kb], pdf icon cat boarding [31kb] and pdf icon home boarding [24kb].

Once granted, a licence is valid for one year and is renewable annually.

Dangerous Wild Animals

Dangerous Wild Animal Act licences are issued under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976.  The Act does not apply to zoos, circuses, pet shops or to establishments registered for carrying out animal experiments.  There is a schedule attached to the Act which states which animals fall within the term "dangerous wild animal".

South Holland District Council has a power of entry and inspection of premises which hold a Licence.  We may seize any dangerous wild animals which are being kept on the premises if the animal is unlicensed, or where any condition of the Licence is not being complied with.

Areas considered in respect of issuing a Licence include the accommodation, which should be secure and suitable in respect of its construction, size, temperature, lighting, ventilation, draining and cleanliness.  The accommodation must be supplied with adequate and suitable food, drink and bedding material and must be visited at suitable intervals.  There must also be emergency provisions, such as in respect of fire or in cases of infectious disease.  Further information can be found on the website

You will need to complete a pdf icon Dangerous Wild Animal Licence application form [13kb] and pay a fee of £265.00.

Your premises will also be inspected by a veterinarian for which a fee is payable.

Once granted, a Licence is valid for two years.

Dog Breeding

Anyone who breeds dogs as a business, or produces for sale puppies, needs to be licensed under the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 amended by the Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999.  Hobby breeders are therefore normally exempt.

On receipt of a dog breeding licence application form, and vets declaration form the information provided will be assessed, and if satisfied an officer and a veterinary practitioner, will arrange to inspect the premises and prepare a report on the premises and applicant.  This report will be taken into consideration before granting a licence.  pdf icon Dog Breeding Conditions [64kb] are imposed which restrict the number of litters that each bitch can have, require identification of puppies and specify the records that must be kept.

You will need to complete a pdf icon dog breeding application form [19kb] ,the pdf icon Vets Declaration Form [9kb] and pay a fee of £115.00.

Once granted, a Licence is valid for one year and is renewable annually.

Pet Shops

The sale of animals as pets needs to be licensed under the Pet Animals Act 1951.  Invertebrates are not included.  pdf icon pet shop conditions [38kb] attached to licences, control the accommodation in which animals are kept, the adequacy of food and drink, prevention of disease spread, fire precautions and the age at which animals can be sold.  Pets must not be sold in streets or to children under 16.  Sale of animals at bird or reptile fairs or similar is normally illegal.

Licences normally run for one year, but always expire on 31 December.  Officers inspect pet shops, if necessary with a vet, to ensure compliance with conditions.

You will need to complete a pdf icon pet shop licence application form [22kb] and pay a fee of £115.00.

Riding Establishments

Stables which hire out horses or ponies for riding or instruction must be licensed under theRiding Establishment Act 1964, as amended.  Livery stables are not included.

A riding establishment will be inspected regularly to ensure that the accommodation is suitable in size and design and well maintained.  The horses/ponies will undergo an annual veterinary inspection for which a fee is payable to ensure that they are in good health and physically fit for the purpose.

You will need to complete a pdf icon riding stables application form [1005kb] and pay a fee of £115.00.

Once granted, a Licence is valid for one year from the day on which it comes into force.  pdf icon riding establishment conditions [12kb] are attached to licences to ensure animal welfare and also to help secure the safety of riders. Public Liability Insurance is required.


Zoo Licensing Act 1981 applies to any establishment, other than a Circus or Pet Shop, where wild animals are kept for public exhibition on more than seven days in any consecutive twelve months.

Licences are granted initially for four years and thereafter are normally renewable every six years.  The Secretary of State for the Environment has specified standards of modern zoo practice to which local authorities must have regard.  These can be found on the zoo website.  Inspections of zoos are required under the Act and local authorities carry them out with two inspectors nominated by the Secretary of State and up to three appointed by the Local Authority, at least one of whom will be a Veterinary Surgeon or Practitioner.

You will need to phone 01775 761161 or email for further details on how to make an application.

Who is Responsible for What in Animal Welfare?

The RSPCA, Chartered Institute of Environmental Health and The LGA have produced Animal welfare advice leaflet on reporting different animal-related issues.

If you require further information or are unsure if you need a licence please phone 01775 761161 or email

Powered by GOSS iCM