Animal licences

Animal licences

Apply for an animal licence

You can apply by downloading the appropriate form below.

Applications forms must be sent to:

Public Protection
Central Bedfordshire Council
Watling House
High Street North

Contact us

Telephone: 0300 300 8307

Email: health&

If you want to operate a business which deals with animals on the premises then you will need to apply for a licence.

We deal with licences for:

  • breeding of dogs
  • boarding of dogs (kennels)
  • home boarding for dogs
  • dog day care
  • boarding of cats (cattery)
  • selling animals as pets
  • keeping or training animals for exhibitions
  • hiring out horses
  • dangerous wild animals
  • zoos

The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 came into effect on 1 October 2018 and have introduced a new licensing regime to replace the licensing and registration regimes for the following;

  • animal boarding for catteries and dogs - Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963
  • dog breeding establishments- Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 and Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999
  • horse riding establishments- Riding Establishments Act 1964
  • performing animals - Performing Animals (Regulation) Act 1925
  • pet shops - Pet Animals Act 1951

If you have a licence under one of the above activities that is in force on 1 October 2018, it will continue to be valid until it is due to expire. You will then need to apply for a licence under the new regulations.

Guidance from DEFRA

The Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has now published procedural guidance for local authorities in relation to the new regulations, along with guidance notes on the conditions that will apply to licences issued to authorise the different licensable activities. 

The new licence conditions and guidance notes for each of the animal activities covered are set out below:

Useful information

The following codes of practice are available from the Canine and Feline Sector Group (link opens in new window).

  • Code of practice for the welfare of dogs
  • Code of Practice for the welfare of cats
Back to the top