Due to an increase in cases of avian influenza (bird flu), an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone is in force from 17 October 2022 and, from Monday 7 November 2022, mandatory housing measures for all poultry and captive birds are in force across England. By law, all bird keepers must follow strict biosecurity rules. For more information, go to GOV.UK: Avian Influenza Prevention Zone, GOV.UK: Avian Influence housing order and GOV.UK: Avian influenza (bird flu).
You need a licence to carry out some activities involving animals. You also need a licence to own dangerous wild animals.
When you need a licence
You must have a valid licence to carry out any of the following activities involving animals:
- selling animals as pets
- dog breeding
- boarding for dogs or cats – includes kennels, catteries, dog day care and dog boarding at home
- hiring out horses
- keeping or training animals for exhibition
You also need a licence for a:
You do not need a licence to be a professional dog walker, but you can find guidance on best practice and how to meet legal requirements at Dogs Trust: How to find a good dog walker.
You can read government guidance on how to apply for these licences and the conditions you'll need to meet, at:
- GOV.UK: Selling animals as pets licence – guidance
- GOV.UK: Dog breeding licence – guidance
- GOV.UK: Boarding for cats or dogs licence – guidance
- GOV.UK: Hire out horses licence – guidance
- GOV.UK: Keeping or training animals for exhibition licence – guidance
You can read the guidance for licensing authorities at GOV.UK: Animal activities licensing – statutory guidance for local authorities.
- the conditions for each licence type that are set at a national level
- what you need to do to meet the conditions
- steps you can take to meet the higher animal welfare standards and get a higher rating