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Animal licensing


The following all require licensing by a Licensing Authority:

  • Boarding establishments
  • Catteries
  • Circuses
  • Dangerous wild animals
  • Dog breeders
  • Pet shops
  • Riding establishments
  • Zoos


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  • To make sure that animals are kept in accommodation suitable in terms of size, construction, temperature, lighting, ventilation and cleanliness
  • To make sure that animals are adequately supplied with suitable food, drink, and bedding material
  • To make sure that animals are adequately exercised
  • To make sure that all reasonable precautions are taken to prevent and control the spread among animals of infectious or contagious diseases
  • To make sure that appropriate steps will be taken for the protection of the animals in case of fire or other emergency
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In the aftermath of the Foot and Mouth outbreak a rigorous regime of licensing which controls the movement of a range of animals has been introduced. The most common animals whose movements have to be licensed are sheep, pigs and cows.

The conditions which apply to these movements vary according to the type of animal, the destination and the type of trip. In addition, these conditions are constantly being altered and so it is important that you make yourself aware of the latest conditions when applying for a movement licence.

In certain conditions all that is necessary is for you to complete the licence and forward the copies as laid down. The licences can be obtained from your local Trading Standards Office.

All the information regarding the conditions are available on the Defra, UK website.

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Last updated: 9 October 2017 | Last reviewed: 9 October 2017