Animal Welfare Licences

South Staffordshire Council is responsible for the administration of a number of licences and registrations. These licences/registrations are subject to a number of detailed conditions. It is an offence to carry out any of these activities in South Staffordshire without first obtaining the appropriate licence/registration.

Animal licensing has changed

The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018, came into effect on 1 October 2018. The regulations unify and update a number of current licensing Acts namely those applicable to pet shops, animal boarding establishments, riding establishments, dog breeding and performing animals. These activities will now be covered under a single licence known as the “Animal Activity Licence".

Dangerous wild animals and Zoo licensing are not included in the new regulations.

Existing licences remain in force for the remainder of their term, under the current regulations in place. Performing animals registrations remain in force until 31st March 2019. New licence applications and renewals after 1 October 2018 will need to be made under the new regulations. If you are an existing business with an existing licence you will still need to apply for a new licence under the new Act when your existing licence expires and is due for renewal.

Apply for a Licence

You can apply for a Licence by downloading one of the forms below:

Application for a licence to breed dogs
• Application for a licence to provide or arrange for the provision of boarding for cats or dogs
Application for a licence to sell animals as pets
• Application for licence to keep or train animals for exhibition
Application for a licence to hire out horses


Detailed guidance for each licensable activity is provided below. These documents contain extensive information on what will be required to meet the Licence conditions and what steps can be taken to meet the highest animal welfare standards.

Guidance for Boarding Cats
Guidance for Breeding Dogs
Guidance for Boarding Dogs in Kennels
Guidance for Home Boarding Dogs
Guidance for Dog Day Care
Guidance for Selling Animals as Pets
Guidance for Exhibitions of Animals
Guidance for Hiring out Horses
• Amendments to Guidance 1st October 2018

Duration of licences

The 2018 regulations introduce significant changes including new enforcement powers for a local authority to suspend, vary or revoke a licence and a risk/star rating system which determines the duration of a licence which may last for 1,2 or 3 years.
Operators will be risk rated against a standard 14 point assessment criteria.
The assessment considers a number of factors relating to compliance history, complaints, animal welfare and management standards.
A score of 17 or less is rated low risk , a score of 18 or above is rated higher risk. New businesses which do not have a compliance history with a Local Authority or relevant UKAS accredited scheme must be considered higher risk.
The inspection findings and risk rating are fed into the following scoring matrix which determines both the star rating and duration of the licence given to a business.

Risk Scoring Matrix

To apply for a licence please use the relevant application form available to download on this page and arrange to pay the appropriate Part A fee.

Application fees

All fees have been calculated taking into account the statutory guidance in Regulation 13 which stipulates a full cost recovery model. Fees are broken down as follows:

Part 1 covers the cost of the Council handling your application, carrying out an inspection and determining whether or not a licence should be granted. Part 1 must be paid at the time the application is made.

Part 2 covers the cost of issuing the licence and conducting an unannounced inspection during the term of the licence (as required by government guidance).
Once you have been notified that your application has been successful an invoice for the Part 2 fee will be sent.

The Licence will only be issued after the Part 2 fee has been paid.

Please be aware that the fee is the same regardless of duration of the licence, however we are unable to determine the duration until a full assessment has been undertaken.

The Part 1 and Vet inspection fees are non-refundable should your application be unsuccessful.

Type of Activity Part 1 Part 2 Total Cost Comments
Animal Boarding/Dog day care £167.00 £171.00 £338.00
Riding Establishment £229.00 £194.00 £423.00 PLUS vets fee. If a licence is granted for more than one year the vets fee is payable annually
Dog Breeding £247.00 £211.00 £458.00 PLUS vets fee
Pet Shop £200.00 £170.00 £370.00
Home Boarding £146.00 £150.00 £296.00
Performing Animals £146.00 £150.00 £296.00 PLUS vets fee if the activity being licenced attracts a vets fee. The additional activity fee is charged to that activity that attracts the lowest licensing fee
Additional Activity Charge £135.00 £125.00 £260.00
Application Assistance fee £175.00 This is a discretionary service to assist applicants with pre- application discussion and making their application. A 10% discount will be applied to the licence fee if this service is used. A further 10% discount will be applied if the applicant pays the full cost of the licence up front.

Risk re- rating and appeals process.


Businesses will be able to request a re-inspection for the purposes of re-evaluating an issued star rating. A request can be made using the Request for a re-inspection visit form.
The business, should outline the case for re-inspection and should indicate the actions that have been taken to improve the level of compliance or welfare since the inspection. If appropriate supporting evidence can be provided, however the case should relate to the actions the Council advises the business should be made in order to receive a higher star rating.

Appeals to a risk rating

A business can dispute the star rating awarded where it is felt the score awarded did not reflect the animal welfare standards and risk levels at the time of the inspection. An appeal can be made using the Request for an Appeal form.
Before submission of an appeal, businesses will be encouraged to discuss their intention to make an appeal with the inspecting Officer before a formal written appeal submission is made. The ‘inspecting Officer will explain how the rating was awarded which may help resolve the need for a formal appeal.
In the event a business is still not satisfied with the risk rating score following an informal discussion with the inspecting Officer, the business can submit a formal appeal in writing to the authority.

Telephone: 01902 696000

Other pages in the section

Dangerous Wild Animals

In this section, find out more about licensing requirements relating to dangerous wild animals.

Zoo Licensing

In this section, find out more about zoo licensing.


Get in touch


South Staffs Council

Wolverhampton Road, Codsall

South Staffordshire


Show on map

Office Opening Times

Due to the current coronavirus pandemic, the Council Offices are now closed and residents should consider alternative ways of contacting the Council rather than visiting in person Please see the Contact box on the left for further information about how to contact us.