The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 took effect on 1 October 2018.

The regulations were made by the Secretary of State under section 13 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and introduced a new licensing regime for anyone carrying out one or more of the following ‘licensable activities’:

  • Selling animals as pets
  • Providing or arranging for the provision of boarding for cats or dogs
  • Hiring out horses
  • Breeding dogs
  • Keeping or training animals for exhibition

Anyone carrying on any of the above licensable activities in the council’s area requires a licence from the council to do so.

The Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has published statutory guidance to outline the activities within scope of the Regulations and the conditions that will apply to each licensable activity. Businesses are encouraged to review the conditions and guidance carefully before applying for their licence.

You can view the full legislation on the link below:

The procedural guidance and guidance notes for each of the activities are available on at the following link. 

The Application Forms and Fees

Depending on the licensable activities you apply for a licence for, a vet may be required to inspect your premises.

The costs of any required vet inspection are NOT covered by the application or licence fees and must be paid for by the applicant separately.

If your application requires us to appoint a vet, you will be given details on how to make payment as part of the application process in respect of the vet inspection and production of their report.

Please note, if multiple activities are being applied for, an application fee for each licensable activity is applicable.

Please send to Licensing

Star Rating Scheme

Once the inspection has been carried out, the length of the licence and the star rating will be determined using a scoring matrix within the Local Authority Procedural Guidance. Businesses that 'Keep or Train Animals for Exhibition' are automatically awarded a three year licence but are not given a star rating. 


If you are not happy with your star rating, refusal to grant or renew a licence or the decision to vary, suspend or revoke your licence, you may appeal using the relevant processes below.

This appeal should only be used if you think your star rating is wrong - if you have made improvements to your business following an inspection and wish to be reassessed, you should apply for reinspection by contacting the Licensing Team.


If you wish to appeal your star rating, you must write to us at Safer Business (Health and Safety), Community Protection, Nottingham City Council, Loxley House, Station Street, Nottingham, NG2 3NG, or email  


All appeals must be lodged by the licence holder within 21 days (including weekends and bank holidays) of the date the licence was issued.


You can discuss the star rating informally first with the inspecting officer to help resolve the matter without lodging an appeal, however this does not form part of the formal process and the deadline of 21 days from the date the licence was issued still applies. Bear in mind that an appeal can be withdrawn if the issue is resolved informally.


Appeals will be determined by either the head of the department, a designated deputy, or by the equivalent in another authority, who will:


  • look at the paperwork associated with the inspection
  • consider the past record of the business
  • make a further visit to the facility (if it is required)

Please note that the costs of any additional inspections related to the appeal will be borne by the applicant unless it results in a higher rating being awarded.  


If you disagree with the outcome of the appeal, you can challenge the local authority’s decision by means of judicial review. You can also make a complaint to the local government ombudsman if you consider that a council service has not been properly delivered.

Where Nottingham City Council suspends or varies your licence without your consent, you may submit a written representation within 7 working days (not including weekends and bank holidays) of the notice to the Safer Business (Health and Safety) Team, Community Protection, Nottingham City Council, Loxley House, Station Street, Nottingham, NG2 3NG, or at


Upon receipt of the Representation, Nottingham City Council will decide to either continue with the suspension or variation; or cancel the decision to make changes to the licence.


If we do not respond within 7 working days of receipt of the written representation the initial decision is considered ‘overturned’. This is also the case if no further action is taken by the Council within 28 days of the licence being suspended.


If you do not agree with the decision, you can appeal to a first tier tribunal. This must be done within 28 days of the decision.

Where the licence has been revoked, or we have refused to grant or renew your licence, you may appeal to the first-tier tribunal within 28 days of the Notice, beginning with the day following the date of the decision.


The tribunal may overturn, alter, or uphold the decision, depending on the circumstances. 

Tacit Consent

Does not apply as it is in the public interest that we must process your application before it can be granted.

Contact Us

Commercial and Operations Licensing
Central Police Station
Byron House
Maid Marian Way

Tel: 01159156571

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