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Animal activity licence

You must have an animal activity licence if you:

  • provide or arrange boarding facilities for cats or dogs
  • breed dogs
  • sell animals as pets
  • hire out horses
  • keep or train animals for exhibition

The current Animal Welfare Regulations began on 1 October 2018.


You must pay for each licensable activity that your licence will cover.




Breeding of dogs (veterinary fees are additional)



Hiring out horses (veterinary fees are additional)



Selling animals as pets



Keeping or training animals for exhibition



Providing home boarding for dogs (daytime or overnight care within the home environment)



Providing boarding in kennels for dogs

Up to 50 dogs



Over 50 dogs



Providing day care for dogs (This applies to doggy day care centres that provide day care only. It does not apply to home environment premises, or boarding in kennels)

Up to 50 dogs



Over 50 dogs



Providing boarding for cats

Up to 50 cats



Over 50 cats




How to apply

Before you apply for a licence you should read the guidance notes.

Return your completed application form, supporting documents and fee to [email protected]

Or by post:

West Oxfordshire District Council
Woodgreen Offices
OX28 1NB

Star rating scheme

We use a risk-based system to decide your star rating and the length of the licence. This does not include “Keeping or Training Animals for Exhibition” where all licences are valid for 3 years.

For further information on the star rating scheme, refer to the procedural guidance notes.

Approval of your licence

We aim to evaluate your application within 10 weeks, but it may take longer.

If we have not contacted you within 4 weeks, contact us for an update.

Miscellaneous fees from 1 April 2020


Franchise Licence (Dog boarding only) – You must also pay a Host fee *see example below.


Host Fee – Each host family of a dog boarding franchise must pay for one *see example below.


Additional Activity – This is an additional fee if more than one activity is undertaken at the same premises **see example below.


Variation Fee – This is to amend your licence.


Inspection Fee – You must pay this if you require an additional inspection after the initial one that is included in the application fee.


Re-Rating Fee – If you want us to re-inspect your business to possibly revise your current star rating.


* Franchise/host fees

If a franchise has 4 host families within West Oxfordshire District, the fee would be £121.30 (initial franchise licence fee) + £573.40 (4 host fees at £143.35 each) therefore the total fee payable would be £716.75. 

** Additional activity fees

If you are applying for more than one activity, you must pay the full amount for the most expensive activity, then £49.60 for each extra activity.

Vet inspection fees

Depending on which activities you are applying for, we may need to appoint a vet to inspect your premises. Vet inspections are not covered by the application fees, so we’ll invoice you for this service. 

DEFRA Guidance

The Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs has produced procedural guidance for local authorities. It can also be used by those who currently have a licence or wish to apply for one.

The page includes guidance on:

  • providing boarding for cats and dogs
  • dog breeding
  • selling animals as pets
  • hiring out horses
  • keeping or training animals for exhibition