Apply for or Renew a Licence to Keep or Train Animals for Exhibition


You need to apply for a licence if you want to exhibit, use or train animals for entertainment or education for example:

  • businesses that keep animals for exhibition, either for entertainment or education, this includes mobile animal exhibits that visit schools, weddings, private parties, fairs and other events where there's an audience. 
  • Pony parties where the ponies are not ridden.
  • businesses that keep or train animals for exhibition on electronic media, like animals used in film or TV.
  • a circus that uses domestic animals in its shows
  • Any business based outside of England that brings in an animal for exhibition.These businesses must apply to the first authority in which they will be performing or where the animals are to be kept for the duration of their stay.

You don’t need to apply if you train or exhibit animals for use by the military or police or sport for example, horse racing and greyhound racing.

Registered charities that exhibit animals as part of their charitable work don't need to apply for licence, unless such registered charities are in practice running this element of their operations as a commercial activity.


Who can apply 

You must be aged 16 or over. 



We will inspect your premises before giving you a licence and may inspect any time after your licence is granted to check that the animals are kept in suitable conditions that meet health, welfare and safety standards. 



You will be required to provide the following:  

  • a plan of the premises
  • standard operating procedures 
  • an emergency response plan 
  • an infection control procedure
  • public liability insurance

You need a designated key holder who has access to all animal areas of the business. They must at all times be within reasonable travel distance of the premises and available to attend in an emergency.



You may not get a licence if you’ve been disqualified or had a licence refused, revoked or cancelled for an animal health or welfare offence. For more information see the The Animal Licensing Regulations 2018.


Record keeping 

You must keep a register containing a description of all the animals. You must keep records for at least three years beginning with the date on which the record was created.


Check if you need planning permission

You may need planning permission for your business.

You’ll probably need planning permission if you want to:

  • build something new
  • make a major change to your building, such as building an extension
  • change the use of your building

If your project needs planning permission and you do the work without getting it, you can be served an ‘enforcement notice’ ordering you to undo all the changes you have made.

To find out if your business premises will need planning permission.



Find out how much your licence will cost.

The licence fees are broken down into two parts:-

Part A covers the cost of deciding the licence application. This includes administration and inspection costs. 

Part B covers the cost of issuing the licence. 

Your licence will not be issued until all fees have been paid, this means the application fee (part a), the grant fee (part b) and veterinary fees (if applicable).


How to apply for or renew a licence

You will need to meet all aspects of the The Animal Licensing Regulations 2018 and The DEFRA guidance for your licence to be granted.   

Please ensure you read the regulations and guidance before you apply.

Download and fill in the form (DOCX, 127.7 KB)   

You can use this form to apply for more than one animal activities licence type.


Pay online

You’ll need your debit or credit card details

Pay online


Send the form to us


Post to: Gloucester City Council, Community Wellbeing Team, PO Box 2017, Pershore, WR10 9BJ

If you send paperwork in by post we may not be able to collect it, therefore, we cannot guarantee when it will be processed. Gloucester City Council are supporting flexible working to ensure the safety of staff during this time.


What happens next 

Your application will be assessed and we may contact you for more information. 

You'll be visited by an inspector who will inspect your premises. The inspector will look at the animals and their environment and refer to the DEFRA guidance

A Star Rating  will not be issued following an inspection for this activity